In a campervan is the only way to experience New Zealand. Now that I am writing this entry two weeks late, I can make that statement with more uncertainty than ever. In a word (or two), it fucking rocks.
We quoted two different companies before our arrival:
Explore More - Offering high-top campers with kitchens & stand-up living areas. The price seemed reasonable, until we popped in and they started pulling out all of the hidden fees. Their manager also turned out to be a complete asshole.
Escape - Boasts a fleet of super basic, but awesomely painted vans. Their manager turned out to be a super freaking cool guy, and it's the kinda of place you just instantly want to do business with. Who needs a shower anyhow?
We managed to catch the folks at Escape just after office hours, drinking beers and hanging out with the artists painting new vans. Turns out, they need to move some vehicles from Christchurch (in the South Island) back up to Auckland. This combo resulted in an offer we couldn't refuse.
- They fly us down to Christchurch.
- Our first week in the camper is free.
- We get 15% off the remainder of our rental.
- They pay for our Ferry back to the North Island (about $150).
- For a little icing on the cake, they throw in a free BBQ, picnic table/chairs, and GPS navigation system.
Of course, they want to bring some quality fleet up to Auckland for the holiday season. So they plan to give us the best of the best. I whipped out my credit card before he had a chance to sober up and change his mind.
I gotta tell ya, after nearly a year of being at the mercy of buses, trains and rickshaws, we are absolutely ecstatic about the freedom we're about to embark on. Here's to an epic two month adVANture!!!