Funny enough on our flight to Melbourne on the way to Auckland, James sat next to a (young) Peter Jackson look alike. As tempted as James was to ask to take a photo together (photo caption: "I sat next to Peter Jackson's son!!") he turned out to be such a nice guy, telling us about his family and asking about our travels, we just couldn't do it. In New Zealand we agreed to take a few days to focus on the blog before diving into a new country. We treated ourselves to a nice hotel at Skycity (the “needle” in the Auckland skyline), enticed by unlimited free wifi. Although there was discount since we were hotel guests, in the end we did not base jump from the top of the tower. After blogging and web surfing to our hearts content, we returned to hostel life and planned our route through New Zealand by campervan. After extensive research we rented an Escape Campervan as it appeared to meet all our needs and was the cheapest by far even with full insurance coverage.
NZ makes cross country travel by RV or Campervan super convenient with well maintained roads, plenty of signage and holiday parks for overnight or extended stays. A holiday park offers cabins or campsites with/without power for RV/Vans. There are communal facilities for cooking, showers/toilets, playgrounds and sometimes a sauna or pool. Holiday parks are privately owned, so each one will offer different amenities and facilities can greatly vary depending on the owners.
We went food shopping (bought way too much, get me in a supermarket and my true Americanism is revealed) and headed out on the open road with all our needs self-contained including an unlocked mobile hotspot for basic wifi, which we invested in because it will work across SE Asia.
Surf spots, natural wonders and timing to see both the North and South Island in 19 days, shaped the route we took. Not an easy feat, especially when weather comes into play cause rain when living out of a van = uncomfortable, smelly dampness 24/7.