Dirk’s birthday

Report 21 February
By Steef

Still rain but slept well. After breakfast we celebrate Dirk’s birthday because he has turned 66. Dirk continues to work on the Ford, Greetje Steef and Trudy go to the city by bus. We visit some shops and have lunch at a cafe in Prinsess street.







For dinner we were invited by friends of Brian and Marian, Bob and Myra.
It has become a very nice evening again, The hospitality of these people is heartwarming. We will also be sleeping at the same address again this night.

Bob and Myra

Dirk and Marian



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Rain, rain, rain.

Report 20 February
By Steef

Rain, rain, rain. This time we do not have to leave on time so we can lie down and listen to the rain on the roof of the roof tent. I work on the reports in the building of the campsite, two German girls are curious about it. In the tent we try to keep it a little cozy, but it is no big fun.


friends in the kitchen

n the tent


We have an appointment today with Brian and Marian McConachie in Dunedin. When we call them they invite us to stay overnight in their house. What a luck. We drive back through a rainy Portobello. The road along the water is beautiful but the rain spoils everything. Arrived at their house the Ford refuses. Exactly at the right time. The spring of the bendix is broken. Brian has a nice workshop where the spring can be replaced.

helping hand

hobby time

broken spring


Just a quick interview with a lokal newspaper.

quick interview

Then we have a pleasant evening with the family.

an evening with the family


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Report 19 February
By Steef

This morning Pete and Matt leave for Five Rivers (where later Cyclone Gita would strike). Dirk has another surprise for Graeam  a very special T-shirt. Graeme quickly conjures up a shirt for Dirk. After a short interview with a local newspaper, the Ford trip is prepared with very special oil from Graeme.

t shirts


special oil

Then it’s time to say goodbye to Robyn and Graeme Young. They have offered us an unforgettable stay.

goodbey Robyn and Graeme

After coffee we head for Dunedin. The landscape here is very green and hilly. Cows and sheep speck the round tops of the hills and the colorful packed hay bales lie like straight dotted lines in the landscape.

landscape 1

landscape 2

sheep 1

sheep 2


When we arrive at the sea we stretch the legs after a cup-a-soup. Large balls of kelp lie like mysterious sea creatures on the white beach.



sea creature


After a winding road over the High Cliff Road of Otago Peninsula we set up the tent at motor camping Portobella. There are many foreigners here and the weather is starting to deteriorate.

cliff road Portobello


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Report 18 February
By Steef

On the way from Manipuri to Kaiwera we come across beautiful place names .Monawai, Papatotara, Tuatapere, Orepuki and Waimatuku. In Tuatapere we drink coffee in a museum cafe. Here we eat the tastiest lemmon pie ever served by a charming elderly lady. Dirk and I go back to the school bench again. There are a few old strollers in front of the entrance and the museum collection contains a lot of vintage kitchen items.

camping in Manipuri

camping owner and Dirk


on the way to Kaiwera

cafe museum

inside the cafe

back to school

lemmon pie

 After some shopping we drive further into the hills. There is a strong wind, the forerunner of Cyclone Gita. Everywhere in the landscape there are gigantic windbreaks that are shaved with a special machine. If we drink coffee, we hear a hard blow. Under the Ford is a grease pot that, through the pressure of a heavy spring, the lid has been pressed loose. Later, with Robyn and Graeam, the Ford can be put in a shed and Dirk will come up with a solution.

macrocarpa windshield


cycloon Gita on the way



Gamstone beach is coming into view. Wave surfers cut through the waves of the long surf here.
The trees cling firmly to the bottom with determined stubbornness, their naked stems and branches twisted grotesquely by the ever-moving sea breeze.



trees 2

trees 3


At the end of the afternoon we find the house of Robyn and Graeam Young in Kaiwera. A contact that came about through Paris / the Netherlands. They have a B & B that is occupied by two Americans, Matt and Pete. That’s why we sleep in the tent and roof tent.
After dinner, there will be an evening filled with laughter and music. It is a shame our roads will separate tomorrow.
Tip: itchy insects bites? rub with banana peel.

arrival in Kaiwera

which way



Graeme and Matt

Trudy and Robyn





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Bee in the bus!

Report 17 February
By Steef

BEE IN THE BUS! someone called in the bus that took us to Doubtful Sound.
Driver John Gallantry caught the insect immediately to prevent unrest among passengers.
It rained all night. Not surprising when you consider that this region is known as the wettest in the world. Last year, 11 meters of water per m2 fell here. But now it is dry and although the sun is not up yet (6 pm  up) it is clear that the sky is not completely covered with clouds.

When Captain Cook arrived with his ship at New Zealand, he was looking for an inlet to anchor. He ended up in one of the fjords near the sea but doubted whether the berth was suitable. Another word for the fjord is: sound, hence the name: “Doubtful Sound. The excursion, which starts at the harbor: Pearl Harbor, consists of a boat trip to a power station and from there by bus through the rainforest to the next boat tob ring us to the aforementioned fjord. Because of the many rain showers, there are large and small waterfalls everywhere that hit the water from a great height like white ribbons. Hopefully the photos give some impression of the great day we had today. At 3 o’clock we are back at the tent. Trudy can write her diary and Greetje buys real Alpaca wool socks.

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Oh shit!

Report 16 February
By Steef

Gradually we have a fixed morning ritual for everyone. Dirk is working on the Ford, Greetje takes care of the catering and Trudy clears up the tent, a hot job because the mattresses have to be rolled up again.
Neighbor Suzanne from Germany has a problem with the power supply of the inverter. She bought the camper in Christchurch and everything has worked well up to now.
Dirk tries to repair it but he can not find out where the mistake is, too bad for Suzanne.

morning rituals



The sun is going to shine, now I can try my new hat.
The kitchen of the campsite has perfect facilities. He is spotless and has everything to prepare a good meal.

new hat

kitchen in camping Manipura

In Manipura we do a few groceries and at the same time we look at the harbor where we start our boat trip to Doubtful Sound the next day.
Just a beer in the church and then back to the campsite, where Dirk learns a new card game in the evening: Oh Shit!

beer in the church

oh shit

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Chinese in the Ford

Report 15 February
By Steef

It is still blowing very hard this morning. The roaring wind over the 300 meter deep lake causes large dust clouds on the campsite. Someone tries to change his flat tire. A Ford Model A is coming up. The owner had heard that we were camping here. Actually he wants to tell what his activities are, because he does not even come out of his car to take a look.
Greetje walks to the edge of the lake in the blinding wind. Like almost everywhere on the edges of the lakes and on the beaches, the banks are strewn with stumps and branches.

tractor trek

Ford Model A

Lake Wanaka in the morning


We continue our tour along Lake Wanaka until we approach Mount Pisa. The road is a challenge for the Ford because there are a lot of steep uphill and downhill runs. The Landrover is now ahead because the Ford is slower while climbing and descending .. At the top, the Ford is attacked by a large group of Chinese who all on-in or for the Ford in the picture, each other commands evoking.

mount Pisa

Lake Wanaka


We descend again, Landrover first. In Makarora we do groceries. When Dirk wants to drive away, the starter motor does not work anymore. A problem with the bendix, but he knows how to make it. Our goal is Kingston, where we continue without problems.

bendix problem


going down from Mount Pisa


After the ratatoulle with lamb I put myself down for the daily report.

reporter Steef

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Bridges and rivers

Report 14 February
By Steef

I am standing on the roof of the Land Rover to pack up the roof tent. Today we continue our journey and now towards Makarora, Lake Wanaka.

team member

On the meandering jungle road back to the main road we have to wait for road workers who remove fallen trees.

jungle road

fallen trees


Further on we see Fox Glacier in the distance against the mountain, but we do not go there, it takes too much time to take a walk.

Fox glacier

The rest of the day we drive along rivers and over a lot of one lane bridges.

crossing a river

one more single lane bridge

dry river

open sea


In the last part of our trip today we drive with the azure blue Lake Wanaka on our right hand. This ride takes two hours and is breathtaking.

Lake Wanaka

At the end of the afternoon we make our camp on the edge of the lake on a lonely part of the terrain to escape the wind force 8 coming from the lake.
It is windy in New Zealand; wherever you are.

camping at Lake Wanaka.


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A rainy day

Report 13 February
By Steef

The morning starts with a light rain, after 12 hours it gets a little less, but the sun we will hardly see today. At a gold diggers town we stop for a cup of coffee in the local pub. Dirk drives the Ford under a canopy to dry for a while.

shelter during the coffee

cattle drivers

We continue along wide riverbeds and narrow bridges.
Because of the rain, the colors of the vegetation are deep and powerful, nature is beautiful.
The high uprising forest edges along the road, partly due to the tree-high giant ferns that stand among mossy trunks, are of a prehistoric beauty.


verns 1

verns 2

The last 16 km meander along an unpaved narrow road. It seems like we are driving through the Hortus Botanicus. On the way we find a dead  opossum and that would be
not the only one.



dead opossum

The campsite at Makarora is located by the sea, the heavy thunder of the surf is audible everywhere.
The sun breaks so the roof tent and the big tent are set up for a quick dry. Greetje and Trudy make a delicious wrap.

Greetje cooking

When the sun goes down, we make a walk on the beach strewn with tree stumps.

trunks on the beach


sunset 1

sunset 2


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The first miles

Report 12 February
By Steef

The day begins with a bright sun so time to pack and leave.
During the preparations I suddenly hear a cheerful piano playing from Kathryn house.
She turns out to have a real pianola and he plays like a tierelier.
Then it’s time to say goodbye.

goodbey from Kathryn

We go to the westcoast over the Arthurpas. The Ford has to get used to get back to work, the carburetor runs over once and halfway Dirk puts the extra fan in front of the radiator as the engine is running hot. Then there is a 16% descent.
However, in the end things are going well. We drive through a beautiful hilly area with many narrow bridges over broad riverbeds.

on the road

on the road 1

on the road 2

hot engine

When we stop for a cup of coffee, a domestic bird comes out of the bushes.
Is it a chicken? or a pheasant? No idea but he / she got one out of hand.

tame bird

Then we drive on again until we arrive at Gillespies Beach in camping “Cloud 9”.
A perfect place with an extensive kitchen where delicious is being cooked.
At the campsite we meet Jack Bartle, gipsy since he was 15 years old. He lives in a home-grown bus and occasionally works as a “handy man”. His credo is: no job is to small.
Two young kittens are frolicking around his motor home, which looks like a mancave from the inside.He is a nice guy and he promises to make a donation on the website.

meet Jack the handyman

Jack’s mancave 1

Jack’s mancave 2








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