I've been stuck in Auckland for too long. My initial plan was to stay a couple of months. Work, save, live in the caravan at Auckland campgrounds, then leave as quickly as possible. Unfortunately I've been stuck here for 4 months and have become disillusioned with the idea of caravan living in Auckland.
The two most central campgrounds in Remuera and Avondale are extremely expensive, at just under $50 a night for a powered site. I thought I'd stay at non-powered sites to save some money, but they are like carparks. Plus they aren't designed for awkward caravans with very narrow areas impossible to turn around in and leave.
I tried the closest campground in South Auckland to my freelance job towards the airport. There use to be a campground in Manakau, but it's been sold and converted into houses (land is just too valuable). The next campground was fully booked with long term stayers.
The closest I could find was Clarks Beach. It's a beautiful spot, out towards Waiuku. The owners are very friendly and I loved the spot I was given, but the drive to work was painful. 1.5 hours each way. After 2 weeks I was exhausted. I honestly don't know how people do that drive every single day.
After getting solar panels added in Silverdale, I moved to Red Beach. Also a lovely campground, but again, the traffic was brutal. It was taking me between 1.45-2 hours to get to work.
Takapuna campground was out of my budget. I rang Northcote campground, planning to try there next, but an event was on in the area and the price jumped from $30 a night to $80!
I gave up. It was becoming too hard.
I stayed at friends and families - living out of a suitcase and dragging my bedding from place to place. Auckland in a caravan is much harder than I expected. My poor caravan was left at my dads while I worked, saved and daydreamed about the next roadtrip.
But I've now escaped! I finished my freelance job and organised the caravan. I shifted all my clothes back into the caravan, put oil and water in the car and stocked up on food.
I've learnt a few things from storing the caravan.
Tips for storing a caravan
Picking up the car from the mechanic (a ball joint was badly damaged) I headed south for 4 hours and arrived in the Waikato area. My first nights accommodation was at a quiet campground with only 2 other vehicles - bliss. I'm loving the space and the impressive bird song. Waking to the sound of tractors chugging past on the road is my dream alarm clock.
For now, I'm exploring Waikato and the Bay of Plenty area.
Do you have any other tip for campgrounds in Auckland or storing a caravan? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.