That Night We Slept in a Caravan
Although not quite as interesting-sounding as the Night we Slept in a Barn or the Night we Slept in a Treehouse, and definitely not as intriguing as The Night we Ran out of Petrol and Slept in Our Car (–> that story coming your way later this week!!) this was not something that we planned for. I guess none of the aforementioned sleeping plans were planned! Nevertheless, we had no idea that we would be spending a night in a cute little caravan in a bush setting while we were in New Zealand. Initially, I had hoped we could do the entire trip in a camper van, but it was just too expensive for us to do it that way.
So how did this come about?
Life was insanely busy before our Australia-New Zealand adventure! In fact, it was busy until the day before we left. We barely did any planning. We had a rental car orangised, and few accommodations booked, and we knew what route we wanted to drive. But honestly, nothing was set in stone. It was us and the open road. The only problem was that we had NO IDEA that New Zealand would be more expensive, and have less availability, than anywhere else we have been. There was also very little phone signal, even with local sim cards. Finding accommodation on my phone, while Justin as driving, proved to be quite challenging!
We highly suggest more extensive planning for a New Zealand trip – HOWEVER our years of travel and life in China have taught us to be pretty resourceful! We couldn’t find any accommodation-options, anywhere near our budget-range, and then we came across this on AirBnb:
“Relax in our recently renovated 4 berth 1973 caravan with awning, overlooking gorgeous native bush in a secluded, private location. Double bed and two small singles, own cooking facilities, heater, shared bathroom, and wifi. Perfect for two or a small family. Close to Greymouth, Punakaiki, Hokitika and our fabulous cycle path. Friendly hosts with lots of local knowledge. The space: Lots of time, care and hard work has been put into renovating our caravan. We think it’s really cute and hope you love it as much as we do. The caravan is perfect for couples, but we also use it for holidaying as a family with our two small children and find it great for kids. We have a porta-cot and high chair available for your use, as well as kids toys, books, a trampoline, sandpit and mud kitchen.”
SOUNDS GOOD TO US! Everything we need for a quick stop-over night.
We were a little apprehensive since AirBnb has become a bit of a sham-fest now. There are countless misleading posts, so we were a little nervous about what we would find when we got to this caravan in Greymouth. We arrived late in the day, and our hosts came out to greet us. They were so welcoming and kind that we immediately felt happy with our decision to trust this post.
Our host left a detailed description for everything in the caravan, and also told us that we could enter their home to use the shower and bathroom. Since there was a portable toilet next to our caravan, we found it very kind that they were still willing to open their home to us. Such a memorable stay with warmhearted family.
When we woke up the in the morning, we took our time getting ready. We were well-rested and we had some food for breakfast. While I did my hair in the caravan, Justin and Eli played.
After we had packed up, we said goodbye to the retro caravan and made our way into Greymouth.
Left, The Hokitika Clock Tower
Hokitika is a small town in the West Coast region of New Zealand’s South Island. It is 40 kilometers south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. According to the 2013 New Zealand census, there are less than 3000 people living in this town. That is probably less than the apartment complex population in China!
On a clear day Aoraki / Mount Cook can clearly be seen from Hokitika’s main street. This Hikitika Clock Tower and main street had a decent amount of traffic around it – for a small town. While Justin went to buy some more groceries and fill up with fuel, Eli and I checked out a little souvenir store on the main street.
Our Next Stop: Hokitika Gorge