Day 2 Christchurch to Picton

We found the campervan park very central and close to shopping centres and a 24 hour supermarket……..great for all those supplies that are needed on holidays.  It is also located only 4klms to the city centre and minutes from the airport (if you get on the right road).

Saying goodbye to Christchurch we headed north towards Picton. This stretch of road hugs the coastline and extremely scenic, snow capped mountains to the west and the rugged New Zealand coastline to the east.  Stop for a photo of  the black sand beaches – not something we Aussies are all that familiar with.

Make sure you stop at one of the few crayfish caravans along the drive closer to Kiakora.  They offer fresh and cooked crays, a New Zealand delicacy. Keep your eye out for seals as you pass the rocks, they enjoy basking  in the sun. Taking time out at Kaikora is a must, drive up to the lookout for a birds eye view of the surrounding areas, snow capped mountains, the ocean and the local farm land.

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Kaikora Coastline looking North to Picton

Continue through town to the point where you will be able to get up close and personal with the local seal colony. Another must. Kaikora is also the point where whale watching expeditions, dolphin and albatross encounters also leave from. Something to consider if you have time.

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New Zealand Fur Seals on the Kaikora Coastline – you can almost touch them – BUT DON`T – THEY BITE
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Montana vineyard – wine tasting or a spot of lunch

Then we continued on to Picton, more beautiful scenery as we head to the top of the south island.  The Marlborough Region is a definate area to visit with its well maintained paddocks of grape vines to of course tasting some of the fruits of their labour.

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The girls tried a few and stocked up for the rest of the trip

We stop at Montana, a New Zealand icon??? and one of our favourites, although it is shut we feel a back track tomorrow for a visit is a must.

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The gift shop was good as well – but no umbrellas for sale
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Driving through the Marlborough region was amazing with the continuous vines

The wind picked up and making driving a little harder than it has been.  We arrived in Picton early evening, finding somewhere to stay and bed down for the night. We stayed at the Picton Top 10 Holiday Park and found it to be comfortable.

Day 1 Brisbane to Christchurch

Like any start to a holiday there is much excitement and this holiday was no exception.  We enjoyed a smooth start with drive to Brisbane, flight and transfers to the campervans all going to plan.

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Brisbane Airport – ready to go and kids are excited
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Driving through the New Zealand Countryside – so beautiful

The staff  at Pacific Horizons were very professional and helpful with campervan tips and ensuring we have enough warm bedding etc for the next 13 days.

Off to our first night`s stay, the Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park – Meadow Park , http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/accommodation/camping-and-holiday-parks/christchurch/meadow-park-top10/#standard a little difficult to find, ensure you have a good map of the local area. This park was a little expensive (in fact the most expensive for the entire trip) but was fantastic.

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Camp ground in Christchurch

The kitchen and dining area was very clean with large fridges and cooking facilities for our use.  The kids enjoyed the playground which included a jumping pillow and play equipment which catered for a range of ages.  Bathroom facilities were modern and very clean and enough to cater for the number of people who stay a the park , no queues for showers.  There was also a family bathroom facility. This park also had an heated indoor pool and plenty of space for the kids to run around.  Our children enjoyed chasing the ducks and picking the flowers.

Introduction

Driving the Pacific Horizons 6 Berth Camper Van over the bridge near Hamner Springs
Driving the Pacific Horizons 6 Berth Camper Van near Hamner Springs

Our New Zealand Self Drive campervan holiday was well researched and the itinerary was agonised over to ensure we were able to see as much of the South Island of New Zealand as we could in the 13 days that we had allocated. We flew direct from Brisbane to Christchurch on Jetstar where we picked up the campervan and began our holiday.

Having young children our campervan of choice was the 6 berth Premium Camper Van, not only was there heaps of room, full cooking facilities, toilet and shower the children were positioned on a bench seats directly behind the front seat.  These ensured no car sickness and ease in reaching them with food, drinks etc. The camper van also had TV with DVD player and 3 huge beds.

Follow us on our 13 day journey around the South Island of New Zealand and we hope that our adventure inspires you to design your own itinerary to take in very best of this beautiful country. With so much to see New Zealand is a country that you will want to visit again and again and each time there is something new to see and do.

There are a great choice of camper companies – check out Wendekreisen CampersKiwi CampersJucy campers,  Kea Camper Hire,  Space Ship CampersBritz campersMaui Camper Rentals and Apollo Campers These are the best camper van rental companies in New Zealand ….  they will all be happy to help you arrange your next self drive New Zealand holiday.