• The dining carriage has seating for those that want to sit there

Coastal Pacific – RV, Rail and Runways

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

When we organised our recent trip to Christchurch, our plan was to drive to Wellington via Napier and Martinborough, ferry to Picton, then drive to Blackball, visit Greymouth, and then head to Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass to deliver the Dethleffs Distinction Trend motorhome to UCC. For the return journey we had the option of either [...]

  • Getting the Kaikōura road reopened was a huge job — but there’s still a lot of work to do and stops are frequent. However, the essential character of the drive remains

Picton to Kaikōura

March 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

When I awoke to splendid sunshine after a sound night’s sleep at the Aussie Bay DOC camp in the Marlborough Sounds, I was feeling pretty excited by the prospects of my first drive down the Kaikōura Coast since the earthquake. My first experience of this revered stretch of our country was in late 1949 when [...]

  • Lunch stop at Fairlight Station - past railway glories

RV Roadie – Year 2 Part II

December 18th, 2019|Tags: , , |

When I left off last issue we were just boarding the Interislander bound for Picton. Following a smooth voyage and an on-time arrival we disembarked with a mission to get as far south as possible by nightfall. We prefer not to arrive at new camping grounds after dark, so stopping during daylight hours with time [...]

  • Spectacular Maruia Falls were created by the 1929 Murchison earthquake

Christchurch to Motueka, a Road Less Travelled… but it Wasn’t Always that Way

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

The Kaikōura earthquake struck at two minutes past midnight on November 14, 2016. The damage was immense but there was no loss of life, because this region – apart from Kaikōura itself – is very sparsely populated. However, New Zealand’s transport infrastructure was thrown into chaos with both the railway line and SH1 damaged to such [...]

  • Photo by Cicell Jenks: Built from locally-quarried stone, the Tokata Lighthouse at Nugget Point stands an impressive 9.5 metres high and is 76 metres above the sea

Do it while you still can – Catlins Part 2

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

I’m a great fan of information boards (I read every word, much to the extreme frustration of my travelling companions), and at Kākā Point on the south-east coast of the South Island, the boards told us we were standing where the Clutha River used to flow to sea until a massive flood in 1878 moved [...]

  • The Junction at Cromwell in springtime. Credit James Jubb, Tourism Central Otago

Silencing the voices in my head – Catlins Part 1

December 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

Eyebrows were raised to the ex-hairline and there was much tut-tutting among our friends as they inspected the double bed neatly made up in the back of the JUCY Cabana station wagon and the little kitchen tucked into the rear of the vehicle. “You’re a bit old for this sort of thing,” they guffawed, shaking [...]

  • Tram stop at the Aviation Collection

North Island RV Roadie – Year 2 Part I

November 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

It was just over a year ago that I decided to give the RV lifestyle a try, and contrary to the dire predictions of several mates, I found that I enjoyed every moment of it. Well, almost every moment. So sure were my friends that I would probably only tolerate it for little more than [...]

  • New Zealand’s fastest eroding coastline

A Road Trip from Marokopa to Tongaporutu

September 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Ironic, sad, but true – despite having hitch-hiked (or more latterly driven) throughout New Zealand for 30-plus years, it seems I still receive my hot travel tips about go-to locations from foreign backpackers who’ve been here for five minutes. The bully for my latest sojourn came from a young Dutch couple who said one of [...]

  • It’s only in reasonably recent years that Glenorchy has been accessible by road. Prior to that the Earnslaw – run by New Zealand Railways – was the only means of transport in and out

The Great South Island Road Trip

September 9th, 2019|Tags: , , |

A couple of years back a survey of international travellers asked what destination they would like to see before they died. Pretty grim way of putting the question, but the results were interesting. In order of preference they were, the Grand Canyon, Queensland’s Coral Reef and the South Island of New Zealand. That puts us [...]

  • The Britz eVolve almost back home. With the Remarkables as a backdrop we complete our nearly three days with the vehicle

Road Trip – Queenstown to Dunedin

June 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The offer of a test drive in a new EV motorhome recently added to the Britz rental range was a golden opportunity. This was the proverbial killing of two birds with the one stone. The first being I have never driven an EV on an extended run and I was curious to see how it [...]