We’ve been on the road in New Zealand for a few days already, just enough to realise how beautiful the country is.
We arrived in Auckland after a very long flight from LA passing through Sydney and were warmly welcomed by Yann and Renee, our Airbnb hosts. A very nice Franco/American couple who travelled quite a bit before settling in NZ. We shared quite a few stories over dinner and wine, and really enjoyed our time with them. We stayed just 3 days in Auckland, the time for us to visit the city and find a camper-van for the month. After a thorough comparison of the multitude of rental companies that exist in NZ (Britz, Mighty, Maui, Appolo, Jucy…) we found our POW (understand: Palace On Wheels) at a German company called Wenderkreisen. Our choice has been mostly influenced by the competitive price on both rental and insurance they offer. Our van is a bit more old school and less modern than the other companies campers we’ve seen on the road now, but it does the job!!
Despite the cold temperatures, travelling in NZ in low season has a huge advantage: prices are half down compared to high season (December to March)! This allowed us to rent a van equipped with a small cooking stove, a shower and toilet (as was advertised online) and overnight only on free campsite zones instead of paying fees in paid campsites to use shower facilities.
We picked up our POW at the agency, on the outskirts of Auckland. A very nice lady at the reception offered us coffee and cookies while the van was being fully checked out. With a bit of delay, she gave us a tour of our new house and walked us through the basic functions. “Do you have any questions?” she asked. “yes, we thought the van was equipped with toilet as well?…”
“Oh Yee…” she answered, “your potty!”.
She lead us at the back of the van and took out a portable toilet from the trunk. With a constant smiling grin on her face she explain the use off it, how to set it up either in the van either in nature when use must be made, and the nasty emptying process. She insisted a couple of times on the fact that people usually don’t make use of it, and we don’t blame them!
She handed us the keys with a big smile on her face and said “Now you two have fun in your new house, careful on the road and…. Enjoy your potty!”
Well, luckily for us there are plenty of public toilet in NZ and we have not had to make use of the potty, and certainly don’t intend to for the remaining of the trip!
Travelling with the van is a completely different adventure as to what we have lived so far, with a nice freedom feeling. It is really nice not having to pack and unpack all the time and feel a bit at home every day!