Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kiwi Motorhome Adventure

It's been more than 1 week since I recovered from a quick trip journey with my family of 4 to New Zealand last October. Last year, I managed to get a steal AirAsia flight tickets for RM813 per person (inclusive of tax, meal and luggage). 

My last overseas travel with my family was 20 years ago! We have no idea what's in store for us when we decided to go KIWI - traveling in a motorhome. To sum up how it feels like, it sorta reminds me of The Survivor reality show, haha! But thank god, we've made it!

Here are the summary of our journey destination...compiled using Halftone apps from iPhone.

Day 1: Airport Birches Motel
Our flight arrived at Christchurch airport about 20 minutes early than the expected arrival at 11.55 pm. This motel provides free pickup from airport till 1 am, but we've kinda anticipated that we couldn't settle everything before the last call. So eventually we managed to grab a shuttle van at around 1.15 am. If I'm not mistaken, its about $7 per person. We wished we could pick up the motorhome at this hour, but it is highly recommended to get a proper rest before driving.

Day 2: Lake Tekapo Holiday Park
After the whole process with the motorhome, groceries shopping, we made our way to the famous Lake Tekapo. It was a 3 hour journey technically minus the photo op stops, hehe.
We paid $18 per person ($90 for family of 5) for a powered site. We've chosen the closest camp site to the lake, too bad the pine trees stand on our way. Throughout our journey, we've noticed that most of the private camping sites are not that blessed with kick ass view compared to the DOC sites. I'll explain more on DOC sites further on the next post.

Day 3: Twelve Mile Delta, Glenorchy
We made it here by accident, or rather a serendipitous incident after finding out that Moke Lake couldn't take big camper. After a long winding, wet journey up the hill from Queenstown, we decided to find the nearest DOC sites which we later found out that it is one of the filming location of Lord of the Rings! We arrived here with darkness all around us, not knowing what the place has in store for us
  but the next day...OMG, the lake was twinkling and just blew us away. We met some friendly locals camping there...and not to forget the warden (wish I could get his name but lets just dubbed him Yoda) that helped us on our route ahead. Basic facilities here (pit toilet and water) but hey, for $7 per person and the view, this was a steal! FYI, this is a DOC sites.

Day 4: Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel
A local lady selling fish and chips happens to recommend this place, which is not a smart move...not because she didn't eat fish (we were mentioned this when we've asked what's the best fish in the shop) but basically cos this is the worst version of our Day 2 campsite. It's slightly cheaper but we couldn't get any close view of the this seems to be a lot of permanent campers here. FYI, Lake Ruataniwha is a man made lake, which explains the lake color. We've got a bit of a discount for $70 ($14 per person), but frankly, it's not worth the money even if it's half the price.

Day 5: Peel Forest, Geraldine
"Geraldine is one of the best place to visit on your way back to Christchurch", said the warden we met at Twelve Mile Delta and blimey, he's right. Geraldine is a lovely small town with friendly folks smiling at you as you passed them by. We were recommended to go to Peel Forest, which is probably the best DOC sites we've been to. Its a hidden gem for the fact that they have probably the most facilities in the DOC sites that you can find in South Island. Everything from kitchen, laundry, hot shower, BBQ pit, powered sites, cabins and most importantly lovely sights for hiking and exploring. Wish we were stationed here longer.

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