Month: December 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Hokitika and Pounamu – The Jewels of the West Coast


Pounamu is the Maori name for greenstone or jade. It is found in abundance along the West Coast, both in the rivers and on the coast. Pounamu is highly prized by the Maori, both for its strength and beauty. Control over Pounamu in its natural state has been vested to the Maori tribe Ngāi Tahu. There are strict limitations on where Pounamu may be taken from. A symbol of status, Pounamu still holds sacred meaning to the Maori.
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Knife Making in Barrytown

A chance to learn new skills

We had the opportunity to try something new whilst on the west coast of the south island; Knife making. This is something that Jenny and I have been interested in for a while. A good quality bushcraft knife can cost £100’s. There are lots of different styles of knife and we weren’t sure exactly what we were in for with the course, but it came highly rated. So we booked in a few months before we left. Incidentally this was our first ‘hard’ date. Up until this point we’d given ourselves plenty of flexibility to allow for buying a van. Continue reading

Buying a car or camper van in New Zealand

There are a few differences with buying vehicles than in the UK and it’s a pretty easy task, but with a few more steps.

Warrant of Fitness (WOF)

Vehicles in New Zealand must have a WOF. These are similar to Brits MOT, but less stringent.  Typically these last for either 3 or 6 months, although on newer vehicles this is 12 months. A valid WOF does not mean the vehicle is in good running order, it just checks that it is “safe”. When you buy a vehicle, the WOF should have been completed within one month of the sale.

For further details check out New Zealand Transport Agency website on the subject. Continue reading

Types of camper van in New Zealand

New Zealand is full of variety

New Zealand has a pretty unique market for camper vans due to the number of visitors they have. There are big motor homes with all the equipment and room to sleep 6, right down to a 25yr old estate car with the seats folded down and it’s important to realise that these vehicles are there to suit the demand. There are families out there looking for comfortable travel with home comforts, there are backpackers trying to do everything as cheaply as possible and there’s a whole range in between. Also there are different types of camping available to different vehicles. In New Zealand you can’t just rock up and sleep anywhere anymore. Continue reading

Cayley the Camper van

Preparing to buy a camper van

Our first big task after arriving was to find a camper. Before leaving the UK we did a fair bit of research. We looked at how long we were away for, how much travelling we wanted to do and what sort of budget we had for the trip. It was pretty easy for us to see that we wanted to travel via camper van; a few years ago we did a road trip in a big car and enjoyed travelling by road. It seems silly that we have our camper at home and have hardly used it. Continue reading

How To Make a Laptop Sleeve

What’s a laptop sleeve for?

With the upcoming travels it’s absolutely critical to look after our equipment as much as possible. The camera’s have their own cases, but I don’t want to take a separate laptop bag. I’m going to be carrying my laptop in my hand luggage, which is a 35 litre day sack. To stop the laptop getting scratched up in my bag I’ve decided to make a thin laptop sleeve.

Video of the process

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