We’ve put together the 5 of the best things about travelling in a campervan, motorhome, RV, or anything on wheels!  There’s definitely more than five, but here  is some inspiration to get started. Not that you need convincing, but just in case you do….

Do you feel like getting away from it all? Do you need to inject some adventure in your life? Driving a campervan on a long road trip might just be the thing to revive you and bring  out the free-spirit in you. If you want to know why people rave about this kind of holiday, read below and start wondering why you haven’t thought about it before.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Freedom

Having a campervan means you can do what you want, go where you want, when you want. You don’t need have to worry about having a schedule. Having total freedom to choose your own activities and destinations is one of the appeals of this kind of holiday.

Flexibility

Being the master of your own time and having your house on wheels means that you can change your plans at the drop of a hat, follow a different route, take the advice of fellow travellers and visit a special place you were unaware of. This is great news for someone who chooses to hit the road to break their everyday routine. Plus you don’t need to rely on buses and trains: some areas are more isolated than others and are reachable only by private transport.

Fun

Travelling by campervan is fun: you get to do things that you don’t normally do and see places you normally see only on tv or in magazines. You might park in a quiet spot near a stream and do some impromptu swimming – or skinny dipping for the brave ones. You can share stories, have drinks or play guitar around the campfire with new friends.  Be intrigued by wild animals, see different lands, find a surfing spot and relax on the beach or take a break from driving and explore a beautiful area by bicycle. There will always be new experiences just around the bend.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Convenience

The allure of campervans is that you can sleep and cook in your temporary home. Buying groceries and parking on a camping ground is more convenient than booking a hotel and eating at a restaurant. Your accommodation will be used more often and you’ll get your money’s worth. Petrol will be a cheaper option in the long run as well. Do some research and you might be able to find free parking spots depending on the country you are visiting. Also consider the money you will save on package tours.

Adventure

Everybody is looking to add more variety and spice in their life. Something about  hitting the road awakens the adventurous spirit in everyone: it must be the fresh air, the open spaces, the sense that we are closer to nature, that we are experiencing life to the full and that we have the world at our finger tips. We have our few necessary possessions with us and nothing else, we are free and independent, the wheels taking us to a world of possibilities.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Are you ready to go on an unforgettable trip? Can you hear the motor running and your inner Indiana Jones calling?  Check out some great campervan options at JUCY and head off on your own adventure!

Andrew Wilde, pro Snowboarder, hits the road to check out what NZ’s got to offer…

We set out from Christchurch in our Jucy Condo camper ready for an 8 day film trip, with the final destination of Auckland’s Snow planet. We were filming for our own webisodes for a Chinese audience showing them a Kiwi road trip, 2 riders, a filmer and a driver.

 Day 1:Leaving Christchurch in the afternoon a bit behind schedule (as getting the shots took longer than expected) we made it to Kaikoura just in time to catch the sunset before getting back on the road to reach the destination of the day Picton.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

 Day 2: We had an early start but not early enough as we almost missed our Interislander ferry to Wellington. We made it on, as the second to last car. We got to see some amazing scenery before reaching Wellington. We went and filmed a few shots of the nations capital and of course went to see the iconic Beehive parliamentary building, before getting back on the road to reach Wanganui before nightfall.

 Day 3: We had a good solid drive ahead of in order to reach Taupo and catch the sunset. So we got some quick shots of the famous Wanganui River or Whanganui as the locals call it nowadays.

 We stayed in the Top 10 holiday park in Taupo which was very well equipped with great clean facilities as well a awesome hot pool and lots of fun activities onsite, I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting Taupo

 Day 4: We were booked in at Taupo Bungee and Cliffhanger at 10 am. After everyone had a shot of confidence we were ready to try both of the awesome activities out, everyone had such an awesome time! It was such a great start to the day. We spent the day checking out the lake and local skate parks getting all the shots we needed.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

 Day 5: Having spent night in Taupo, We had the hard job of getting up super early to film the sunrise which only needed two of us so the rest were luck enough to sleep in. We had a change of plans and decided to go to Gisborne to try get some surfing shots instead of going to Rotorua. we had a very long drive ahead of us but we made it there without to much any hassles.

 Day 6: Without any waves we had to do our backup activity which was a natural rock water slide on the way to our next destination, Mt Maunganui. When we got there we saw how big it was and it took awhile for everyone to get into it but in the end we got some of the best shots of our trip there! We had to get back on the road straight after as we had another long drive ahead of us.

 Day 7:Mt Maunganui is such a beautiful seaside town with awesome scenery and fishing, we were so luck to catch it on a bluebird day. We went to  Papamoa Blokart  recreation park to go try out there famous blow Karting but there wasn’t enough wind but we ended up having an awesome time on there 3 wheeled drift karts. Afterwards we had a nice short drive to our final destination of Auckland.

Day 8: After a long 7 days we finally got to do what we set out to do, snowboard at Snowplanet. This was our first time in an indoor ski resort but we had such an awesome time getting our final shots and finishing out amazing New Zealand road trip!

 After an action packed 8 days everyone was ready to have couple days off . We all had a great time and had the got to try some really fun New Zealand activities. I would like thank everyone who helped us along the way it wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Please check out www.Andrew-snow.com to see our trailers and episodes.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

Travel Fashion Girl went for a spin in our JUCY Champ! Check out her USA adventure, along with some great tips on where to go and what to pack!

As a “travel fashion girl”, I’m more of a glamper than a rugged camper and Jucy Campervans offered the perfect vehicle for my 10-day road trip from Los Angeles to Utah:

Day 1: The big road trip day has finally arrived! Picking up our Jucy Campervan was an experience in itself. From the moment we laid eyes on their bright purple and green offices until the moment we had a tour of the vehicle, it felt like the fun had already started.

Read my full camper rental review for the jucy details!

Day 2: We got on the road one day later than planned due to untimely obligations. The drive also took longer than expected so we ended up spending the night at an RV stop just across the Utah state line – the convenience of having a moving hotel room!

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 3: Refreshed, we awoke for an early start and quickly found that any inconveniences the previous day were well worth it! By starting our drive through Utah early in the morning we got to see the incredible sights in the daytime on the way to the National Parks – awe-inspiring!

Day 4: After spending the afternoon driving to all the viewpoints at Canyonlands National Park yesterday, we reserved our Saturday for a day filled with hikes. Unfortunately, it rained half the day but we were still able to get in a couple of hours in the afternoon. Spectacular!

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 5: We spent the morning at the famous Dead Horse Point views and the afternoon getting acquainted with Arches National Park. Famous for its towering arch-like formations, Arches was one marvel of nature after another.

Day 6: Today we spent the whole day exploring Arches National Park. We did two 2-3 hours treks and the rest of the viewpoints we visited off right off the road at vehicle accessible stopping areas or through short walks.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 7: We made a last minute decision to add one more national park to our short road trip: the famous Zion. We spent 1.5 days doing the more accessible yet scenic trails, which was a great way to enjoy one more park and also break up our long drive back home.

Day 8 – 9: Who can drive through Vegas and not stop for a night? We can’t! While I’ve been to Vegas numerous times, my boyfriend has only been once so we stopped for a night (later extended to two nights) and enjoyed a little sin city action on the last nights of our trip.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 10: Sadly, today was the drive back home. We headed straight for the Jucy headquarters to say goodbye to our campervan. It was an epic adventure definitely enhanced by the stylish little vehicle that made our lives way easier and more fun on our road trip to Utah!

It was a short and quick 10-day trip from LA to Utah and we averaged 2 nights, and 1.5 days at each destination. Thankfully, the conveniences the Jucy campervan offered allowed us to move quickly without spending much time on set up and tear down each day.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Thanks Jucy for joining us on an awesome adventure!

For your car camping check-list - read this

For tips on what to wear when visiting a national park in a Campa – read this

 

Divergent Travellers took to the Australian roads in a JUCY Campa -here’s their tips for the Great Ocean Road!

There are many ways to experience the Great Ocean Road from guided bus tours to self-drives and everything in between. Some people prefer to leave the planning in the hands of a company and join a coach bus or small van group tour. They usually hit the highlights and offer a relaxing experience.  Others prefer to rent a car and spend their time at guest houses while making their own itinerary. For the true adventurers, you can’t beat renting a campavan and using your freedom to experience all that the road has to offer.

We picked up our Jucy campavan at the end of our stay in bustling Melbourne. Their location in St Kilda is easy to find and accessible from the CBD if you are not staying in the St Kilda area.  We found navigating our way out of the mega city an easy task and before we knew it, we were headed down M1 straight towards Geelong.

 Freedom on the Great Ocean Road

Geelong is a good place to stop and visit a grocery store before you reach Torquay and start your drive on the official Great Ocean Road. There will be better variety and better prices to be found here. Stocking up beforehand offers you the freedom to stop when you want once you reach the road. Torquay is the first city you will pass through and it gives off some serious surfer vibes. A walk through the streets and a visit to one of the beaches is an excellent way to start off your drive. Depending on how many days you have allotted for you travel, you could easily spend a night here if you choose.

If nothing else, be sure to stop off near the beginning of the road at any information center and grab a tourist map for the Great Ocean Road. This will highlight all the towns and great places to stop along your way.

Adventures on the road from this point are plenty and there are a variety of ways to put together your trip. Highlights include Lorne, a beautiful seaside town with a resident population of big, white Cockatoos. Kennett River is another great wildlife stop, where just off the highway you can park and enjoy observing koalas in the trees above.  The Twelve Apostles are a must see and are clearly marked from the main road.

 Freedom on the Great Ocean RoadFreedom on the Great Ocean Road

Of course this only scratches the surface of the stops you can make on this great drive. You’ll quickly find that a lot of the enjoyment from the road comes from just enjoying the twisty roads that wind up, down and through the cliffs next to the ocean. Camping areas are abundant and make nice places to stop for a good night’s rest. Top that all off with great weather, amazing nature, beautiful landscapes and the freedom that comes from your own campavan and you are in for a real treat.

Freedom on the Great Ocean Road

I must start by saying, I never thought it was possible to miss a vehicle rental as much as we do. Whoever out there is currently driving Jucy’s HEY950, please give her a big hug and tell her we miss her dearly. In the 2 weeks that we had her, our Lucy became part of our family unit.

We began our journey in Christchurch. The Jucy crew was extremely helpful with making sure we had everything we needed for our road trip, including some great recommendations on places to visit. We stopped for groceries at a nearby mall, then immediately hit the road. Our first night in a holiday park, we met Paul and Betty Callahan, our campervan neighbors from Florida, USA, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by touring New Zealand in a Jucy Condo. The best part about being a Jucy customer, are the other Jucy friends you meet on the road. There is a camaraderie among Jucy’s that makes you feel like you have friends wherever you go.

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

The following day included swimming with over 100 dusky dolphins off the coast of Kaikoura. What an experience! We’re not huge fans of zoos with caged animals, so to be able to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat was something really special for each of us. Following our swim, we hit the road headed north towards Kaiteriteri Beach. The following morning we woke and walked along the beach. We visited Split Apple Rock and had one of the best burgers of our life at Fat Tui. Being from California and familiar with beautiful beaches, we decided to forego exploring Abel Tasman in depth and instead headed south to experience the glaciers and landscapes we don’t regularly get to see living on the coast of California.

On the way to Franz Josef, we stopped to see the beautiful Pancake Rocks and blowholes in Punakaiki then stayed in Hokitika for the night. A must see for anyone interested in the famed New Zealand glow worms, is the Hokitika Dell. Spending the evening surrounded by so many glowing lights in a quiet little dark dell was other-worldly!

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY CondoMrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

We woke the next morning and headed to Franz Josef. On the way, we made a detour to the Hokitika Gorge. If you have the time, definitely add this stop to your itinerary. The drive is beautiful in itself, but the turquoise waters flowing through the gorge have to be seen to be believed. Just don’t forget your Goodbye Sandfly, they are fierce in this area!

Once we reached Franz Josef, we checked in for the night and woke early the next morning for the Ice Explorer tour, a very cool (no pun intended) and informative morning, hiking on and learning about the Franz Josef glacier.

Following Franz Josef, we headed towards Wanaka, a cute little lakeside town. The next day, we attempted to hike Roy’s Peak, but short on time and not equipped with enough water for the strenuous hike, we only made it halfway up before throwing in the towel and hitting the road towards Queenstown. First stop – Fergburger! We had heard so much about this place offering the ‘best burger in the world’ and we have to agree, it was a mighty fine burger!! But a word of advice for those who want to forego the hype and the sometimes hour plus wait, visit Devil Burger nearby, which has equally delicious offerings and no line.

As fun and alive as Queenstown is, we tend to gravitate towards quiet towns away from the buzz, so we headed out to Glenorchy. I just can’t find the words to describe this area; we definitely left a huge piece of our hearts in this sleepy little gem of a town. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan (which I am), the Ride of the Rings tour by Dart Stables is a must, as well as the Dart River Jet Boat and Funyak tour. Of course, no trip to New Zealand is complete without a little adrenaline excursion. Mine included a bungy jump from the nearby Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of bungy.

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY CondoMrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

While in the Queenstown area, we decided to take the Scenic Milford Sound tour offered by Heli Tours Ltd. This tour was easily the highlight of our trip. It’s one thing to see all this breathtaking scenery from below, but from above was something you just can’t beat. Our pilot Phillip was so informative and friendly, and with our teenager being a little uneasy in the air, Phillip made sure we felt safe during our entire flight.  He took us over hidden alpine lakes, rivers and valleys not visible from the ground, out to land on a beach only accessible by air or water, and then into Milford Sound for a coffee and pastry. We then flew up to a glacier and landed for a photo then back into Queenstown. I really can’t say enough good things about this company. Katherine, the owner, will be the first person we call to book another amazing tour the next time we visit the south island.

After leaving Queenstown, we drove down to Milford Sound for a day of kayaking through the beautiful fjord (yes, it’s really a fjord, and not a sound). After our day in Milford, we headed north again making our way back to Christchurch. Along the way we drove past the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki towards Mount Cook for a little hiking around the Tasman Glacier and Hooker Valley areas.  We then headed to Lake Tekapo for the night, where we had the great fortune of meeting ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ New Zealand actor, Jed Brophy, while eating dinner. What a nice guy, and a big treat for me being a huge fan of the movies!

Our last night was spent in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I don’t know how Mount Potts and the Rangitata Valley aren’t at the top of every south island ‘must see’ itinerary. We loved that area the most of all. Our final morning we spent visiting the town center of Christchurch. It was surprising to see so much of the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes still visible and in the midst of recovery. Finally back to the airport, parting with our Jucy Lucy was difficult but we are certain that we will be back someday to reunite with her and explore more of beautiful New Zealand.

Check out Mrs. Grubby on Instagram and Twitter

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

 

 

 

Kareen and Jackie were international travellers craving a taste of New Zealand! Make sure you check out the highlights of their recent Queenstown holiday. Want a free road trip with Coco? Click here now to apply!

What if you needed to go on a beautiful road trip in New Zealand with extra comfort? Look no further than Jucy! I was so delighted when we won a free trip with Coco the Social Cabana to drive around Queenstown. After spending two days in Christchurch and Lake Tekapo, my partner Jackie and I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. There are so many things to fall in love with here: the spectacular and breathtaking natural scenery, the diversity of activities to tick off your personal bucket list, the warmness and quirkiness of the people here and the peaceful and cheery atmosphere.

We picked Coco up from JUCY’s depot at Queenstown Airport. Jaime welcomed us with a big, warm glee and told us we are going to be famous and pointed us to the screen of previous Coco handlers. Chris took us through the functional aspects of Coco. We were impressed at its mobile kitchen, lockers, GPS, wifi, entertainment screen and make-shift bed. Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

The weather was beautiful. Lovely sunshine coupled with fluffy white skies, snow-capped peak of The Remarkables and the calm still waters of Lake Wakatipu. Here’s a taste of what we did around Queenstown:

QUEENSTOWN GONDOLA RIDE Riding the gondola up and having a bird’s eye view of Queenstown is almost obligatory for every tourist. We stayed through until sunset and watched the sun go down. Also, I have to say the hot chocolate from the café here is the bomb! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

SKIING AT CORONET PEAK We dared ourselves to drive up to Coronet Peak after renting ski chains and as soon as we parked Coco, a little bit of snow started to fall upon the ground. We made it up here safe and sound thanks to Gutsy Coco!

We picked up our first ski lesson ever! Tom, a professional ski trainer from Colorado, USA was our trainer and we learned some awesome tricks from him including how to control our balance. Although we paid for a group lesson, it turned out to be only both of us, so it became like a private lesson. I like to call it ‘Lucy’s Luck’!

GASTRONOMICAL ADVENTURE

Me and my partner share passion in exploring food whenever we travel. Of course a trip to Queenstown is never complete without heading to the legendary institution, Fergburger, which we were told served the world’s best burgers! The burgers were so huge, they were nearly the same size as my face! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday By coincidence, we discovered this little fish and chip stall called Aggy’s Shack, facing the lake’s waterfront, in the same row as Eichardt’s Private Hotel. The portions were great for the price.

We also tried some classic Kiwi fare on the menu, like the abalone paua patty. The ice-creams from Chocolate Patagonia were the perfect dessert. I particularly liked the banana split flavor. For someone who dislikes bananas, I found myself indulging a lo in it, for both dinner and breakfast. Breakfast! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

 

We also tried local pub grub at Pub on Wharf, recommended by a local while we are strolling around Queenstown mall. Beef wellington is apparently one of the hardest dishes to cook in the world, but easily available here.

ROAD TRIP TO GLENORCHY

The 44km drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is mesmerizing and we were constantly in awe throughout the journey. We made a pit stop at Wilson’s Bay – Because (Y)ou (O)nly (L)ive (O)nce! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

Another exciting part of this trip for us was following in the trail of Sir Peter Jackson and seeing the inspiration for his Lord of the Rings movies, such as the Dart River, used as filming location for Isengard in Lord of The Rings.

Glenorchy is such a quaint little town with vintage charm. There was just something about this quiet settlement which made it so alluring for us. We fueled up at Glenorchy Café, which had fantastic food. Besides the popular pork sandwich, the hearty tomato soup and also delicious crumbles were definitely winners on the day. Paired with a cup of cappuccino, we could feel ourselves relaxing.

SHOTOVER JET RIDE

It was such a waste that the day we were supposed to head to Milford Sound on the JUCY Bus, the roads were closed to traffic due to avalanches. I was extremely disappointed when we were informed early in the morning by the bus driver that the road was still closed and so we would be getting a refund. But still, there’s nothing one can do when Mother Nature rules!

Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday We decided to head to Shotover Jet for a ride on the jetboat instead to get over our disappointment over not making it to Milford Sound.

The adrenaline rush was exhilarating and we screamed our lungs out. We would like to thank the whole Jucy crew for accommodating us with Coco.

We love New Zealand so much that we will be back again in the near future to tick off Milford Sound and skydiving from 15,000 ft, just so we can earn even more bragging rights! The trip here is definitely a lifetime to remember.

Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

Campervan friendly destinations in NZTravelling in a campervan is a great way to visit any area.  It allows you to travel at your leisure and to carry everything you might need with you.  Additionally, it keeps you closer to the land, to the people and places that make an area special.  Unfortunately, finding a place to park a rental campervan can be difficult sometimes.  Luckily, there are a few major attractions that are campervan friendly.  Here are some places to check out if you are travelling via campervan hire in New Zealand!

Pauanui, Coromandel

Park your campervan near the beach and spend a few days exploring the area’s many hiking trails.  Then come back and stretch out on Pauanui Beach to relax.

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is a perfect place to stopover and chill out if you are on your way to Queenstown.  There are multiple parking options, and activities range from skydiving, to hiking, to swimming.

Mount Cook, Dunedin

The drive to Mount Cook is almost as beautiful as the destination itself.  Park out in the open so that you can admire the gorgeous stars overhead at night, and then spend your days exploring the icebergs that dot the glaciar lakes around the mountain.

Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Olly & Theresa take Coco on a roadieMeet Olly & Theresa (pictured left) who took Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure in New Zealand.  Sure sounds like they had an amazing time.  You can check out more photos from their adventures here on our facebook page.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Coco away on an adventure yourself.  She is FREE!  Check out www.jucy4free.co.nz to apply! Love Lucy xx

It’s Waitangi Day and our first day with CoCo the Social Cabana. After leaving the home comforts of Fox Glacier where we had spent a very wet but beautiful three months working, it was time for the “holiday” part of our working holiday. We met a very jolly Espen at JUCY Rentals – Auckland.  After we were introduced to CoCo and shown all of her mod cons, he pointed us in the direction of  a beach in Auckland’s North Shore. And so our adventures in CoCo began.

Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Olly & Theresa take Coco on a roadieAfter having our beach fill for the day, we took CoCo back into the city. After a quick shower at the JUCY Hotel in Emily Place, it was time for a feed and to find a suitable spot to decorate with birthday banners, balloons and other birthday related goodies, as we were meeting our friend who was having a birthday.

We then followed our noses… literally… being led by the smell of homemade chips… to the Spitting Feathers English pub, where we held the birthday party. The rest of the night’s shenanigans are a little hazy involving a vague memory of shots on the bar, and suggestions from various bar staff that you absolutely HAD to get naked to celebrate your birthday, pretty sure that did not happen, but that’s based solely on my blurred recollections, so who knows?  At the end of the night three of us headed back to Coco for a centrally located kip. Coco easily accommodated the four of us – myself (T), Olly and our mates Jody and Lucy.

Our first stop outside of Auckland was the beautiful Corramandel. We headed to Long Bay for a well-deserved “post-drive dip” in the sea.  At dusk we headed to a lookout to watch a sunset above the Corromandel Harbour, without doubt the best NZ sunset I have been lucky enough to see. We enjoyed a bottle of champagne, Lucy’s company, and celebrated our first night on the road. We then made post-dusk tracks to The Corromandel camping ground where Olly’s bartering skills got us a good late night bargain, and use of all on site amenities, for a bargain $5 each.

We woke up feeling a hell of a lot better than we did the previous morning, and had both toilets and taps on Coco, bonus!  We decided to head for Whitianga, for “fush and Chups” at Snapper Jacks, “the best fish in chips, eaten in New Zealand to date” (said Olly), and had a look around the cute town. After that it was time for some Hot Water Beach action, where we enjoyed a dig and a dip. We decided Broken Hills campsite sounded a suitably scary spot to spend the night, located in the Corromandel Forest Park. We stopped to stock the fridge full of supplies and other bits and bobs. We arrived at the beautiful, secluded camp ground and parked next to the river. We spent our evening eating a delicious Pork dinner, watching The Full Monty in bed and Olly Skinny dipped in the river… Motivated by the film, perhaps?!… Shame it was so cold… bless!

Day Four in Coco and after a lazy morning making breakfast, we decided to head to the Land of L’n’P (Paeroa). How could we resist when it is “world famous” in New Zealand?  On route we were drawn to a garage sale were Olly invested in a very dapper waist coat and I got talking to the lady about her latest heart attack and writing down her recommendations to go and live in a Buddhist retreat with her daughter.  We shall see about that one. For now though:  Destination Paeroa.

When we Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Olly & Theresa take Coco on a roadiearrived in the land of the tall L’n’P we quickly realized it was host to the annual Scottish Highland Games and Tattoo. Held right in the centre of town, the whole place was buzzing with a festival vibe and every corner was filled with haggis, and Scottish tartan.  It was extremely surreal being at the most uniquely, quaint kiwi town, surrounded by big burly Scottish men in Kilts throwing wood around.  So we decided to embrace it and erm… did a highland fling, which resulted in free entry!  (The last sentence was a variation on the truth, take it as you will!)

After our fill of L’n’P and scottishness, we made our way to a beach camp in Matata. We stayed at a DOC Campsite looking out over the Bay of Plenty. We paid $6 each and slept on the sand, under the stars, listening to the sound of crashing waves.

Today was the best day EVER! We had to get out of the campground by 10.00am, so at 9.59am (getting our $6’s worth) we made tracks to Rotorua. It was a beautiful Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Olly & Theresa take Coco on a roadiedrive, and we were excited to see the famously smelly Rotorua.  Once we arrived we randomly stumbled across a market, whilst having a look around we completely randomly bumped into an old Queenstown friend who was working on a stall there. After a slightly smelly catch up with our mate, (smelly water… not our mate) we sniffed out some more smelly Smokey water in Kuirau park. Thanks to Rotorua’s sulphur-asthmatic airs we were able to ‘let one rip’ right, left and center, and no-one bats an eyelid. Bliss. T noteIt’s Olly writing this, by the way. NOT T. Next it was time to realize a dream… and ZORB!

It was THE best way to get down a hill (after snowboarding).EVER. I don’t know how, or who they thought we were, but the extremely amazing crew at ZORB sorted us out with 3 free rides each, the “Double Trouble”, “Zig -Zag” and “The Drop” . Lucy took photos as we rolled in every direction, in water, inside what seemed like a big beach ball being thrown directly down a hill! I felt like a sock on a spin cycle, literally hair-raising. At one point I could not see where I was and panicked at the thought I had left the safe confines of the track and would spend the rest of the day encased in an inflatable ball rolling solo around the North Island. Luckily this wasn’t the case and we just had a spectacular time! Thank you ZORBING Crew at Agroventures.

Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Olly & Theresa take Coco on a roadieDay six, and our last morning waking up in CoCo. BOO HOO! After a fine bacon and egg butty we headed to Huka falls and followed the road South to the spectacular Tongariro National Park. The drive was spectacular and we caught a short but amazing view of the volcanic peaks (one which has been erupting since August the 6th).  We enjoyed a couple of short walks, enjoying the last of our JUCY time and then it was time to head back to Auckland to wish bon voyage to CoCo and Lucy, and reunite them with the JUCY team and end our incredible JUCY journey. Thank you JUCY we have had the best week ever and without your generosity and the kindness of strangers it would not have been possible.

Much Love and until next time, T and Olly xxx

Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Elise & Claires North Island NZ AdventureMeet Elise & Claire (pictured left) who took Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure in New Zealand.  Sounds like they had an amazing time – they loved it so much that they even wrote and sung a song about it which you can watch below.  You can check out more photos from their adventures here on our facebook page.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Coco away on an adventure yourself.  She is FREE!  Check out www.jucy4free.co.nz to apply! Love Lucy xx

Claire, Coco and I set off late afternoon for the Coromandel.  Our first stop – Burgerfuel!  With fuel in our bellies as well as the campervan we were ready to begin our week long trip around New Zealand’s North Island.  It was dark by the time we reached our DOC campsite, Shag Stream (of course, chosen for the name).

In the morning we went to the local i-site to ask about walks in the area. We picked a couple of the shorter walks which gave us nice views across the lush green valley.

We then drove onto Coromandel Town where we stopped for some yummy food and wifi at the Chai Tea House – a quaint little cafe with a friendly chilled-out vibe. We got talking to the staff and found out there was going to be a live music gig / open mic-type event there the next night with a number of musicians expected to participate. We decided that this was definitely something we wanted to go to, especially as Claire is a musician! We had planned to be at Hot Water Beach the next evening but decided we’d head over there that night instead and do the hot pools at dawn.

After a very scenic drive we reached Hot Water Beach just before sunset, sussed out where the pools were then made a light dinner. As we were clearing dinner away and Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Elise & Claires North Island NZ Adventurediscussing where we would bed down for an early night we got talking to some guys. It turned out one of them owned a winery down the road. He invited us to park our van there for the night and to join them in the house for some drinks! We took them up on their offer. What followed was a fantastic night full of amazing home-made feijoa cider… wine… wood-fired pizza… meatloaf… crumble… music… dancing… table-tennis… and interesting chat with the locals and the resident woofers.

We didn’t quite manage to rise before dawn to get to Hot Water Beach, but did get there before low tide which was 06:30am so were quite impressed with ourselves.  It meant we still got a good couple of hours to soak in the amazingly warm pools. The winemaker had lent us a shovel but we didn’t need it as an Aussie guy invited us to join him in his pool. He had dug a big hole for his family but they hadn’t managed to get out of bed. He was even happy to pose for some photos with Lucy!

Next stop was Cathedral Cove which was beautiful and another great spot for a photo shoot.

After buying Feijoa Smoothies from a stall (our new favourite fruit) we headed back to Coromandel Town, via the 309 road this time, to go to the music show.  We had a lovely evening in the Tearoom. Several musicians took to the stage and by the end everyone in the room was joining in for a big singsong – brilliant! Afterwards we were invited to stay for a little after-party and Claire entertained us into the wee small hours with her beautiful singing.

We took a leisurely drive towards Mount Maunganui, stopping off at a beach and at a little cheese factory where they make cheese and keep a variety of cute animals.

We climbed the hill in Mount Maunganui where we got terrific views and a magnificent sunset.

Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Elise & Claires North Island NZ AdventureAfter spending the morning on the beach in Mount Maunganui we set off for Taupo where I had arranged to meet a Swedish friend I had met in Australia. We managed to get a cheap camp spot right on the lake in the centre of town (in the grounds of Absolute Lakeview Motel). Handy for the pubs!

The next day, we went for a beautiful drive along the lake and into the mountains at Tongariro National Park. We took the chairlift up Mount Ruapehu which offered great views of the surroundings and the highest café in New Zealand!

On the way north we stopped again in Taupo to do a short walk along the Waikato River. We had to first wait to get the all clear from the fire brigade who were trying to control a small bush fire. It was particularly hot in Taupo that day and there were many people swimming in the lake. Adventures of Coco our Social Cabana: Elise & Claires North Island NZ Adventure

The walk was beautiful and took us to the raging Huka Falls then back to the start where we had a rewarding dip in the natural thermal pools which spill into the cold river –bliss! In the evening we set off for Raglan.

Our last day with Coco.  We decided to hang out at Manu Bay and record a song about our week with Coco.

Thanks for an awesome week!

Claire & Elise

A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the road  A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the road

There are so many things to consider when driving in a new place, especially one as large as the USA. Road rules and regulations can change from state to state, but a few things like planning out your fuel stops or paying attention to road closures, always stay the same.

These do’s and don’ts will not only help you survive your great American road trip, but make the most out of every second of it.

DO…

  • Be aware of the overall rules of the road in the USA, as well as individual State driving regulations. AAA is a good source for learning state road rules. Also pay attention the traffic signs while driving, such as those that advise turning your headlights on in the day on certain strips of road.
  • Plan your fuel stops ahead. The price of gas in the USA soars in secluded area as well as expensive places to live. Plus, each state taxes fuel differently, so while it might go for $2.99 a gallon in Arizona, it costs $4.09 a gallon in California. Websites like Gas Buddy can help you plan where to get the cheapest gas.
  • A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the roadReview your route of travel before setting off. A lot of National Parks in the USA are drive-through, so rather than planning to stay in one location for three days, stay at a few different spots along the way to avoid backtracking.
  • Look into road closures and warnings. Snow, mudslides, rock fall, ice, potholes and roadworks. There are a number of reasons a road in the USA will close with little warning. Pay attention to updates on local radio stations, especially in the winter months.
  • Share your road trip with a friend. More than any other form of travel, it’s best to have someone with you on a road trip. Mainly to share those moments when you’re driving along and something incredible pops up and to keep things more interesting on long drives, but also to share the driving, cost of fuel and to help with navigation when you’re behind the wheel.
  • A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the roadBring Snacks. Keep a few food and drinks in the front of the car to save yourself from stopping every time you feel hungry, which wastes time that could be spent reaching a destination. Ideal snacks in the USA include Goldfish, beef jerky, pretzels, water, Gatorade and soda. You want foods that aren’t messy or greasy, drinks that will keep you hydrated and caffeinated.
  • Remember tunes and entertainment. Losing radio reception an hour into a four-hour drive is painful. Avoid this by bringing your iPod and an adaptor to car stereo systems. It’s simple enough, but something a lot of road trippers forget. Plus, there are a number of games that will keep you and your passenger content for hours, such as 21 questions.

DON’T…

  • Underestimate distances in the USA. This country is huge. Have a think every time you utter the phrase, “That doesn’t look too far.”, because most of the time, it is. Make sure to find the proper entrance to National Parks. Some can be hundreds of miles long with several entrances, not all open to the public.
  • Think just because something isn’t far in distance, that it will not take long to reach. Some things that must be considered besides distances include traffic (especially in cities,

A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the roadespecially at rush hour) and the types of roads you’ll be driving on (some can wind and bend so much you’re average speed for a while is about 20 mph).

  • Put off restroom stops. As soon as you have to go, make it your aim to stop. You can go miles and miles of a highway with no exits or rest stops in sight. What starts off as, “I can hold it a little longer”, turns into, “I’m going to burst!”.
  • Forget maps or a GPS. Seeing where the road will take you sounds like a good idea, but there are a lot of roads here, some that go in circles or lead no where. Bring navigation devices along, even if you don’t want to plan out your trip.
  • A Survival Guide to hitting the US highways: the dos and donts of the roadStick to the quickest route. Just because Google Maps recommends taking interstate highways, doesn’t mean that’s the best way to reach a place. One of highlights about road tripping in the USA is the drives. Make an effort to get on this country’s famous roads, such as Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway. These roads might take longer to reach your destination, but it’s more about the journey anyway.
  • Speed. It’s really not worth it. Not only is speed tracked by radar from the roads, but it’s also tracked by aircrafts. Plus, the main reason limits are put in place is to avoid accidents and injury. A car crash will ruin so much more than just your road trip.
  • Don’t forget cash. There are some places that still only accept cash and these places are usually the only ones available for hundreds of miles on deserted highways. Plus, you can save about 10 cents per gallon, when you pay for gas in cash.

Love
Lucy xx

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