Thursday, September 18, 2008

campervan tour of new zealand

this morning, i was at bukit timah nature reserve visitors' car-park when i saw this campervan parked in one of the corner lots. took some pictures of it and found out that it belonged to a french family on a world tour. it brought back memories of our first trip to new zealand and our own small adventure in a campervan. of course, our two-seater campervan, rented from newmans, could not be compared to this luxurious iveco fiat.

the campervan that we used was actually a converted toyota hi-ace. it had a pop-up roof so as to provide more head-room. this had to be kept when the vehicle was on the move. there was a wash basin, a cooker, a fridge, a heater and a range of cooking utensils. there was a foldable table and a bed that could sleep two adults. because of the tight space, i opted to sleep under the bed. there were also curtains all around it - on the inside, of course. the water-tank which we had to top up at camp-sites, was hidden.

just before night-fall, we would try and reach the campervan site. at some of these sites, such as the one at glentanner park, there was a kitchen-cum-lounge, where we cooked our dinner and ate it around a proper dining table. powered sites charged nz$7 for an adult and half the price for a child. although it was late spring/early summer during our first visit, it was quite cold so we needed the power to run the heater.

driving a campervan did not require any special skill; it was very much like driving a bigger and heavier car. nevertheless, one had to be careful when driving it into a covered area because of the greater height of the roof. one friend got his van stuck in a covered car-park. i had a slight problem handling it in dunedin because of the many steep roads.

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