Out of 5 weeks in New Zealand and 6 weeks traveling in Australia, we were in a camper van for 10 of those 11 weeks! Let me be the first to tell you, that's way too much time in a camper van!
BUT, those days spent living like snails meant we got to see a lot of sights and traveled as we pleased which was a huge benefit. Lunch was whatever picnic area was the prettiest, though finding shower and sleeping spots on our limited budget proved a bit harder. We loved speaking English Down Under and the familiarity to another Western Culture. What we did not like was the high cost that came with these benefits! We were shocked and our budget blown out of the water by the prices from everything from a cup of coffee to a meal in a restaurant. Since we couldn’t afford anything in a restaurant or shop, nearly all meals were spent in our camper van, see this post for how we survived camper van living for this long.
RECAP of our time in Numbers:
Countries Visited: 2 New Zealand and Australia (though Tasmania seemed like it's own country!)
# of pounds we carried: 84 (2 bags and a back pack, we were up in weight with all the warm clothes we needed!)
# of times Sarah drove on the left side of the road: 4
# of Camper Vans we rented: 3, one in New Zealand, one in Tasmania, and one in Australia
# of Camper Van Parks we stayed: 58
# of nights in an AirBnB: 4 (Christchurch and Sydney)
# of nights in a hotel: 3
# of nights at one of Gillian & Michael’s houses: 12 (Melbourne, Blue Mountains, and Pearl Beach)
Average cost of a camper van park: $30
Average cost of cup of coffee: $4
# of family that visited: 2 (Lynn and Tim, Eric’s parents)
# of meals we ate out after the Roses left: 2 (Eric’s birthday lunch and dinner)
# of food sicknesses: 1 for Sarah, while living in the camper van with Eric’s parents – this one goes down as the worst scenario EVER
Amount of money lost from deposits and currency exchanges going against us: $650 USD
Favorite cities: Melbourne, Wellington, Wanaka and Nelson - if these weren’t so far away, we’d consider moving to any of these cities!
Least favorite cities: None, thankfully! We enjoyed pretty much every place we went and were so mobile with the camper vans that we could leave any city that we didn’t love.
Best couple we met: Virginia and Michael, the next door neighbors in the Blue Mountains. They drew us a map of the things to do in the area and had us over for tea before we left. Our chats with them were some of our favorites!
Favorite couple: Gillian and Michael. Their generosity literally pulled us out of our campervan and saved us when we needed some consistent hot showers, a nice bed to sleep in, and a bit of room to spread out. Their houses around Australia made us able to visit some of the prettiest places while still being able to cook our own meals.
Worst accident: Returning to our camper van in Queensland, we realized our mirror had been knocked off and the camper van scratched from fellow camper vaners. Luckily the Spainiards stuck around so we could exchange information. We had to change our plans around and drive out to get it fixed but this made my day because we got free clean sheets and towels.