Posts tagged “camper van

Milford Sound

Posted on January 20, 2014

Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand:  This is a must-see in every New Zealand guide, so we found ourselves steering our camper van in its direction.  This natural wonder was formed tens of millions of years ago by glacial cutting, and the resulting fiord is of astounding magnitude. Unfortunately, this area gets about 200 days of rain a year and we were (un)lucky enough to camp up there on one of the coldest, rainiest and windiest days. This weather, while tough to sightsee in, made for the most impressive waterfalls. The Sound normally has 2 waterfalls; on this crazy weather day, we were able to see thousands.

Moeraki & Surat Bay

Posted on January 19, 2014

Surat Bay, South Island, New Zealand and Moeraki Point, South Island, New Zealand:  On our 4th night in the camper van, we drove to the Catlins, another peaceful bay on the east coast of the South Island. The walk along the beach where the bay and ocean come together was deserted and quiet, and we were able to enjoy this cozy (and cold) spot near the southern-most tip of the South Island (hello, Antarctica).

Moeraki is a sleepy fishing village we discovered completely by accident (a good reason to cross-country camp without a plan). We chose a campsite overlooking the bay where a handful of fishing boats gathered, and we wandered over to the jetty where we were delighted to discover Fleur’s Place, a gem of a spot with breathtaking views of the sunset. This little village is a must-see for others meandering down from Oamaru to Dunedin.

Our first days in the camper van

Posted on January 16, 2014

Christchurch, New Zealand: On Tuesday, we picked up our Happy Camper in Christchurch and drove south towards Timaru. With provisions in hand we were all stocked up for 26 days in our new home. Out came the atlas since we hadn’t planned a route ahead of time, and off we went in search of a home for the night.

The first night we found an off-the-beaten path campsite at the base of the Opihi River where it feeds into the Pacific Ocean, a small community called Millford Huts. We ate some dinner, made up the bed and crested the hill to see 5-7 salmon fishermen working on a catch for the night. It was pretty magical to be situated on the ocean in such a quiet spot. Day 1 of camping was good.

We left Millford Huts on Wednesday, heading west & inland. We had a picnic lunch on the rocks at Lake Tekapo, a glacier fed lake with unbelievably green water. Heading a little north and west, we decided on a campsite in a more rural area away from the tourists at Lake Tekapo. We backed the van up against a babbling brook where a few ducks checked in to say hi, and then we were off on a hike around Lake Alexandrina. After a dip in the lake, Thomas grilled outside and dinner was served brookside on our little camp table. So far, we’re both loving this camper van plan.