Years ago I had seen a documentary that reported about a boat, that is supplying the residents of the sounds with their mail and groceries. I was so excited about the landscape and the people, that I knew, I have see this for real.When I arrived at the South Island in Picton after the ferry crossing, I couldn’t decide where to go at first. Only one thing I knew, find a nice spot for the night, settle and sleep. I hit my atlas and randomly searched for a place. Fate had decided, it should be Havelock. The place that would steel my heart and would also give me a big surprise. Guess what, Havelock and I didn’t know that, is actually the home port of the notorious mail boat from my documentary !! It was a blast. The very next day, after my first night in the camper(of course, in the Havelock Holiday Park, which was even situated next to the assembly point of the cruise), the wild ride started. We were cruising the sounds for 7 hours. For the crew on board just another working day, for me a lifelong highlight. You can learn more about the mail boat here…
Help in Distress
First time on the road, you will soon notice what kind of equipment is missing in your camper. For example, I needed a bit more storage space, like a net that you put on the walls of the camper, or a briefing on the use of the small ‘Porta Potti ‘ toilet and eventually a new battery. I got all that at ‘ Bow & Stern‘ in Havelock. The owners Michelle and Leon are such good-hearted, funny and helpful people. Their shop was a blessing for me. Also anyone who wants to rent or sell a boat, is at the right place.
There are wonderful apps, especially for campers. They show you all the campsites in the area. I always used the ‘Wilderness Travel App’. Best handy ‘ New Zealand Atlas ‘ if you are without navigation. The atlas can be bought on site in almost every Visitorcenter or at any petrol station.
Christmas & New Years Eve
I would avoid Christmas holidays if possible. First, most campsites are much more expensive and crowded and second, almost every place is closed, for days. The Kiwis take it very seriously with their holidays, they just won’t work. It’s celebration time. Restaurants, shops, Visitorcenter, everything closed. If you want to spent New Years Eve with your camper In Queenstown, it is best to book a place a few months in advance. Otherwise you have to take part in the battle for the last “affordable” hotel rooms on this day. All available Campsite in the area will be booked.
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