Catlins, Otago, South Island, New Zealand
Cue, yippies, jumps for joy, yahoos!
We had our first booking from a stranger, someone who didn’t know us, someone from another country! You can only imagine the excitement, and then the feeling of, OMG this is real, what are we going to do now?
We were positive Rhonda was ready, but only for adults and this booking included a child! Do not fear, kiwi’s are a nation of “get things done” and we did just that – fitted out Rhonda with a child’s car seat, extra seat belts, a sleeping hammock with extra security so there would be no falling out of bed, sending photos all the way along so our people were happy.
Then it was time to meet and greet at the airport – will we recognise our people? Were we totally prepared to walk the walk and talk the talk?!
Kombi fanatics are easy to spot – well we are when wearing our variety of kombi tee shirts. So off we go to start them off on their big adventure. The smiles at the start of their trip, and the giant hug at the end of their road trip said it all.
But let’s hear it from these folks themselves . . .
first names and where did you travel from?
Coralie, Arnaud and Kalia. We are from Tahiti! We arrived in Invercargill by plane and started our adventure there.
how did the idea of hiring a kombi come about?
My hubby is a long time fan of VW kombi and has always dreamt about buying one! For his 40th birthday I decided to offer him a trip as a family in NZ, hiring a kombi . . . travelling in style they say!
which kombi did you decide on for your adventure?
We immediately loved the style of Rhonda! This blue lady appeared to be the only one to fit the 3 of us in our special configuration so it was a perfect match.
what time of year did you visit NZ and was the weather kind to you?
We came early February. We decided to pick that time of the year because usually temperatures are nice . . . well, we were not so lucky because just for us, just that special week, they were unusually low for the season!
did you plan your itinerary ahead of time or did you decide to just go with the flow, kombi style?
Because we were travelling with our 2.5 year old daughter we needed an itinerary including no more than 3 hours driving per day . . . But I would looooove doing it again without anything planned ahead!
kombi adventures often include a challenging moment! What was yours if you had one and how did you handle it?
Rhonda was a gem . . . no challenging moment for us! She took care of us at every step of the way.
tell us about any jaw dropping, wow moment, highlight, sight or experience you had.
They were soooo many! I remember a morning waking up with the view on Wanaka lake in a secluded campsite . . . it was a magic moment with our daughter . . .
warren always likes to count how many waves and smiles he gets each day on our kombi road trips – did you get your daily dose?
Of course, that was amazing how people are sooo friendly when they see you arrive somewhere with a kombi. Smiling faces, waving, it is like being a star on tour . . . I guess!
introvert or extrovert? how did you handle random strangers coming to chat with you about your van?
With pleasure! but it was not OUR van . . .
. . . so for few days . . . we could pretend we were the proud owners . . . lying!
do you have a travel trip to share about kombi van living or adventuring?
Live the life! enjoy the moment, do not be in a rush . . .
bonus random question: what was your favourite road tune while kombi driving?
Ahah with a 2.5 year old on board you do not want to know . . . .
anything else you’d like to add?
I have travelled NZ with a regular camper van during 1 month before . . . but this one week trip in a kombi felt soooo different and better in so many ways . . . I really encourage people to rent a kombi, it really adds something exceptional to the whole trip and atmosphere!
Coralie, Arnaud and Kalia travelled around the Catlins coast from Invercargill, up the East Coast of the South Island as far as Oamaru, before turning inland across to the centre of the South Island, travelling back through the Lindis Pass, Wanaka and back to Queenstown where we met them at the end of their road trip to collect Rhonda.
As you can see by some of the photos, they got to see some of our rare wildlife and had a fantastic time!
You can find out which van would suit your retro kombi road trip adventure in our Kombi Quiz https://nzkombihire.com/quiz We’ll get you matched up with your ideal travel companion so you can enjoy an awesome adventure of your own.