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

 

 

 

Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford SoundDear Diary

So another spectacular week in Milford Sound. Does it really get any better than this? Blue, blue skies, sparkling sunshine and plenty of happy travellers enjoying their pleasure cruise in Milford Sound. Even working here, you have to continually pinch yourself to ensure you don’t take the breath-taking scenery for granted!

Summer not only brings some amazing weather to Fiordland, but we also get the chance to meet and say hello to our big cousin cruise ships that visit the coast of New Zealand, including Milford Sound.

On Waitangi day, (a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document in 1840)  it was the turn of the Caledonian Sky to come into the Milford fjord. The Caledonian Sky is  a beautiful boutique cruise ship which along with its sister ship Island Sky, are said to be two of the finest small cruise ships currently at sea anywhere in the world, operating in the niche luxury cruise market.

Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound       Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

Caledonian Sky was completing a 14-day cruise of New Zealand waters and turning around ready to embark on another 14 day luxury, educational,  cruise experience. It was a pleasure to meet all the passengers and in particular have the opportunity to spend some time with the crew whilst they enjoyed a short period of R+R onshore. We wish our new friends a great cruise, safe passage and an amazing New Zealand experience.

Until next time!

Love Lucy & The JUCY Cruize team xx

Dear Diary,

Hello again from Milford Sound! Wow – some absolutely incredible bluebird days along with thundery, heavy rainfall days.  A bit of a mixture, and that is why we love it here.

Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

Two weeks ago we had a pod of Orca Whales venture into the Fiord to say hello. Was amazing!! A first for many guests and also for the staff in here.

Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound Dear Diary:  An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

If you are thinking about driving into our beautiful slice of paradise, get your cameras ready for a wild and exciting adventure.

See you soon.  Love,

Lucy & JUCY Cruize Milford Sound Team

Chances are, you’re cruising around New Zealand in your favorite JUCY Wheels to either jump from bridges, hike mountains, frollick through the vineyards, visit the local pub, or all of the above.

Whichever may be your cup of tea, you best stretch your tight buttocks and back when you stop for a cup of tea.  You wouldn’t want to pull a hammie before your sledging escapades, would you?

After extensive research with JUCY’s Coco the Social Cabana, we present to you our second series of stretches (with a fun twist to their names of course). This way you can stay loose and limber for anything, whether it be a stand up paddle adventure with dolphins or a late night dance party.  And if you missed Part 1 of this post, then you can check it out here

POP A SQUAT

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road   Part 2!

Why?
-Stretch out your ankles, calves, groin, and lower back!
-Though passerby’s might get the wrong impression of what you’re up to, this is quite a restorative and soothing pose.

How?
-With heels turned in, toes out, lower down to ‘pop a squat’ with heels low to the ground.
-If this is too tight, widen stance.
-Lengthen your spine, sitting up as tall as possible, keeping your chest lifted.
-Place hands at heart center, tuck elbows inside of knees and press outward for a deeper stretch through the inner thighs.

SPREAD ‘EM
This picture was taken at the center of New Zealand, in Nelson. There’s no better place to spread ‘em, right?

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road   Part 2!

Why?
-Ease up any backaches.
-Calms the brain from all the insanity you’ve been up to.
-Stretches your hamstrings, inner thighs, and spine.
-This can be done with arms your straight out to your side, but with the arms clasped behind your back you get a better stretch for your shoulders and chest. Yay!

How?
-Legs wide, feet parallel.
-Interlace fingers behind you (if this is too tight, clasp opposite elbows).
-With a flat back, hinge at hips forward.
-Shift weight into toes, bend knees if it’s too tight in the hamstrings.
-To deepen the stretch, engage your quads, drawing your kneecaps upwards.
-Relax your head (yes, your neck is tense).

SUPERSTAR (with a chest expansion)
Have you ever seen Saturday Night Live’s Mary Katherine Gallagher by Molly Shannon? Well you should, and then this reference would make a lot more sense.

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road   Part 2!

Why?
-Opens up your chest and shoulders after all that kayaking, mountain biking, and driving. -Give your hips some love, they deserve it! This is an amazing stretch for your hip flexors and quads.
-Strengthens your thighs, abdominals, glutes.
-Improves balance (so when you walk along the narrow ledge of the Auckland Sky Tower over 1000 feet in the air, you’ll be able to strike a yoga pose, no problem!).

How?
-Place right leg forward into a lunge position.
-Front knee is directly over your ankle.
-Back heel is lifted.
-Hips and shoulders squared off towards the front.
-If too tight in the hips or back, bend your back knee (as seen here).
-Draw your tailbone under slightly to avoid over arching your back.
-Either lift arms high to the sky (a proper “Superstar” pose) or interlace hands behind your back for a chest expansion (as seen here).

*SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t forget to give your JUCY a hug.

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road   Part 2!

These awesome stretches and tips were brought to you by Jaime Komer.  Jaime Komer is a certified yoga, pilates, and spin instructor, and an Olympic Silver Medalist in Water Polo. You might see her testing out her own crazy stretches while traversing New Zealand’s roads in JUCY’s Coco the Social Cabana. Her most recent adventure: The Sweaty New Zealand Challenge at www.athleteyogitraveler.com.

Love
Lucy xx

 

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road!Get down and dirty. Get the blood flowing.

You’ve been cruising along in your JUCY mobile, the “pimp my ride” company of car & campervan rentals. As much as you love your bright green and purple set of wheels, you definitely don’t like the uncomfortable imprint you’re a** is making in the seat. Sorry, it’s inevitable, you’re driving.

Awkwardly stiff legs and achy backs may be a side effect of touring around on a fun adventure for hours, but do not be dismayed, there is hope!

Next time you stop your snazzy ride for a fuel up (mental, physical, or purely for petrol), don’t let your inhibitions stop you, it’s time to strike a pose!

Here’s the first set in a two-part blog on yoga poses that will help lengthen and open up all those achy, tight spots. Your lower back and hip flexors are begging you. Come on don’t be shy, do it for them.

High Plank to Downward Facing Dog

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road! Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road!

Why?

-Lengthens your spine.
-Stretches your hamstrings, calves, achilles tendon, shoulders, and spine.
-Strengthens your wrists, hands shoulders.
-Calms the mind (= less road rage. Phew)
-Feels like you grew an extra inch!

How?

-Plant your hands on the ground and come into a pushup position also known as high plank.
-Hands shoulder width apart and feet are hip width apart.
-Engage your core (the entire area wrapping from around the front of your abs to your back).
-Your body is in one long, straight line from heels to the crown of your head.
-From this high plank, keep hands and feet where they are and lift your tailbone to the sky in a downward facing dog.
-Reach heels towards ground, reach chest towards thighs.
-Now transition back and forth. Inhale to high plank. Exhale to downward facing dog.

Three-Legged Dog

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road!

Why?

-Hip openers are so yummy and highly needed after being in a seated position.

How?

-Lift right leg high to the sky, allowing hips to open and rotate to the right side.
-Bend right knee.
-Even though hips rotate, try to keep shoulders squared off towards the ground.
-If you’re feeling super flexy, you can look for your right foot underneath your left armpit.
-Repeat on left side.

Bonus: Add in a Tricep Pushup!

Get down, dirty & get the blood flowing. A guide to exercise on the road!

-While in High Plank, add tricep pushups for some upper body love.
-Elbows hug your side tightly as you lower down.
-Only lower to your elbow height to protect your shoulder joint.
-Avoid letting your hips dip too low.
-If this is too wild today, you can do these on your knees.

These awesome stretches and tips were brought to you by Jaime Komer.  Jaime Komer is a certified yoga, pilates, and spin instructor, and an Olympic Silver Medalist in Water Polo. You might see her testing out her own crazy stretches while traversing New Zealand’s roads in JUCY’s Coco the Social Cabana. Her most recent adventure: The Sweaty New Zealand Challenge at www.athleteyogitraveler.com.

Love
Lucy xx

We’ve had a very JUCY time cruising up, around and down the Fiord here in Milford over the past few weeks. It has been crazy with the road closures of late – tipping the daily routine into a mix bag (spice of life!).

We have since had a whole week of sunshine which was AWESOME.  Everyone was outside soaking up the spring sun. Occasionally an evening storm roared and help create waterfalls that went up (watercups) instead of down, and staggered across the mountains – definitely an impressive way to experience Milford Sound!

Dear Diary: An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound  Dear Diary: An update from JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

At the moment the Fiordland Crested Penguins are in breeding season, so we have been seeing them regularly throughout the cruises – very exciting for us the crew, and of course for our JUCY guests!

The JUCY Cruize Milford Team have been thrilled to have shared our beautiful home with so many people these past weeks – guests from all around the world (Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, Scotland, Israel and Australia, just to name a few).

For those of you yet to venture into Milford Sound – we can’t wait to see you!

Cheers
Alex, Tristan, Courtney, Dave, Lou, Roger  and of course Lucy! xx

Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: An adventure with Daniel & ElliottMeet Daniel & Elliott (pictured left) who are the latest lucky people who got to take Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure around the South Island of New Zealand.  It sounds and looks like they had heaps of fun!  If you’re keen to check out more photos from their trip you can do so here.  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  Read More

Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & HannahMeet Kathleen & Hannah who are the latest lucky people who got to take Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure around the South Island of New Zealand.  It sounds and looks like they had heaps of fun and even faced their fears of driving on the “other side of the road”!  If you’re keen to check out more photos from their trip you can do so here.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Coco away on an adventure yourself.  She is FREE!  Check out www.jucy4free.co.nz  Love, Lucy xx

P.S  If you want to follow Kathleen on more of her personal adventures you can follow her own blog here neverhaveievernz.blogspot.com

Okay folks, I have really hit the ground running with this whole “try something new” game I’m playing. Today I drove on the left side of the road. And no one got hurt. Not even any sheep!  This is how this came to be…

So, once upon a time there was this little thing called “Twitter” where people were free to post sarcastic, funny, self-deprecating, sometimes mean, sometimes nice things about the people and places in their lives. Businessmen and advertisers (sometimes also considered “people”) also use this service to make themselves known in the lives of us mere citizens. When I decided I was going to NZ, I promptly began following a number of NZ affiliated Twitter accounts (including but not limited to: New Zealand Wine, and the NZ Rugby team All Blacks).

This brought me to JUCY.  And although the Twitter account was labeled “JUCY LUCY”, a name I have reserved space in my mind (and heart) for a particular beef + cheese item, I was intrigued. And you know what else? They had chutzpah. Maybe it was just the green and purple website, who can say for sure, but I decided they needed to be followed by me. On Twitter.

Turns out they are a car rental company. Didn’t see that coming.

After months of helpful advice and the kind of sassy tweets I have come to expect from this service, this arrived in my newsfeed (or whatever the Twitter version is called):

Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & Hannah

And I was like “ME! I feel like a free roadtrip!” Because A) free is my favorite price and B) it is called “Coco our Social Cabana”, how can I pass something like that up? I entered the contest and the rest is history–except that I should really mention how incredibly helpful they were!  They responded in lightning speed fashion and emailed back and forth with me until we were able to find a date that would work for all of us; me/Hannah, the JUCY staff and Coco the Social Cabana.Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & Hannah

So here we are. After making initial plans to start in the North Island, this fabulous opportunity had us racing south, to Queenstown, to pick up Coco for a week long luxury vacation.

We step off the plane in Queenstown and are immediately struck by the insane beauty; gorgeous snow capped mountains surround the area. Then I become struck by fear and anxiety as I begin to realize that I will soon be placed behind the wheel of a vehicle, on the right side of the car, driving on the left side of the road. This was my overall emotion as a I sat behind the wheel, willing myself to drive out of the parking lot.

After what seemed like at least 32 roundabouts/rotarys we were on the main road that lead us to Wanaka, luckily it was a straight shot, no turns needed! I  started to relax and by the time we made it to Wanaka I think I was downright confident in my driving abilities.

Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & HannahWanaka is a beautiful lake down, dedicated to the life of skiing and snowboarding. One of Hannah’s friends has been living in Wanaka since July, so we popped on over there to check it out.  After two nights in Wanaka, and a hike to the top of a hill for a wine tasting at Rippon Vineyard, we decided we needed to actually fully utilize the free van we were given, so we headed north to check out the famous Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.

The drive north took us nearly four hours through some winding roads. I held my own though and made it through, continuing to keep us safe on the left side of the road. We stopped at the famous Blue Pools, then continued to the glaciers. As we walked toward the glacier it felt like something straight out of Land Before Time (or Jurassic Park I guess, whichever one you identify with more, picture that). As with most everything, it costs money to go on an actual tour in which you are able to touch the glaciers and walk through them. Seeing as how we have minimum amounts of dollars, we decided to do the free version, so we were still quite a few meters away. But we felt/saw the beauty, even from afar!

Afterwards we drove to Okarito a tiny tiny tiny “town” where we were able to set up camp and stay the night. We were able to make dinner in the back of Coco and enjoy the company of a lovely Kiwi/UK couple fishing for whitebait, which is apparently a type of fish that “Doesn’t taste particularly good and you don’t use it for anything” yet it is an expensive commodity…Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & Hannah

The next day as we began to fill up our gas tank, we realized that gas is actually extremely absurdly priced here in this lovely little island. SO we decided to head back towards Wanaka for some cheaper activities.

We decided to tramp (hike) through Mt. Aspiring National Park and stay over night at one of the huts located on the hike. It was a two hour tramp from the car park, through a beautiful valley. Walking just a few feet away from cows and sheep, fording rivers and climbing lots of rocks. We arrived at the hut, which is used primarily in the summertime (remember its winter here right now people!) as a pit stop for trampers as they continue on.

Because we are super smart and clearly very well prepared in all aspects of life, we somehow thought it would be a good idea to begin the tramp at 4:45pm. (Our late arrival was also in part due to the sheep blocking our way!) Meaning we arrived about 10 minutes before the sun set, reealllly cutting it close! There was no electricity, just a bunch of mats to sleep on and a fireplace. Again, this is meant to be used primarily during the summer months…and now we know why.

Tales from Coco our Social Cabana: Driving on the other side of the road with Kathleen & HannahWe quickly built the fire (thanks to all of our cumulative girl scout skills) and promptly huddled around it (along with the bottles of wine that are obviously important additions to any long hike) all night long. The fire of course went out in the middle of the night, just as a massive rain storm came through the valley. The next morning we had to hike back….still a two hour hike…through rain rain rain and winds reaching close to 70 or 80 mph. If you recall, it seems as though the only way I like to hike, is if I am going to end up being in miserable pain the next day; 35 mile overnight hike. This experience wasn’t nearly as bad as that though, it was actually pretty amazing, the land was virtually untouched making 360 views constantly breathtaking.

For our final night we drove to Queenstown, the location where we were meant to return the vehicle. Queenstown is the “adventure capital of New Zealand” but we didn’t have time to take part in any of those crazy activities, stay tuned in the coming months for those…

It was sad to see our purple gas guzzling monstrosity go, but it was time for another lucky few to have their way with her. She definitely earned her stripes as we drove through the Crown Range and up the West Coast. She provided a lovely sleeping facility + kitchen + lounge PLUS she was FREE so it was really beyond splendid.

Check out the official “The Daily Dump Snow Reports” bringing you updates from all the major events in New Zealand this winter. We’ve hooked these guys up with some JUCY Wheels to get them around while they are filming the reports. Here is the footage from the last few days. Enjoy! Love Lucy xx

 

Ohau Turns it On, its a Powder day! 11th Sep, Day 36. from The Daily Dump Snow Report on Vimeo.

Olivia Jones and Lucy Hayes, both 14 years old and local Wanaka Grom’s. 14thSep, Day 39 from The Daily Dump Snow Report on Vimeo.

SNOW is the word around Milford at the moment look – just look at these photos. We have had all weather this week, snow, storms, hail and avalanches. It’s been great fun in a winter kind of way!

Dear Diary: A week that’s been at JUCY Cruize Milford Sound  Dear Diary: A week that’s been at JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

Had 2 lovely honeymoon couples coming on our cruise this week. One on our Jucy coach from Queenstown and the other on our Jucy coach from Te Anau and both on the same day!  Seals and penguins still around this week, which has been awesome.  We love it when we can show people wildlife!

Hope to see you all down here soon to come and look at beautiful Milford in the snow and have a play, just like these guys…..

Dear Diary: A week that’s been at JUCY Cruize Milford Sound

If you have already cruised with us and loved your JUCY Experience then please vote for us in the Golden Backpack Awards.  You can vote under the NZ section as the Best Activity/Tour Operator  here

Love
Lucy & the JUCY Cruize Milford Sound team

 

Be JUCY, Live JUCY, Rent JUCY