New Zealand was high on my list of places to see before I die. Every photograph I have seen promised raw and grand landscapes. Boris and I were both very excited to finally set foot on New Zealand. Our first stop was the Southern Island where our friends, Coralie and Damien, from France, were meeting us.
We got lucky with our caravan, as it was quite roomy for 4 people with separate sleeping and eating areas. It was a different lifestyle for us as the only things we had to pay for, on top of our rental, was food and gas, which alone was still pretty pricey. We cooked most of our meals and tried to hit the larger supermarkets, which had a larger selection and lower prices. At night, whenever we started to feel tired, we would try to find a good spot to rest, preferably right next to the beach. The mornings were the best part as we were awoken by the sounds of the waves, birds, fur seals, and sometimes ongoing traffic.
Having two boys onboard definitely calls for attention. Their instinctive behavior truly came out whenever we were parked by the beach. It began with a manhunt for wood and then building a fire. I admit it was lots of fun as we got to toast marshmallows by the fire. However, I definitely advise against cooking on the beach as we always ended up with sand in our food.
One of my favorite activities up north was the Puponga hilltop walk. As we stood on a wooden platform, close to the edge of the cliff, staring out into the sea and the spectacular Cape Farewell Arch, I just didn’t understand how the views were going to get any better. As we ascended up to the hilltops, the trail consisted of mostly grassy fields covered with grazing sheep just staring at us. In New Zealand, it was definitely the sheep that have the best views. It makes sense, as there is more than 20 sheep for every human!
The grass trail suddenly ended and then it felt like déjà vu and I was back in Mui Ne, Vietnam. In front of us was large sand dunes and Whariki Beach. I let the three Frenchies have some alone time. As they were sliding down the sand dunes, I found a nice spot on the soft sand to rest. While watching them from afar, it dawned on me that I was traveling the world, something I always wanted to do. Yes, I forget sometimes and when I’m reminded of it, it does shock me still.
I was soon awoken from my nap when it started to sprinkle. We all ran inside one of the large caves and waited for the rain to stop. Luckily, there were no sea lions hiding inside.
More to share on our next post of the South Island.
|What We Paid:||New Zealand
|– Caravan Rental + Mileage + Insurance (shared among 4 people)||214/day||163||126|
|– Groceries||16/pp day||12||10|