Yesterday Coco, our Social Cabana came back from her first date that Daniel and Molly took her on. And by the sounds of it they had an amazing time and took her to some great places. Here is their story about their time with Coco. You can check out more pictures from their trip here. Enjoy, and if you want the opportunity to take her on an adventure for free (we like to call it a date) check out www.jucy4free.co.nz
Love Lucy xx
We landed in Auckland from Sydney on Boxing Day to collect our Jucy “The Social Cabana” for its maiden voyage across the land of the long white cloud. Met up with the fantastic staff at Jucy HQ (great service thanks girls – we love Ash & Zoe-where were you HannaH & Amelia?) whereby we completed a short interview for JUCY TV, got familiar with the free iPad & Camera & utilities and then before we knew it we were off and away on our “no real plans” exploration of the North Island.
We did a short tour of Auckland to grab lunch by the harbour of some very seriously large local Oysters & grab some supplies to fill our van (chilly bin loaded & temperature control set). We dropped by George FM to grab some photo’s but unfortunately the office was closed, all good – happy snaps done!
We had no itinerary as such other than to be at the LaDeDa Festival for NYE 2012 which was down the bottom the North Island. With Dan as Captain and Molly as Co-Pilot, we looked at the map and punched places into the GPS and this is what happened… … Note : THE GPS WAS ONE OF THE BEST PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY WE HAD. LOVED IT!
Noting that there were so many other Jucy Vans on the road we made it our priority to wave & beep at any Jucy we crossed – and there were many!
We firstly headed west to the Coromandel Coast destination: Hahei. We made up base camp and made day trips from there – The Jucy vehicle itself proved to be extremely comfortable with us not needing or wanting anything else, all was within.
Cathedral Cove, Sting Ray Bay, we went from Cooks Beach to Whitianga by ferry (very cute) cruised around Whitianga, lunch & a couple of beverages. Tandem bicycles with a canopy were available but after some discussion as to who would bear most of the pedal power this option was not taken. We jumped back on the Ferry up to Hahei to have dinner and mix it up with the very friendly locals.
Spent a day driving through Te Aroha, down to Matamata (hobbit land) and down to the much talked about Rotorua. With notes at the ready of the “funky egg smell” we explored the natural geo-thermal mud pools, natural springs and indulged in some of the local fare. Exchanging cash proved very easy and were loving the Wifi options that each city seemed to offer. We also found that each major town had an information centre which was always staffed with friendly people who always went above and beyond any of our requests. A big thank you to them, stop in there as much as you can! Note there “singing toilets” also proved quite a novelty.
Around Rotorua other than the stinky mud we also got around to prawn fishing, made bubbles on Lake Taupo then scooted across the mainland and down to the west coast to a place called Waitarere Beach. Sunsets on the west coast was a must for us East Coast Aussies. Beautiful. Making use of the photo props provided proved much entertainment, Lucy was included in most photo’s – she’s a great girl, doesn’t talk much but great fun.
We then crossed the mountains and through the Tararua Forest Park and through many long & windy beautifully scenic roads to our destination of Martinborough for The LaDeDa festival.
After sourcing some Gum Boots & Wet Weather gear we were totally equipped for the mud fest that was to be this years New Years Eve. Martinborough was BEAUTIFUL. Unbelievably great food, great wine & great people. A perfect NZ Recipe. We would have liked to have toured around the wineries on bikes as suggested by so many of our Kiwi friends but due to the “weather” situation we opted for local pubs and restaurants which still new how to put on a great night.
Off again on New Years Day down to Wellington for a brief look then back up the west coast to Palmerston North where we spent the night and hooked up with some friends to enjoy the local area.
With some activities ticked we then tucked back into the GPS and map and decided to take the Cabana to Raglan – a much talked about surf spot that everyone had recommended. Up through Wanganui, through Taihape, Ohakune, round the must see and most beautiful Mt Ruapeau still managing to hold snow on it’s very peak , past the Waitomo Caves through the Pirongia Forest and epic Bridal Veil Falls into Raglan.
After some serious Jucy driving we were able to make it by 8pm whereby we parked up on the peninsula of Raglan overlooking the Tasman Sea and watched the sunset – on the West!!! LOVE
After a night hanging at the local drinking hole we were up, had some breakfast and made our way to the “Hot Water Springs Fun Park” at Waingaro – The Big Splash. A couple of nearly big spills out the side and we were back in the van and made our way over to a farm whereby we enjoyed our last night in the very still & quiet countryside with only the cows & sheep to keep us company.
A quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and juice out the back of the camper to head towards Hamilton before our flight out. Headed straight to Hood St which is known for it’s café and bohemian arts area to grab a coffee and a look around. Wish we could spend more time but had to bust a move.
Now for the finale – how could we wrap this great adventure off? We had it. Off to the Auckland fish markets to grab some fresh crayfish and home smoked fish, into the campervan and down to the harbour to enjoy our last meal in the van! Perfect.
All in all it will be one of our most memorable trips. No plans – the freedom of camping – a beautiful country filled with wonderful people and Coco The Socal Cobana – A perfect recipe filled with all of the right ingredients. Thanks Jucy!
Lots of Love
Molly & Dan
Your Maiden Voyage pilot & Co-Pilot
P.S Here are our HIGHLIGHTS from our trip
The country side – Green, lush, mountainous, lots of forestry, dairy & surprisingly not that many sheep. wild flowers everywhere, ferns, rainforest, steep hills, valleys and windy roads
The people – So friendly, always up for a chat, extremely helpful, welcoming, nothing ever a worry, relaxed.
The Van – Totally decked out – drove beautifully, petrol didn’t seem a problem very efficient and all extras seemed to fit the bill.