Most important tip: go for a camper with turnable front seats and a fixed bed.
Translated with Google Translate
Camper trip New Zealand October-November 2018
Anita and I feel very young and are loyal “de Waard campers” and we will stay that too! But pulling with a tent of almost 60 kilos that has to be kept with a piece or 100 pegs is asking for a certain hernia.
For our trip through New Zealand we chose, for the first time, for a camper. A year ago the contours came up: 2 weeks the North Island and 4 weeks the South Island. Stopover of a day or 3 in Bangkok (in retrospect a real must!). Period: mid-October to the end of November 2018. (That ultimately turned out to be very different, but more about that later).
Ask camping-friends for “where-to-be-watched-tips” when choosing such a vehicle. Their most important tip: go for a camper with turnable front seats and a fixed bed. And after reading in, I added: self-contained, not too big, a good ‘all-risk’ insurance option and a smooth one-way option.
And then the days-long pretense starts with visiting several websites of rental companies (and that’s where it bursts in NZ) and reading many more reviews. Of course you have to weigh that critically, but then they often give a good picture is my experience.
At some point during the surf trip I ran into Bay Of Islands motorhome rental. The click was immediate, because the Explorer met all the conditions, while the website seemed sympathetic and clear and made a reliable impression. The reviews also sounded like a clock and confirmed my impression. B.O.I. so came on the list; (I was able to get used to the NZ prices in the meantime). After a few days of detective work, there was a list of about 5 larger and also small rental companies. And then the choice was made very quickly: it had to be B.O.I. Campervans; that company seemed to have been created especially for us 😊. (And if you do not feel like reading further: if I wanted to rent a camper again next week, I would choose BOI Explorer again without any hesitation, in fact, because unfortunately we had to travel halfway for a medical reason. to go back to the Netherlands in a hurry to fly back to the Netherlands, we want to go back to the South Island in no time at all, so I will not make any more comparisons, but Rob and Nick will immediately receive a reservation email from me!)
Why are we so enthusiastic?
Actually for the whole package! And because it is too easy to just refer to the other reviews, I sum up a number of things: first of all Nick and Rob are a few very nice guys who take their company and the customers very seriously. (There will now be e – mails as to how I am doing!) Flexible collection and return locations. Great Explorer camper: ours would be replaced next year, I understood, but looked perfect, ran like a Train, was provided with everything you needed a few weeks: good kitchen facilities – during our trip extended with an even more convenient saucepan – joke to Rob and Nick beautiful and sturdy outdoor seating stuff, BBQ, linen, double bed linen, sunscreen (not needed ☹) and many more attentive tricks. Oh yeah: a NZ mobile phone, where we bought a SIM card for 10 euros and that came in handy. Extensive instruction by Rob for departure and an extensive paper manual. Well working navigation on board, not to mention WiFi, which did well in most places. Think in advance with and good tips for the route (and therefore ultimately stayed a few days longer on the North Island.) Fine B & B and very sensible ‘requirement’ to first take a day of rest after the long flight.
We opted for the most comprehensive insurance without excess. That felt very nice for us during the trip. And you will always see how quiet and attentive you drive, that in the last 100 km, in very bad and dark weather, you put the bumper against an even harder beam. Very annoying, of course, to experience and to report, but Rob and Nick reacted very calmly: it’s all in the game.
Another striking example to show the commitment / flexibility of the men: after a week the indoor battery did not charge. Of course we first called Rob (with that NZ mobile phone) who directed us (after consulting the internet) to a technical garage in the town where we were then. There a young man folded double under the bed to check the battery. He had a very technical story, boss, and then it is very nice that you have Rob standby on the phone to consult with the mechanics. (The NZ English is also quite difficult to understand sometimes). Diagnosis, I believe, was that half electrical wiring had to be replaced. Rob could not imagine that, for all kinds of plausible reasons. Because that was not possible immediately, the next solution came from the top hat in consultation with Rob. I bought a battery charger in the supermarket for Rob, so we could go ahead anyway.
His question: where are you in two days?
Our answer: there and there, to go to White Island for a day. Rob: then I will arrange that you can drop off the camper before the departure of the boat and then it will be repaired in the evening. And so put it this way: the boat to the volcanic island did not sail because of too high waves, but instead we made a beautiful coastal walk. And indeed the camper was repaired at 16.00. Turned out to be a broken relay and Rob had anticipated this and sent an extensive spare part with the parcel post to the garage company he had approached. Of course you are not waiting for a bad luck, but that can always happen because such a camper is a good piece of technology on wheels. But the solution was creative and worked great!
Well, what else do I have to say.
The story has been long enough
In one or two years we are going to finish the holiday in another Explorer!
Finally, a tip: we were the first day in Pahia at the Waitangi Treaty house. If you are there, also take the Maori dance performance with you. A bit touristy of course, but not to be missed. And also visit the beautiful museum for an hour. We had not taken enough time for this in retrospect.
And finally, assuming that Rob and Nick read this: lots of greetings and goodbye!
Anita & Ben, Arnhem