Who / What is Jezebel? Jezebel is the campervan that hosted our newest RidePost team member, Eric, as he roadtripped around New Zealand. Jezebel was so great, he even wrote a song about her. Eric’s trip sounded pretty awesome, so we invited him to tell his story here. Enjoy!
Last spring, I did a study abroad semester at a university in Wellington, New Zealand. We had a two week spring break from class, so my two best friends and I decided to do a road trip together. Our goal was to see as much of the North Island as we possibly could, so we concluded that renting a campervan for two weeks was the best way to do this. This way, we could go wherever we wanted, could save money by splitting the cost of gas three ways, and we wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of scheduling airlines and buses. The fact that our ride was a campervan meant that we could also avoid having to pay for hostels, and allowed us to spend the night anywhere we wanted to. Since we were in New Zealand, this meant that we were camping right next to gorgeous beaches or mountains every single night!
Over the course of our trip we traveled over 1600 miles, stopping at beautiful beaches, historically-rich cities and towns, forest preserves, waterfalls, caves, ocean overlooks, mountains, and anything else in our travel book that sounded cool. Here are some of my favorites:
We stopped and did a hike at a Kauri tree forest that was really mind blowing. A kauri is a rare type of ancient tree that has been around since the Jurassic Period. The kauri in this picture is the largest of its kind at about 170 ft. tall and 45 ft. around, and is estimated to be about 2000 years old. The native people of New Zealand consider it to be the sacred life-giver of everything on the island.
There is a place called Cathedral Cove up on the Coromandel Peninsula that was absolutely breath-taking. It is this massive tunnel that cuts beneath a cliff face on the northern coast, connecting two beaches together. There is clear blue water, white sand beaches, views all around, and all sorts of huge caves cut into the side of the rock. My description won’t do it justice, but this picture will help you get an idea.
Whangarei Falls is an 85 ft. waterfall that lies just outside of the town of Whangarei. You wouldn’t guess it from the picture, but its actually only like 100 ft from the road. We stopped on the way just because of how convenient it was and were totally unprepared for how awesome of a waterfall it turned out to be.
My advice for anyone traveling to New Zealand is to rent a campervan. Even if you can easily afford to stay in a hotel every night, the campervan is still a better option because you can literally stay almost anywhere you want for free. We would visit a beautiful beach and instead of leaving at the end of the day to go back to the nearby town – like most of the rest of the tourists – we would just sleep there for the night. This way we were getting to see the sunset and sunrise and enjoying the benefits of having the whole place to ourselves nearly every time. One night we were doing some late driving attempting to cover more ground, and we ended up pulling over on the side of the road and just making camp there for the night. The next morning we were greeted with this view.
Up next, I’d like to do a road trip down to Charleston sometime this summer. I’ve never been and I keep hearing more and more good things about it, so I think its time I went to go see for myself.
If you want to learn more about roadtripping in New Zealand, give Eric a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.