New Zealand
Waikumete Stream

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3 travelers at this place

  • Day117

    Stan the Van – Part 1

    October 24, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Our van is great! It’s a 1998 Toyota Estima Aeras and drives great. No bad noises, no pull on the steering wheel, all hoses are connected, e-brakes work. Everything you need for it to drive, works great. We just had to get used to driving on the left side of the road!

    All seats in the back, except one, have been removed. In their place, a wooden platform has been built to be the frame for a bed. Several rectangle pillows make up the mattress. And when you slide the front seats forward, there is plenty of room to stretch out. The van came with pillows and duvets, sheets and covers. The bed is surrounded by curtains to keep the light out. And above, a moon roof lets the starlight in! How romantic..

    Those are the two main purposes, driving and sleeping. Everything else is bonus, although it sure is convenient. In the trunk (the boot, as they say in NZ and Australia), a few shelves and cupboards have been built to make a kitchen area. The van came equipped with a butane camping stove, some plates, bowls, cutlery, cutting board, cleaning supplies and other bits and bobs. When the trunk is open, its door provides perfect shelter while you’re cooking. And it’s tall enough to stand up straight underneath.

    Conveniently, the bed platform has built-in boxes that open for extra storage under the bed. You can also pull up the middle board, and by securing a leg underneath, make a dinner table. Folding the back board over reveals a third seat, for the occasional hitch hiker. The remaining sections of the platform lift to provide lots of storage space.

    On top of all that, the van has a radio and CD player, and came with a whole stack of random CD's. We expanded the collection at a nearby op-shop (second hand store). The van has A/C and power windows. There are plenty of storage compartments, cupholders, etc.
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    Martin Van Campen

    Looks great. Many safe kilometers for both of you!

    Mats and Jenna

    Thanks Martin! Stan has kept us safe so far =)

  • Day117

    In Search of a Van

    October 24, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We were picked up at the hostel and showed several lots, with many vans each. We knew what we wanted:
    - A van
    - Converted with bed and kitchen
    - +/- 200,000km
    - $4-5,000
    In the lots, most vans were either above $5,000 or not yet converted ($4,000 + $500 conversion and several days).

    We had one more appointment the following day. We met Victor, a Russian mechanic. He showed off his van and let us take a test drive. It had everything we wanted for $4,000. We were skeptical of the price difference. But he took us straight to a garage to do a pre-inspection by an independent mechanic. During the inspection, the mechanic showed everything that they were testing for. Everything checked out and we put down our deposit! Exciting!

    We stayed with a lovely couple through AirBnB in Sunnyvale. They were very welcoming. Leanne let us try (and take) some of her homemade marmelade and lemons. They helped us set up a bank account, using their postal address. And when we purchased the van the next day, she allowed us to do a full clean up (vacuum, dishes and laundry).

    We set off the following day as "proud owners" of our shiny new vehicle that would be our home for the next 3 months!
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  • Day130

    Auckland Ankunft

    March 16, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    Nach einer 2-Stündigen Flugverspätung wegen eines Gewitters ging es für mich auch schon in Richtung Auckland. Ich kam halb 4 in einem relativ abgelegenen Hostel an, in das Malte (den Namen werdet ihr jetzt öfter hören) mich gebracht hat. Wir haben beschlossen nicht sofort am nächsten Tag loszufahren, sondern haben einen relativ entspannten Tag gehabt. Ein bisschen einkaufen,Sachen packen,Mobilee basteln und irgendwie nicht mehr so viel. Das Hostel war mehr eine Mischung aus Farm und Müllhalde aber trotzdem total gemütlich. Ich mein, es gab Schweine und Hühner!!
    Und dann hab ich auch schon meine erste Nacht im Auto verbracht!
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Waikumete Stream