With a slight nervousness, we set off north towards Hokitika, stopping briefly at Franz Josef for supplies and to post letters home. As we drove on the twisting and turning New Zealand roads, yet again we had campervan problems, so we decided we would stop at the first place we had a phone signal in – this was Hari Hari around 90 minutes into our journey and whilst Sarah called the rental company, the girls explored the small park with a funky maze of tiles.
It seemed that the rental company were not overly concerned with our plight, however, we were as at this point our plans had been to drive back towards Christchurch from Hokitika via Lewis Pass – the northernmost pass through the Southern Alps. Dave and Sarah both agreed that driving through this, or indeed Arthur’s Pass – the two main routes back was too dangerous with the girls and so we continued to push the rental company to send us a replacement vehicle.
We.headed a little further north whilst we waited for news, and stopped near a park in the small town of Ross for lunch – we saw signs for a swimming pool and decided to explore as we hadn’t expected to find anything in such a small town (Ross has a population of around 290 people according to this article from the New Zealand Herald a few years ago.) The pool whilst small does put some of our town’s facilities to shame!
A silver lining
Our plan had always been to head to Hokitika for the night, so we pressed on and as we were approaching the town the rental company agreed to send us a replacement vehicle – we were thrilled and even better they would pay for our campsite that night!
Determined to check out the boutique site of Links View Holiday Park we asked the rental company to book us a night there, whilst we explored the driftwood sculptures and watched the waves in town, as well as taking a trip down memory lane to find the restaurant and campsite we visited back in 2007. This town has grown and developed a lot since then but still remains as charming as it was before.
We would be remiss in our account if we didn’t tell you about the gem of a campsite we found thanks to our Aussie friends at Fox Glacier. Julian & Kevin had opened Links View earlier in the year and it was a little known site on the outskirts of town. The facilities, basically provided a full on house for us to relax, cook, shower and get our washing done in. Sarah was even able to work there!
Julian and Kevin were really supportive with our campervan problems; and we ended up staying for two nights. The hosts took the girls out each morning (on a quad bike – no English Health and Safety here!) to fetch fresh eggs for breakfast, there was an abundance of kiwi fruits, and we went off on an evening excursion with other campers to see the famous glowworms. As we sat discussing our plans for the rest of our trip with Kevin he gave us lots of advice to led to us completely changing all our plans, and before we left after our second night here, in our new(ish) motorhome we were treated to freshly made scones and cream from Julian.
We’ll share more about our time in Hokitika and our new plans in a further blog.