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A Grand Adventure (Blog Comp Entry)

The idea of this challenge is to come up with a grand adventure costing £1,000 not including the flights. Not including flights? Well in that case I’ll go as far as possible… And the first place that came into my head was New Zealand – that’s a pretty long way away and the flight itself would be an adventure!

New Zealand has been on my list of places I’d like to visit for many years. Apart from being on the other side of the world – which appeals in itself – I see it as a destination that can offer so much. Green fields, forests, sea, sand, hills, mountains, snow. A little bit of everything. Everyone I know who has taken the trip over there has fallen in love with the place, and I have seen loads of it on the telly and, well, I’d simply like to go.

I would want to see New Zealand one of two ways… either in a Camper Van (I’m thinking Vanilla Split Screen, you know, retro) or on a motorbike (some sort of endure bike like my F650GS, but perhaps with a bigger engine). For the purposes of this blogger challenge, and to keep things simple, I chose to look into hiring a Camper Van.

The challenge is to get away for as long as possible. How about two whole months?! And that wouldn’t even max out the budget. Escape Rentals are currently offering a two month rental in the winter for $1,000. Wow. On todays exchange rate that would be £530 which is only half the budget. That’s actually pretty awesome! And while the vans aren’t vanilla split screens, they look totally amazing – look…

Camper Van Images from Escape Rentals

The question is, though, could we explore the whole of NZ for two months on £470? If the budget has to include food and fuel then no, almost certainly not. But if it doesn’t include those things then that money could stretch a really long way and LincsGeek and I could have a really amazing time. For a start one of the best reasons to see the country in a Camper Van is so you are right in the middle of all the breath taking scenery on offer. You don’t have to rely on transport – you are in the transport all the time. Perfect. So we could dip in the hot pools of Kerosene Creek, do the Waitomo glow worm walk, wander around the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, tramp the volcanic sands of Tongariro Crossing, and all for free.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

I would use the rest of the budget to sprinkle some paid for fun in amongst all that walking and exploring. Some of the world’s best activities are said to be in New Zealand. I’m talking about the Nevis Bungy bungee jump ($249 for the jump and $50 for a spectator from Haka Tours NZ), go on a “floatplane” flight over Mt. Tarawera ($215 each with Volcanic Air), have a surfing lesson ($60 each with Muriwai Surf School) and whale watching ($145 each with Whale Watch New Zealand). All that takes me just over the budget.

Nevis Bungy

Whale Watching New Zealand

But – the biggest problem with all this making use of a special offer to spend two months in NZ is that the temperatures in June, July and August are very much on a par with the December, January and February temperatures here in the UK. So +10 to -10. Really? In a Camper Van? In winter? Well it would be an adventure!!

What am I saying? Well maybe instead of spending $1,000 on two months in winter I should go for 25 days for $999 instead? Just under a month is still a pretty long holiday – I’ve never had a holiday that long – and it would mean things were quite a bit warmer and I’m sure LincsGeek and I would much prefer it a few degrees warmer.

That settles it then. With £1,000 I can afford to take LincsGeek on a grand adventure to New Zealand, taking our hired custom camper van to see loads of amazing scenery, walking plenty of miles, paddling in the sea, climbing lots of hills, seeing lots of wildlife, maybe watching a tribal dance or two if we can bag an invitation, and having a go at a few “bucket list” experiences too.

What would you do?

Disclaimer: This is my entry to A Grand Adventure blogger competition being run by Money Supermarket.com. I should add that I have no experience of any of the companies I’ve mentioned in this post – do let me know if you recommend them!
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