I want to move to New Zealand.
I seriously love California. I do.
But New Zealand is magic.
Miles and I rented a campervan (from Wilderness, which I highly recommend) and drove around the North Island looking for waves and freedom camping.
Freedom camping is this amazing thing where you can just pull off on the side of the road if you see somewhere beautiful and spend the night (as long as there are no signs saying you can’t, and as long as you are self-contained, meaning you have a toilet and wastewater tank). It was one of the best things about the trip. It gave us the freedom to pick up and go whenever and wherever we wanted to. No reservations, and no timeline, and we didn’t pay a cent for a campsite the whole time. Not to mention we woke up in some absolutely amazing spots.
We spent some time in Gisborne which is a surf city with a few places to eat, Sunshine Brewery and a variety of breaks to choose from. From there we headed to the Mahia Penninsula which was much more quiet, and also had a variety of breaks, some of which were more sheltered from the wind (which blew for a good 3 days straight, during which we checked out a natural hotspring). After Mahia (which was my favorite spot) we headed down to Hawke’s Bay to do some mountain biking and check out the vineyards, and then headed across the country where we got a good glimpse of Tangariro covered in snow. We spent almost every night watching the sun set, drinking wine, eating cheese and playing cards in our campervan. There weren’t a lot of showers, and I could not keep myself from laughing every time we had to go to the dump station when the toilet tank became too full. It was the best trip we’ve been on thus far. For sure.
If you’re looking for a good surf guide to the spots in New Zealand, I totally recommend this book. It was really accurate and detailed with all the spots and how to access them.
We’ll be back for you New Zealand.