We returned to Auckland after our mini adventure to pick up our new home for the next five weeks. The beauty of the campervan is the freedom to go where we want and when we want. New Zealand really embraces this culture and has freedom camping locations in every region. Freedom camping essentially means you can park up for free and spend the night as long as your campervan has a toilet. So freedom camping it was for us !
The designated sites can range from a shopping centre carpark to the side of cliff to the foot of a mountain! Our first night was spent in the beautiful cliff side carpark of Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel region. We woke up to stunning views. Another night was spent in a forest area with nothing around for miles and miles, just us in our little motor home! It was as scary as it sounds. The foot of Mount Taranaki was one to remember for the morning view, and the various lakes we stayed at listening to the water as we fell asleep.
One of our favourites was the carpark of an Irish pub, The Donegal House, a few kilometres outside Kaikoura. We nipped in for a quick drink and a warm welcome. The pub soon emptied out and there was only myself, Sue and Murray the owner left. With the doors locked we blared the Pogues over the DVD player, attempting some Irish dancing moves and enjoyed a few (!) beverages until the early morning. And with our home just outside the door, it was a short walk home!
We took a break from our little van for the Wellington Sevens Rugby weekend. We are fortunate to have a friend there who put us up for a few nights while we enjoyed the craic with our new group of Irish friends. Three days of laughing, meeting plenty of Irish and the odd Kiwi, watching very little rugby, enjoying the atmosphere was a trip definitely worth making.
Back in our campervan for the remaining ten days we did a loop of the South Island. On our second last day we got lucky and managed to make the Cricket World Cup game between Ireland and the West Indies. The Irish fans were out in force, with plenty of green around the stadium. The banter with the West Indies fans was great with Ireland chasing down over 300 runs. Coming out victors of the game just added to the atmosphere. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to celebrate as we had a 10 hour drive to Auckland, and a flight to catch, just making it by the skin of our teeth!