It was Mandy’s birthday, so the day needed to be special. We woke up early and drove thirty minutes to Abel Tasman National Park, where we rented a sea kayak and paddled out into a beautiful morning at Tasman Bay. As the sun rose over the ocean, it warmed the lush forest, sandy white beaches, and pure blue waters surrounding us. Continue reading
After arriving on the South Island, we drove to Kaikoura Bay for the night and then made it to Christchurch the next day. Then we said a sad goodbye to Max. Continue reading
We made the conscious decision to split New Zealand into two separate trips. On the South Island, which is more rugged and untamed, we would take it slower. In contrast, the North Island was going to be busy.
We needed to roll up our sleeves and get serious if we had any hope of covering the North Island in the eight days we had allotted. I’m happy to report that we were successful — so successful that writing about it in detail would leave me with too much to say. Instead, here’s a picture heavy blog to try and tell our story. Continue reading
As amazing as they were, our last few stops (Singapore, Bali, Sydney) were actually made with an ulterior motive: they represented the most interesting, efficient and economical way to get to the isolated corner of the globe containing New Zealand. It was a short flight from Sydney to Auckland, where we picked up our camper van and began a twenty-four day exploration of the country.
Our first van (more on that in another post), was small and simple compared to some of the monstrous RVs that you can find cruising down the road with a set of retirees behind the wheel. In fact, rather than an RV, we were really just living out of a van. A van named Max. As in Max Power. Thin and lean, but with a robust turbo diesel engine, Max left every other camper van in our dust on NZ’s winding, mountainous roads. We covered a lot of ground in our new home; Max was crucial to our New Zealand odyssey. Continue reading