I started! I packed my car and left Auckland on my hunt to find the perfect caravan. This video shows of my adventure through the North Island to Wellington. My car broke down, the weather was extreme and I a saw plenty of caravans.
I arrived in Tauranga, stopping to check where I was and my car wouldn’t start again. Nothing. Luckily, I’d just upgraded my car insurance to include two free Roadside Assistance call outs a year. I rang and learnt I needed to find a mechanic in the area and they would tow me to them. How did people survive before internet access on their phones! I found one just up the road that happened to be right next to one of the caravan dealers. I wondered if I’d be car-less for a night and the dramas that would cause. Turned out to be an easy fix to my alternator and they started recharging my battery.
While I waited I popped across to the caravan dealer. The caravan I was interested in was sold and new ones should arrive any day now, but I wasn’t planning to stay long in town. I picked up my car with instructions to drive it for an hour to fully charge the battery. There were two other dealers I wanted to see, so left the car running while I poked my head into different caravans. Even looked at some beautifully converted vans and motorhomes! No bathroom in the vans and the motorhomes were either ancient or crazy expensive.
I didn’t spot THE ONE, so the next day, I carried on down the coast and inland through to Te Urewera National Park, the largest park in the North Island. It added a lot of driving time on about 75km of gravel road, with potholes and plenty of winding corners. The weather gradually worsened and it was getting late. I no longer has cellphone reception and wondered where I could stop for the night. After looking at the stunning scenery by the road, I came to Waikaremoana Holiday Park, rang the after hours bell and was in luck.
The next morning, the weather had improved, and a short walk to a lake was suggested. Beautiful forest and there is an option of renting a boat from the Information Centre (tip: get the key before you start the walk!). There are plenty of walks in the area – more than I realised… I’ll be back.
From Napier, I drove through Hastings and looked at plenty of historic Art Deco buildings in the area. I had time for a quick look around Wellington before taking the ferry to the South Island.
No luck finding my dream caravan in the North Island, but excited to explore the South Island and know I’ll find one there.
Do you have road trip stories? What car troubles have you had? Any tips on Te Urewera? I’d love to hear!