Wednesday, 16 May 2012

South Island West Coast in a Campervan

New Zealand, South Island, west coast
Rugged Beauty of the West Coast
By suzanne Hallam - Flickr
The west coast of New Zealand, a rugged yet spectacularly beautiful stretch of coast.  In winter take a drive and see the mountains frosted with snow, the glaciers in full glory and the waves of the Tasman sea beating against the rocky shorelines.

Pick up a Campervan in Picton and begin your adventure of New Zealand's incredible scenery and landscapes. 

Campervans are the perfect way to explore New Zealand.  Stop and take in the scenery with a brew of coffee anywhere you like and stop when you feel tired to have a snooze.  Cosy up in the campervan and the large windows will let you see the amazing vistas as the sun goes down in the West.

After Picton, first up is Nelson. A seaside town featuring many things to do all seasons.  Take a mountain bike on the cycle tracks, go fly fishing or set sail on a sailing trip all year around. It may be cold in winter but the white sand beaches are still beautiful and worth a walk.  Vineyards grace the surrounding area and invite you to winery dining. Or pull up in a Campervan park and cook a gourmet meal in your Campervan's kitchenette.

Stay at:

Morning mist, west coast, New Zealand
Morning Mist - West coast
By dmmaus - Flickr
Head Southwest towards  Westport, the first taste of the South Island's West coast.  Pass through the Kahurangi National park and stop off by the Buller gorge overshadowed by the magnificent Southern alps. The Buller river flows through a deep canyon below State Highway 6.

Westport offers many places to dine on fresh seafood and try the local boutique beers while watching the sun set over the ocean. The area is also rich in history from the gold miners and early settlers, thus providing museums and even some gold panning in local streams. Try your luck!

Stay at:
 If you're game, head north up the coast to Karamea. This secluded haven is tucked between the mountains and the coast on the river plain. Plenty of prettiness to be seen as well as adventure to be had.  It caters for the tramper, mountain biker,  the caver, the birdwatcher, fisherman and the botanist.
Stay at:
Punakaiki 6
Pancake Rocks
By tixie21 - Flickr
Head down country following the coast road to Punakaiki.   The open road will show you the rugged coast for ten's of kilometres. Remember, the great thing about a Campervan is you can sit and relax in it alongside a beautiful scenic spot.

Punakaiki is home to the wonderous pancake rocks and exciting blowholes. Varied landscapes encompass lush native rainforest, mountain tops and the rugged beach. Take a walk or dine in the waterline restaurant.

Hokitika Gorge
Hokitika Gorge
By whoapower - Flickr
Continue the campervan chugging along the coast to Greymouth for an explore and then Hokitika. This small town New Zealand is home to some of the best seafood and cheese and plenty of festivals and fun activities.  See live Kiwi at The National Kiwi Centre, check out the artisans of Hokitika's working glass and sculptures, carve your own Maori treasure or enjoy an afternoon paddle boat cruise on tranquil waters.  Be sure to taste some white bait, a West Coast delicacy.

Park the Campervan and get some rest at:
Franz josef Glacier LC0250
Franz Josef Glacier
By Jorg Hempel - Wikimedia
Once you've had your fill of Hokitika, drive south past rivers, beautiful lakes and small West coast towns to New Zealand's spectacular glaciers. Lake Lanthe, Wahapo and Mapourika are perfect for a scenic stop, so brew the coffee and get out the camera and deck chairs. 
Franz and Fox Glacier are incredible landforms, that are receding, so not to be missed.  Over the bridge from Franz Josef town, you'll find the carpark.... but watch out for the intelligent and very curious native Kea birds.... they like to find food anywhere.

Check out this site for free camping parks in the area, or stay at:
By tobygrubb - Flickr
Head deeper south through Haast, Mount Aspiring national past beautiful scenic lake roads of Wanaka and Hawea and rest again in Hawea town or Wanaka town.  Both exceptionally beautiful lakeside spots.   Wanaka is situated in close proximity to Treble Cone or Cardrona mountains if you're game for a bit of skiing, Snowboarding or just checking out the mountain slopes.  

From Wanaka, the road is open to head south to Queenstown, or east to Dunedin,  Oamaru, Timaru or Christchurch on the East coast.  Pick your next destination!! or return the campervan to the many town options.

The journey takes in the spectacularly rugged but untouched West coast of New Zealand.  Have an incredible journey and make the most of the Campervan's faciulities for making the most of the scenery. 

All you need to do now is book a Campervan!  Find one to suit your budget and desired size at Campervan Hire Sale Finder New Zealand.  

Monday, 14 May 2012

Speaking the Kiwi Lingo

Kiwi signpost
Kiwis on the road
By Virtualmv - Wikimedia Commons
For most people traveling to New Zealand it means you don't need to learn a whole new language.  Along with the spectacular scenery, friendly people and clean green environment, this is  a bonus.  English is pretty universal and even if it's not the native language, many Europeans, Asians and Americans have learnt it.  However, coming to grips with the "kiwi" take on the English language may require a bit more education by a native "Kiwi".  I must make a disclaimer however, as I in no way at all know the Kiwi language to the full extent.  South Islanders' language differs from North Islanders' just like the North Aucklanders' lingo differs from the South Aucklanders'. 

I will enlighten those traveling to New Zealand on the more common terms so that when you pick up the rental car or Campervan or check in to the Campervan Park, you'll be able to understand the kiwi bloke whose showing you the ropes.... not to mention make friends with the locals along the way. 

Waiau Dairy and Tea Rooms, Canterbury, New Zealand, June 2007
New Zealand Dairy
By PhillipC - Flickr

 Eating and Meals:

Kumara: A sweet potato and common Kiwi food. Buy them in vegetable root form or in chip form from the local Fish and chip shop ( a common casual weekend and beach food for Kiwis)
Chips: are fries. 
Dairy: The local corner shop/ convenience store in most small  towns and bigger ones too. 
L&P: The World Famous in New Zealand Fizzy drink, made in Paeroa in central North Island.  
Chilly Bin: What you keep you food cold in on picnics or roadtrips.
Hokey Pokey: A delicious and much loved ice cream flavour. 
Tip Top: The NZ icecream (and bread) brand.
Marmite: NZ's alternative to Vegemite. To be spread thinly (some would argue) on toast.
Pineapple Lumps: yummy pineapple and chocolate lolly
Pavlova: meringuey type cake with cream and fruit on top. 
Piss: Alcohol
Brekkie: Breakfast
Biscuit : is a cookie
Kai: Maori for Food but commonly used
Kai Moana: Maori for Seafood
Smoko: Having a break from work possibly with a Ciggy (cigarette) and pie (common food from a dairy)
Takeaways: "Take out food" or "food to go"
Watties :a brand but usually referring to the Tomato sauce put on the Chips
Cuppa: Cup of coffee or tea

Sayings and New Zealandisms:
Sweet as: Everything is all good, all fine
Good on ya mate: Well done, Good job
"": Used on the end of words to intensify " she was pretty as", "i'm hnugry as"
"" : Used on the end of sentences as a type of rhetorical question, like "isn't it?". "She's real cool eh?"
Sick: Cool!
Yeah Right: Said when being sarcastic... you don't actually believe what's being said.
Stink: Something is no good, mild dismay at something bad
Choice!: Something is great! "Everything is choice"
Bro: term of endearment to friends or just any male. "I'll have a Heiny bro" (Heiny is a heineken beer)
Cuz: term of endearment for cousins or just any male, similar to bro
Chur: Thanks
hard yakka: hard work, associated with labouring, "digging that fence post hole was hard yakka!"
honky dory: everything's fine, as in "my life is hunky dory"
guts for garters: You're in big trouble
Strewth!: Wow!
bun in the oven: She's pregnant
Bob's your Uncle: "that's it" "That's how it's done".
Bach: A holiday house Crib : Holiday house in the south island
Bloke: Man "The bloke at the Campervan park gave me a hand" (helped me)
Bit of a dag: He's a hard case, bit of fun.
"Gizza Hoon" : Can I have a turn?
She'll be right: Everything will be okay.
Maori Terms:

Pakaru: something's Broken/ not working
Ka Pai: Something is choice
Kia ora: Maori for hello
Whanau: Maori for extended family.
For your Campervan or rental car:

Petrol: is gas
Gas guzzler: The car uses a lot of petrol , uneconomical
Dump station: Where you empty your Campervan's sewerage tanks
Campervan/Camper: An RV or Motorhome
Bumper: Fender
Hit the road: Get your travel underway.
Car Park: Parking lot
Boy Racer: A person in a zooped up fast car with LOUD music
Dunny/Loo: The toilet or bathroom
Duvet: A Quilt
Sunday Driver: Someone driving very slowly.

Know the lingo on your journey.

That's in no way all of the "Kiwi-isms" but a wee helper to get you through your traveling days in New Zealand.

Find some Kiwi road trips to put your new language into use at the Campervan Hire New Zealand blog.

And find a Campervan to take a journey through out the small and big towns of New Zealand in at Campervan Hire Sale Finder!