Away in the Wilderness.

In the first week of October, we hired a Wilderness Camper in Christchurch and headed off to the Nelson/Marlborough regions for 12 days of adventure. We’d hired campers before for our South Island explorations but this was our first Wilderness experience. They had just what we wanted in the Compact for 2; a smaller vehicle (6m long) that you could take almost anywhere and park in any car park, an onboard toilet and shower, great cooking facilities and a permanent bed.

Our Wilderness baby at Hapuku Beach on the Kaikoura Coast.

The camper is very well set out to maximise room and after a couple of days of dancing around each other we found our groove and stopped getting in each other’s way. The driver’s and passenger seats swivel to become arm chairs, they’re comfortable and space saving. Why don’t all campers do that? There was plenty of storage space, fluffy towels and everything we needed from coffee pot to corkscrew.

Listening to the All Blacks/Wallabies game at Cape Farewell.

Wilderness were a pleasure to deal with. I couldn’t make up my mind, this camper or that one, 10 days or 12? They coped with my indecision and change requests without complaint and the level of service never wavered. We were collected from Christchurch airport and given a good rundown on the operation of our camper before being waved off.

Totaranui DOC camp in Able Tasman National Park.

We were supposed to have travelled in May but COVID got in the way. Not a problem at Wilderness. They happily put our hire on hold until we were ready to reschedule.

Cowshed Bay campsite, Queen Charlotte Sound.

We had a wonderful 12 days exploring the top of the South Island. Travelling in a camper suits us, we only to have to unpack once and we stop when and where we want to. The South Island is well served with Department of Conservation campsites in stunning places and most towns offer a limited number of freedom camping spots. We had no trouble with the camper and the 24 hour roadside rescue and help phone line gave us peace of mind, just in case. Wilderness provide a handy road atlas and access to the NZ Frenzy guide books, a great guide to some of the more off the beaten track attractions.

We’ll be back. I wonder where we can go next year.

More pics of our Wilderness adventure here.

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