Boondockers Welcome in New Zealand

Submitted by Sundance

We have been members of Boondockers Welcome since 2012, when we toured across Canada and back for 6 months.  Since then we have made use of ‘ Boondockers Welcome’ on most of our travels. We have also had the privilege of hosting folk from all around the world, many who we continue to be in touch with.  France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, the US, New Zealand, and of course from all over Canada.

In January 2019, we headed off to the South Island of New Zealand for a month, along with our bicycles. Air New Zealand, considers a boxed bicycle to be one of your two pieces of allowable luggage.  We were looking forward to exploring some of their reclaimed rail line cycle paths.

Our Caravan – that is kiwi speak for what we in North America call a motorhome – was a 4 berth Kia Breeze from Kia Ora Campers in Christchurch. We chose this unit as it had a pull-down queen size bed that meant we could leave our main eating/sitting area as cluttered as we wished all the time.  The caravan also came equipped with a bicycle rack.

In New Zealand, the government has several options for camping.  If you have a certified self-contained unit (freshwater and grey and black tanks) there are hundreds of ‘Freedom Camping’ spots throughout the islands.  Another is DOC (Department of Conservation) wilderness campgrounds, some with hookups for power and water. There is also the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) which offers a similar program to ‘Boondockers Welcome’, except you must be a New Zealand citizen to join and use it.

Then to our delight, there were at the time of our trip three ‘Boondockers Welcome’ members in the country. One is on the North Island.
There are two Boondockers Welcome members on the South Island and we were able to stay at both of them. Robster66 in Arrowtown and Boswells Berth near Havelock. Both were excited to have us stay, and both told us we had the privilege of being their very first Boondocker guests. They were very welcoming and gave us much helpful information on things to do in their areas. They tell us that they became hosts after they used the Boondockers Welcome system in North America when on vacations here. 

Marianne and Anna, you must feel very gratified that your ‘baby’ is expanding around the world. I know we are! Thanks for some fabulous Boondocking experiences over the years.

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