Month: February 2017

The Southern Scenic Route

The Road Less Travelled: The Southern Scenic Route

This part of New Zealand is often missed off the itineraries of travellers, especially those who are pushed for time. The route runs from Queenstown, through Te Anau and onto Dunedin via Invercargill and Balclutha.  Lured by the prospects of photogenic lighthouses, wind torn trees, penguins, and waterfalls we set aside a few days to explore this area. Continue reading

Taupo Tandem Skydive

No chance to back out

Originally, we had just “popped in” to talk about jumping options and book a slot in the coming days. We found ourselves quickly suited up, in the last few spaces on a plane before we could change our minds!

We chose to go from 15,000 feet to get more free fall time, and chose a freefall camera package so we could really get the perspective of our jump over any wrist mounted footage. This option was pricey but gave us some pretty wicked photos and a nice video too. Continue reading

The End of the Road

Time to Say Goodbye

As we approached the end of our holiday, we knew it was time to say goodbye to our camper. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. We had read stories of people being unable to sell their campers and seen evidence of this on facebook with numerous vehicles being reposted or price dropped.

Giving ourselves just over a week, we put Cayley up for sale using several facebook pages and the website backpackerboard. By the next day we had several people lined up to view the camper van.  We sold her at asking price to the first viewers, agreeing to hand over the keys two days later us. This allowed us to make a few more memories and more importantly, hastily arrange new transport and accommodation!

Costs

By picking Cayley up in Christchurch and selling her in Auckland as well as the timings of when we bought/sold we managed to sell her for slightly more than we paid. Taking into account exchange rates at either end of the transactions, and the bit of money we put in to “upkeep” her, we ended up breaking even. Not bad, when considering a hire vehicle of similar quality would of set us back £5,000! Although we defiantly lucked out with how easy we found it to sell her, we would recommend this option for those who are staying out in New Zealand for a longer period of time.

Timings

We gave ourselves roughly a week at either end of our trip to buy and sell our camper. Although it took this long to sort out finding Cayley and all the faff with getting her sorted, selling her was a breeze. This isn’t always the case however, and you need to be prepared to make a loss if you are limited on time. There are numerous companies that will buy your camper from you, but this will often be a poor deal on your behalf – typically they will pay you half of what they can get selling it on to the next traveller!

Be prepared to spend some time showing your vehicle to other people, to be let down and disappointed – at least this way if all goes well you will be pleasantly surprised!

Fiordland

Entering Another World

On visiting any of the sounds you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a Jurassic park style world. The cliffs here run straight into the water, continuing some hundred of metres below sea level. The water is dark, stained by the tannins carried in the water that runs off the trees on the hillsides. Bizarrely, this run off also means that the water is far less salty than imagined, forming a freshwater layer on top of the sea water. The dark water filters much of the sunlight, allowing deep water species to live much closer to the surface than usual. Continue reading

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