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August 9, 2013

Cheap Rental Suvs Near Me

By Andrea

GLENORCHY, New Zealand (AP) — We crested a acropolis on the ambagious bank road, and there it was: Middle-earth.

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Rugged, snow-capped mountains glowed in the ambience sun, and brindle blooming pastures confused bottomward to the water’s edge. White peaks soared in the distance. The Misty Mountains, perhaps?

It was accomplished 8 p.m. in backward December — summer in New Zealand — and our ancestors was on Day 4 of an eight-day camper van chance about the South Island. We were headed to a bivouac in Glenorchy, a apple at the arctic tip of Basin Wakatipu, breadth several scenes from “The Lord of the Rings” movies were filmed. It is one of the best unspoiled, magically admirable places I’ve anytime been.

We had aloof larboard the arresting if touristy extreme-sports mecca of Queenstown, breadth bartering bungee jumping started (no, we didn’t try that).

A New Zealander acquaintance had recommended we breach in the quieter, added pastoral Glenorchy, and I’m animated we did. We spent two nights at a absorbing bivouac with hot showers and a affable accepted kitchen. It concluded up actuality the highlight of a cruise abounding with amazing adorableness and memorable experiences.

Our 800-mile (1,300-kilometer) bend south from Christchurch, the South Island’s better city, took us through countryside that at turns reminded me of Scotland, Switzerland, arctic Japan and the U.S. Southwest. We collection accomplished broken mountains, abundant forests, huge arid hills dotted with abrade brush, and blooming pastures with lots and lots of sheep. We chock-full at alabaster dejected lakes whose hue comes from “glacial flour,” bedrock debris arena up by glaciers. We hiked through meadows, accomplished hasty streams and huge bushes of chicken wildflowers. The sun set about 9 p.m., giving us advantageously continued canicule to explore. We didn’t appetite to leave.


Touring in a camper van gave us adaptability to go at our own clip and stop breadth we wanted. It’s a accepted way for both Kiwis (as New Zealanders alarm themselves) and all-embracing tourists to see the country.

New Zealand has a able arrangement of campsites. Some are spartan, with aloof accessible toilets and admission to water, while others accept hot showers, abrasion machines, aggregate kitchens and barbecue grills.

Campsites are abundantly disconnected amid “powered sites,” breadth you can angle up your van to an electrical outlet, and those after power.

Renting a camper van isn’t cheap, but you save on abode and dining aback you’re in a home on wheels. You’re additionally advantageous for the abandon of movement. The best basal campsites are free, and abounding others amount amid 10 and 25 New Zealand dollars (US $7-17) per being per night. Apps such as Campable and CamperMate accommodate accessible information.

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Traveling in a camper van was article our two boyish sons had capital to try aback watching the “Ben 10” animation show, in which the hero’s grandfathering collection about in his RV, “Rust Bucket.”

Our 29-foot- (9-meter) continued agent — a Fiat barter adapted by Germany’s Burstner — was no blight bucket; it was clean, acceptable and operated smoothly, although amplitude was tight. It had two bifold beds, one in a aback allowance that included a toilet and shower, and addition that descended from the beam of the advanced berth with the advance of a button.

It additionally had a tiny kitchen with three gas burners, a bore and baby refrigerator. The advanced two seats swiveled about to face a table abaft which the added two associates of our ancestors sat while active and for meals. We additionally ate at barbecue tables or accepted dining areas, breadth we heard French, German, Hebrew and added languages.

Every added day, we alone by a “dump site” to actuate of toilet decay and “gray water” (sink decay water). Our boys helped with the auctioning duties, and the acquaintance accomplished us all to be added acquainted of our circadian water, activity and decay needs — things we booty for accepted at home.

I begin the agent accessible to drive, although added attention was bare activity about corners. Active on the larboard may be arduous for some, as able-bodied as application roundabouts, or cartage circles, which are accepted in New Zealand.


It bound became bright that my antecedent route, which included a run out to Milford Sound, was ever ambitious, so we scaled back. Instead of accoutrement a lot of ground, we spent added time savoring below locations, and that accepted to be the appropriate call.

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Our aboriginal algid was Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, additionally accepted as “Aoraki,” or “Cloud Piercer,” in the aboriginal Maori language.

After a continued all-embracing flight and affiliation in Auckland, we best up the camper van abreast Christchurch airport in the afternoon and got a accessible account about how aggregate worked. (There are abounding rental companies, including Maui, Jucy and Wilderness Motorhomes, which we acclimated and liked.)

After stocking up on groceries, we collection a brace hours civil afore weariness prompted me to cull into a simple roadside bivouac aloof as it began to rain. We paid the on-site manager, adapted a simple banquet in our agent and anon fell comatose in our beds as the wind whistled outside.

Waking active to brilliant skies, we collection into arresting country, endlessly to adore fields of amethyst lupins and azure glacier-fed lakes, Tekapo and Pukaki.

As we approached Mt. Cook, its huge white aiguille aback emerged from a breach in the clouds, ascent starkly from the collapsed land. We spent two nights at Glentanner Esplanade Centre, a powered bivouac with nice accessories and angle of Mt. Cook and surrounding peaks.

We had august acclimate the abutting day for an accessible backpack forth a accepted aisle below snow-capped ridges to abreast the basal of the shrinking Hooker Glacier, at the bottom of Mt. Cook.

How abounding canicule a anniversary do you get bright skies like this? I asked a esplanade official. Maybe one, he said.

We hiked above the end of the trail, ascendance over rocks against the berg — which appeared gray, like bedraggled ice at the end of winter — and chock-full at a little acropolis breadth my son congenital a abundance and my wife sun-bathed on a boulder.


I anticipation that acquaintance would be adamantine to beat, but Glenorchy topped it.

As we collection south accomplished river valleys and vineyards to Queenstown, set on a tiny basin of Basin Wakatipu, the backward afternoon sun casting an alluring ablaze on the asperous mountains beyond ablaze water.

After active through town, abounding with tourists and chichi apartments, we chock-full at a little bank breadth our boys skipped rocks and played with driftwood.

Hopping aback in the camper van and active to Glenorchy on a alley adhering the lake, we crested a acropolis about a half-hour after for a amazing appearance that fabricated me smile: We’re spending the night in Middle-earth.

Actually, we backward at Mrs. Woolly’s Bivouac in the average of the little town. It had a apple-pie accepted kitchen and affable indoor/outdoor bistro area. A seven-minute hot battery amount NZ $2 (US $1.33), and there was a admirable allowance boutique abutting door.

We catholic at Christmastime, aback lots of added camper vans are on the road, so I aloof a brace campsites online advanced of time, including this one. Otherwise, we begin amplitude at sites forth the way.

Lake Wakatipu is too algid for swimming, but you can appoint kayaks and bikes, go parasailing or appoint a helicopter to fly you over the peaks and lake. Or aloof go for one of the area’s abounding breathtaking walks. Some apparel action tours of locations breadth scenes from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies were filmed.


Our ancestors took a memorable backpack up adjacent Mt. Judah. Under clement skies, we absolved up a aisle lined with chicken wildflowers. This campaign angry into our own mini-“Lord of the Rings” chance aback the aisle led abroad from the summit, bidding us to ambuscade the final third, up a abrupt abruptness of blooming underbrush to the top. (New Zealand has no snakes or ample agrarian mammals, although we did appointment some goats.)

From the summit, we were adored with beauteous angle of Basin Wakatipu and craggy, aerial peaks in every direction.

After a picnic, we bushwhacked aback bottomward to the aisle and descended to our camper van in the afternoon sun. During the absolute backpack we met six people.

Our campaign would go on to accommodate stops at Wanaka, on addition admirable lake, and Oamaru, on the east bank breadth we encountered baby penguins that came aground at night to sleep. We could apprehend them cackle from central our van.

After a accomplishing eight days, we alternate the camper van after any mishaps, accepting acquired a new adulation for this admirable country and its affable bodies — and a renewed acknowledgment for hot showers, carrion systems and our beyond kitchen at home. It was a abundant way to acquaintance New Zealand and body ancestors memories, and I’m already envisioning my abutting camper van adventure.

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