Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

Panorama of Akaroa and harbor--formed by volcano

Our home away from home

View from our campground--essentially from our front seats

This morning we got up and packed and checked out. Wilderness Motorhomes came to pick us up at 10. We spent the rest of the morning doing paperwork and learning how to operate the van and its various functions. Also got a NZ SIM card for my phone. Then we just threw the bags in, and drove to the nearest supermarket. We got groceries and a recharge card for the phone (no time came with the SIM card). As I was putting the cold stuff in the refrigerator (ah, luxury, a fridge that goes with us), I realized we didn’t get dish soap. So Larry went back in and got that while I put the credit into my phone and got it working. Also the GPS. Domestic life, on wheels.

As we pulled out of the store parking lot, I realized the GPS was giving us a different route than the guy at Wilderness had recommended. I decided to go with the GPS. I’m sure its route was shorter, but I think the one the Wilderness rep gave us would have been easier.

Anyway, we headed for Akaroa, on the Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch. About an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours. The first part was absolutely flat countryside. Then we began climbing and winding. We did indeed find the holiday park in Akaroa. It is on the hillside above the town.

The town sits in a long natural harbor that is the caldera of a long-ago volcano. Our view out the front of our van is spectacular! (We do have vans on either side of us and all around.) I wanted to spend the first night with power and amenities until we get used to this.

After we got parked, we set up our table inside the van and ate lunch, then Larry went on line and did email while I explored our surroundings. After that we unpacked our bags and found places to stow everything. We even have a little storage space left over. I’m sure we will revise some of our decisions as we go along, but we are set for now. New Zealand, here we come – in the morning.

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