New Zealand Tour 2006

October 09 - December 02


During the bleak period of January 2006 we spent many hours on the Internet and in book shops gleaning as much information as we could about New Zealand, how to get there and how to travel around the islands.
We decided, that as we could get an early booking discount fare, to fly Business Class with Air New Zealand and to do the whole journey in one go flying via Los Angeles for the better baggage allowance. A twenty-six hour flight made very comfortable by the "flat bed" seats, excellent (by airline standards) catering and attentive cabin crew.
Our next quest was to find out about "Camper Vans" and after looking at many web sites and talking to the UK representatives of the hire companies we opted for a Kea 4 berth Motor Home which we booked through a Cornwall based firm called who were very helpful and sent us masses of relevant literature.
The next thing was to sort out itineraries - provisional, as with a camper van you can please yourself if you wish to stay longer in a place or even leave earlier. Here the New Zealand Tourist Office comes into it's own, they are excellent both overseas and in New Zealand where they are called i-sites.
One of the "beauties" of New Zealand is their very friendly way and the fact that the whole country is geared to an outdoor life style and where ever you go you find you will be welcomed even to the extent that many vehicle parking areas have bays especially for camper vans - even in supermarket car parks. There are dozens of extremely well equipped and very clean "Holiday Parks" where you pitch your van for around £10.00 per night for two people.
The standard of living in New Zealand is on a par with the UK BUT the costs are lower with (for example) diesel fuel being about £0.37 per litre compared to our £1.00 per litre! Most of the foods that we enjoy are available in New Zealand including such things as tea, HP sauce, marmalade and even Marmite - so you have no need to 'cart' such items all the way from the UK and they have an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetable and meats - remember there are reckoned to be 40 million sheep there!
To see where we went click here.