What we've been doing - last updated December 21, 2001
The total trip from St. Catharines, Ontario to Auckland, New Zealand took 24 hours of which 12 hours were spent flying from Los Angeles to Auckland. That was long enough but the worst was driving through Auckland where driving is on the left. The steering wheel is on the right and the 5 speed stick shift is on the left. Bill was never meant to be a lefty. The windscreen wiper is reversed with the directional signal so every time we wanted to turn, the wipers got turned on. To top it all off, they had greased the pedals and steering wheel with Armor All. Aaaargh! Keep left! Wipers off! Wrong Gear! 

Our campervan is modest to say the least but it is doing the job for us. We are getting around the country and out into the bush and always have our stuff and a place to eat and sleep. The campgrounds are excellent as we expected from our research on the internet. what makes the campervan work so well in New Zealand is the communal kitchens and BBQ stations. The kitchens are equipped with microwaves, stoves toasters, refrigerators, sinks, tables, boiling water dispenser and TV etc. There is no need to be totally self contained  so we have not seen any North American style big rigs such as fifth wheels. We had lamb chops on the communal barby and they were so good we did it again right away. New Zealand lamb is wicked good. 

In the first week, we realized that there are just too many possibilities for what we want to do. There are many hundreds of tracks to hike, rivers to fish and beaches to swim so we will have to make some choices . The hiking trails are wonderfully maintained with lots of boardwalks through the wet stuff. We have done 11 hikes totaling 25 miles so far as we get ourselves whipped into shape. Later, the tramps will get longer with overnight stays in huts along the tracks. We have 39 new birds so far but no Kiwis or Penguins yet. Bill had a chance to get in some fly fishing in the world famous Rotorua Lake area and caught a nice Rainbow Trout for dinner. Rotorua is also an area of volcanic activity so hot springs and geysers are everywhere, even downtown. Theresa thinks they don't smell too good. 

What's Next
Right now, we are in Wellington and have the ferry booked for Dec 22nd to take us to the South Island where we will spend the next 6 weeks. At Christmas, we will be in the Nelson area at the top end of the South Island to hike in Able Tasman National Park which looks so wonderful in the books and on the internet. Bill is going to try fly fishing for Brown Trout on the Wangapeka River in the Kahurangi National Park. Can't wait.
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2002 New Zealand