Seattle fantasy....world tour in the CCD
Dear Susan Quinn,
Overlander 63 asks all the right questions. All electric in NZ is 220, so you would need a heavy duty transformer. There are virtually no rv trailers being towed, as the roads are almost exclusively two-lane, many with one lane bridges, very hilly and curvy.....think Dolly Parton....Tennessee. The south island (2000 miles around the periphery) has no four lane roads.
I was recently involved, first person, in shipping a vintage car, both ways, to Adelaide, South Australia for an automobile rally. Daunting, even though the Australian tourist bureau paid for the shipping. Be assured that the cost and effort required to move both a 25' trailer and its tow vehicle, even for a year, and then return....well, a heart transplant would seem a bargain.
Securing a driver's permit is simple, but staying in NZ for > 90 days requires a special visa extension. All vehicles require a "certificate of fitness" (COF) every 6 months. Even if you add a hitch assembly to a car, a new COF is necessary. Insurance costs are reasonable as there are fewer people, fewer junk vehicles on the road, and they haven't discovered the U.S. passion for insurance fraud.
Now, for the good news. Camping is quite popular, mostly by people traveling in camper vans, minivans, the B type, (much more common than here) with plentiful accomodations available, although not quite as sophisticated or homogenized as jellystones and koa's. I assume that rentals would be available or if you plan a 12 month stay, perhaps to purchase a unit on arrival and sell it upon departure. With all the money you saved, you should have a nice reserve for several cosmetic surgeries, or at least tuition to anger management school. I can't imagine twelve months in a camper van, but Steinbeck did it in his Rocinante along with a one-eared poodle, Charlie.
If you insist on pursuing this fantasy, you will have the time of your life. The people are gracious, yet there are few adjectives to describe the scenery. We have best friends that live in Whitianga on the Corumandel peninsula, North Island, that will provide courtesy parking if asked. Should you make the leap, send me a PM and I can provide specific information. We plan to be there in January, 2007, sans our airstream
Just the thought of bushwhacking both islands in a CCD has the footprint of a major contribution to Airstream Life, the magazine. Now, if only Editor Luhr would assist you in the subsidy of this high adventure................
South Bend, In
DeTour Village, Mi