Going by camper for the first time, Jan and John spent seven dreamy days exploring the South Island in their maui campervan. Having the time of their life, they were excited to share their trip with us upon their return. They wanted to share their journey with us as, like so many others, they wondered why they hadn't taken the leap sooner and quickly saw there was nothing to fear about going by camper!
Not bound by a schedule, Jan and John were able to take their time sightseeing etc. so couldn't say exactly how long it took us to travel the distances between each location each day.
Day One: Christchurch to Tekapo
Distance: 243 kms
Picked up our Campervan around 10.30am, and began our journey to Tekapo. Had a lunch stop in Geraldine and then travelled through the Tekapo Basin, catching a glimpse of Mt Cook in the distance. Spent time exploring the town of Tekapo, and a delightful visit to the famous and picturesque Old Church on the banks of Lake Tekapo. We had a great spot at the Holiday Camp and watched the sunset from the comfort of our outdoor furniture that was included in our van package. We also visited the Mt John Observatory….fantastic views of the whole Tekapo Basin from here.
Day Two: Tekapo to Wanaka
We drove through to Wanaka today, and had a wonderful trip to Mou Wahu Island (bird Sanctuary) with Eco Tours, where we had a fantastic time with Chris our guide. He really knew his stuff and made the morning for us. The rest of the day was spent exploring Wanaka, where neither of us had been to for many years.
Day Three: Wanaka to Cromwell
Drove across the Crown Range, not scary! On to Carrick Winery, where the hosts were fantastic. We enjoyed a stroll through the vineyard, learned about its history and got to sample some of their award winning wines. They supplied a fantastic basket of food for us to cook in our campervan, along with a bottle of their pinot. Breads, olives and oil, Fresh salmon, and salads, and a divine chocolate and strawberry tart to finish. Recommend highly!!!!
Day Four: Cromwell to Queenstown
Travelled the short distance to Queenstown, where we stayed at a rather quirky Holiday Park. Which is really centrally located. Walked into the towncentre and spent a delilghtful few hours sightseeing. The next day we did the Earnslaw trip to Glenorchy Station. It was really worth it.
Day Five : Queenstown to DunedinDistance: 270kms
A long trip with plenty to see on the way. A highlight was the Yellow Eyed Penguins and the time spent at Larnach Castle.
Day Six : Dunedin to Akaroa
This was a great day. Spent time wandering among the Moeraki Boulders, followed by a fantastic and memorable at the famous Fluers Restaurant. Amazing menu, presentation and ambience. A truly memorable experience and I agree with Rick Stein, a
must do! We also took a detour into the old historic part of Oamaru. It was quite magical and well worth a visit.
Day Seven: Akaroa to Christchurch
Fantastic road trip, scenery is magical and once you come over the hill into the settlement. It's very beautiful. We went out on cruise to see if we could catch the Dolphins and we were very lucky. Mum's and babies frolicking around, very fortunate. Another highlight.
Road trip highlights:
Best view: All of the South Island is paradise. The views are 'to die for' and there is not many other such magical places in the world.
Favourite place: Old area in Oamaru
Favourite experience: Dolphin watching in Akaroa
Top highlights: Carrick Vineyard – great ambience and the food basket was yummy!
Best pub/restaurant: Fluers Restaurant, Moeraki
Best Holiday Park: Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park – quirky!
Top tip for other campervan travellers: Don't plan too far ahead as you might just fall in love with a place and want to stay longer!
Greatest memory from your campervan holiday: Relaxing!! We were a bit sceptical about campervaning, thinking it was a bit crowded and restricting, how wrong we were! We would recommend experiencing a Campervan holiday, road trip to
anyone. No pressure, no packing and unpacking, no timetables, go at your own pace and simply enjoy!