Budd Stanley Freestyles through the North and South Island

Read Budd's motorhome diary from his trip through New Zealand.MOTORHOME DIARY - DAY ONE

We picked up the Wilderness Freestyle 2 from Christchurch, and our adventure is now officially underway! First stop, the sleepy little village of Motunau, with Motunau Island just off-shore. The island is a Blue Penguin reserve, and while we didn't find any Penguins, we did find a great meat pie in nearby Cheviot.
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We've made it to the North Island. Grabbing a little culture at the museums and doing a spot of city camping before heading into the wilderness
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Wellingtons weather held off just long enough to get a day in on the waterfront. Eggs Benny at one of many cafes and a trip through New Zealand's past at the Te Papa museum. We experienced the horrors of Gallipoli, the culture of the native Moari and the birth of modern day New Zealand in this massively impressive complex. A day of walking found us scurrying back to our Wilderness Freestyle 2 to seek shelter from an approaching storm and a warm meal.  


Our Wilderness Freestyle 2 has carried us down into Napier, Hawkes Bay. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the Kiwi's make Sauvignon. May not be as glamorous as a show room barrel hall, but this is where all the magic happens. Off to see some Art Deco next, followed by some fresh-off-the-boat seafood on the harbour front.


Climbing out of Napier, our Wilderness Freestyle 2 took us off the usual tourist route to find a bit of paradise in the Matawai valley and Waioeka Gorge. Setting up for the night back on the Pacific once again.

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We started the morning with a climb up Mt Maunganui, then drove some fantastically twisty and scenic roads in our Wilderness Freestyle 2 to Hot Water Beach. Missed low tide when you can dig your own hot tub on the beach thanks to thermal springs rising to the surface, but we did warm our feet in the hot sand.

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A big mileage day that has seen us pass through several different environments. From the lush rain forests and sandy beaches of Coromandel to the green agricultural lands of southern Waikato, setting camp on the side of a volcano in Tongariro. Our travels today in the Wilderness Freestyle 2 has seen us seduced by chocolate croissants and flat whites in the Thames Saturday morning Market, tasting artisan cheeses in Putaruru and watching steam rise from the mountainsides at Lake Taupo.


Stayed warm in cozy last night in our Wilderness Freestyle 2, as Mt Ruapehu give us an almighty winter storm. Brief lapses in the storm brought out a moon rainbow in the falling sleet in the distance. Today we head for Wellington for a date with a ferry, stopping off at the Southward Car Museum along the way.

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A gale warning on the Cook Straight made for a choppy crossing to the South Island, but we found a fantastic campsite right on the beach to bed down in the Wilderness Freestyle 2 for our final night. The winds rocked us to sleep and the waves sent water over the camper. Love camping out in the storms. Woke up to clear skies and surrounded by Fur Seals. This will be a trip we will not soon forget.
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