New Zealand is a beautiful country and we have always enjoyed discovering and touring its towns and country side. Our first touring vehicle, was a 1952 Jowett, Bradford named “Jesobell”. She was hauled out of a paddock, and I kind of restored her. As well as a qualified gold and silver smith, I’m a handy woodworker, which worked cause “Jesobel” was mostly made out of wood. She served us well, with many a trip too the central North Island and around the East Cape to Gisborne.
Our latest vehicle is a 1992 Toyota Hiace called “Big White” .We chose the Hiace because we needed a multi purpose vehicle. Anything much bigger would have sat unused for most of the time. So even though “Big White" has a Hightop we can still sneak into most parking buildings and she gets used more than our Mitsubishi car.
Bought as an empty van, we tailor made the interior.Having looked over many boats, campers and motor homes and talking with lots of people, we knew what we wanted. This type of construction is an art form, keeping the weight down, maximising the use of space, and still keeping it convenient and livable.
We have toured with “Big White” for two years now and are surprised at just how well it suits our needs. If you’re thinking about a similar project, the time you spend looking, talking, researching, even hiring similar vehicles to try them out is essential and will pay off.
We kept it very basic, gas cooker, ice fridge, rechargable lighting, porta potti and, a galley pump for water. But we can be self sufficient and comfortable for up to three days.We found with camping grounds if you’re not dependant on a powered site,you can be away from the more crowded areas.
Ok,we don’t have a microwave but our last meal, having been on the road for some time, was King prawns fried with garlic salt, advocardo salad and pita bread, with a beer, looking out at the sunset over Opononi, Hokianga Harbour, The Far North, Northland New Zealand, perrrrrrfect………
Of course the main reason for the van, is for “Sam”, being a dog and especially a poodle, always willing, always forgiving, but always ready to GO!! If those key words “walk”or “Van”, are hinted at or mentioned, it’s a hit every time, and he’s there, ready and willing, another day, another adventure.
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So, in conclusion, if your reading this article in some far off land, New Zealand is a beautiful country, full of friendly people, put it on your list of things to do and places to go, you won’t be disappointed.
Rick and Jenny Bromhead
Jewellery designers and manufacturers. Based in Northland New Zealand, love to travel and delight in encouraging others to do the same.
We have produced a range of unique jewellery designs from New Zealand’s traditional Maori Koru, birds and forest, fish and sea shells.
If you are travelling through the Northland region,you are welcome to call(by appointment) at our studio workshop.
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Jewellery designed and made in New Zealand
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