Howden Ganley is a Kiwi, an ex-Formula One and Formula 5000 motor racing driver of some repute, and is also a regular contributor to NZ Classic Driver magazine. Howden joined the RV movement when on holiday in New Zealand recently, travelling from Auckland to Invercargill on his first RV tour of New Zealand, weaving between race car tracks and ticking the memory banks on the way. This is part two of his story; the South Island.

I had never before travelled on the Wellington–Picton ferry route. During my motor racing days we took the ferry from Wellington, but it sailed all the way (overnight) to Lyttelton and it was not a RoRo at that time. I remember watching the cars being craned on board at the Wellington wharf. Does that date me a bit?

Memorial wall in the new Wigram housing estate

This time around we drove aboard, ate in a reasonable restaurant, and were ready to disembark after a mere three-and-a-half hours’ voyage. Picton seemed to be swarming with motorhomes, either disembarking or waiting to board, and we soon discovered that there were no camping grounds with an available space so decided to press on towards Blenheim. Clear of the rush, we were able to secure a nice site at Blenheim Top 10 and it suited me to stop there as my plan was to visit Sir Peter Jackson’s aircraft collection at Omaka (a former RNZAF base) the next day. Once there, we took in both exhibitions: the ‘Knights of the Sky’ featuring aircraft from WWI, and the separate ‘Dangerous Skies’ which comprises WWII aircraft and artefacts. As one might expect of such a successful film maker it is all perfectly presented and period correct. The Bristol Freighter and the DC3 parked out near the entrance give the flavour immediately upon arrival.

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