Real Adventure Road Trips – Tales from the Road

Invercargill, Te Anau, Milford Sound & Stewart Island

What an awesome road trip – you can see and do a lot in 5 days. Thinking outside the square and saying yes to opportunities as they arise meant while Rhonda spent New Year’s Eve parked up in Bluff, Southland – Akanesi & Rafael got to experience the hospitality of Stewart Island to bring in the new year.

Read on to find out what they thought of their road trip with Rhonda.

First name and where did you travel from?

Akanesi & Rafael, Waikato

How did the idea of hiring a kombi come about?

Akanesi – My partner (Rafael) had always wanted to own a kombi, we did a quick google search for how much they cost and found the rental site instead! The idea of doing a roadie in a Kombi in the South Island was born ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Rafael – Always wanted to drive one. Needed an interesting and different holiday

Which kombi did you decide on for your adventure?


What time of year did you visit NZ and was the weather kind to you?

Akanesi – Summer/New Years. Weather was beautiful, the wind was scary! Rained a little when we went to Milford Sound, but that brought out the amazing waterfalls around Milford Sound.

Rafael – Weather was fine. Wind was not fun.

Did you plan your itinerary ahead of time or did you decide to just go with the flow kombi style?

We decided to go with the flow, which was different for me! I was always the planner.  The guide that Lynda and Warren provided in the Kombi was a good place for us to start ๐Ÿ™‚ This allowed me to let loose and just enjoy the roadie! 

Kombi adventures often include a challenging moment! What was yours if you had one and how did you handle it?

Akanesi – Driving on the open road with high winds!! We blasted the music, sang a little to ease our nerves and swapped drivers whenever one got tired! 

Rafael – Driving on steep and curvy roads in the wind. Switching drivers
periodically helped a lot.

Tell us about any jaw dropping, wow moment, highlight, sight or experience you had.

Akanesi – Finding the little hidden gems around Southland.  This was the first time we had driven a Kombi so we took our sweet time getting from place to place.  This meant we stopped in small towns, tried out different foods (I had a whitebait sandwich for the first time) and got to know the history of the place! That was my favourite experience! 

Rafael – Discovering some amazing places as we took our time to get from place to place.

Warren always likes to count how many waves and smiles he gets each day on our kombi trips – did you get your daily dose of this?

Akanesi – We got a daily dose of smiles, waves and toots! Not sure if the toots were to pull over, or to celebrate driving a Kombi hehe. 

Rafael – We didn’t count but we certainly got a lot of waves and smiles. We
also got our fair share of road rage ๐Ÿ™‚

Introvert or Extrovert? How did you handle random strangers coming to chat with you about your van?

Akanesi – I’m a mix, mostly extrovert! I enjoyed talking to people about the Kombi! I handled most of the questions and always waved back to others if they waved lol!

Rafael – Introvert. I let my partner answer questions most of the time.

Do you have a travel tip to share about kombi van living or adventuring?

Akanesi – Go with the flow, don’t take your work with you, enjoy the weather, enjoy the drive and most importantly enjoy each others company! Take your time getting places, ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to just own your trip! 

Rafael – Absolutely must do at least once in your life. Definitely take your
time going place to place and stop at every opportunity as you’ll be
surprised at some of the places that you find. Don’t be too concerned
about getting lost, but check the weather forecast before you go

BONUS Random Question: What was your favourite road tune while kombi driving?

Help Me, Rhonda – Beach Boys  (Editor – well of course!)

When we met Akanesi & Rafael at the end of their roadie, they were both grinning from ear to ear and buzzing with stories about their time with Rhonda. That’s just what we want you to experience.

You can find out which van would suit your retro kombi road trip adventure in our Kombi Quiz Weโ€™ll get you matched up with your ideal travel companion so you can enjoy an awesome adventure of your own.

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