Finally getting in touch again after the rush of Christmas and New Year.
Thank you so much for organising our fabulous itinerary - we just had the B E S T time!! We only had a day of light rain out of the entire 2 and a bit weeks we were away - very lucky. Richie's bike race in Taupo was amazing, it was the most glorious day and he was very pleased with his time. His dad taped the tv show they did on it and sent it over - I'm even thinking about taking up the biking caper! Mount Taranaki was out in full glory, it just blows my mind every time I see it - had a lovely couple of days visiting Richie's family.
The south island - oohhhhhh.......you're absolutely right in saying often the most fun is driving to each destination. We just had a ball. The Sunrise couple were very thorough in explaining the camper on arrival at Picton, although they did convince us to drive Havelock way instead of your advice to Blenheim - well what an introduction for Richie in the big 4 bertha!!! I guess he got the hardest drive out of the way in his first couple of hours - very picturesque but our heart's certainly skipped a few beats.....I only drove 'Bertha' for about 40mins (just for the photo opportunity), Richie was way more comfortable and hence we both could relax! The camper itself was nothing flash, esp considering what it cost, but we adored her anyway. It was a manual and we got a kick out of the diesel brake - we felt like real truckies!!
Just of couple of things we wanted you to know: had a lovely man approach us in tourist info carpark at Nelson. He managed Ajax Avenue motels 100m from city centre. As he was doing maintenance on a couple of units, he offered us a powered site (hooked up power through window to unit) with use of the kitchen, lounge and bathroom in unit for $25 p/n - a great deal. Such friendly people, would recommend them. Had lunch in Wanaka at Relishes cafe - a bit on the expensive side but fantastic food, we were licking our lips for hours afterwards (by the way, LeCafe at Picton was really great.)
There was no sign of Moke Lake DOC camp at Queenstown - we drove that road for about 30mins back and forth looking for it thinking we were going mad - perhaps they have closed it? We stayed at 12 Mile Delta which was overwhelmingly large, but lovely as the light rain played down on the lake.
Had an extremely funny experience driving to free spot at Wanganui River off Harihari - this was my spot of driving and I was so determined to get there as you had recommended it. We were both pretty exhausted as it was the end of the day, and we hadn't quite taken in the river 'mouth' part of your description and of course it was quite a drive from the main drag! We finally made it down the dirt road part and low and behold the road was closed - we were so close we could taste it!! We took some piccies for a laugh.
Well, we're considering doing it all again at the end of this year, we just loved it so much - not doubt I'll be in touch again!
Thanks again for your excellent service, we've had quite a few enquiries from friends who we'll send your way.
I did get that skydive in at Queenstown - was one of the best experiences of my life - hope you enjoy our photos.
Mel & Richie