volkswagen

smitten travels: Classic Campers, New Zealand Part 2

snells beach new zealand // smitten studiosnells beach // matakana // smitten studiocamper van // new zealand // smitten studiocathedral cove // hot water beach // smiten studiomanu bay // new zealand // smitten studioblack sand beach // manu bay, new zealand // smitten studioWe decided to stay up in the north island this trip so that we didn’t feel too rushed trying to fit everything into one visit (which also means we have a really good excuse to return for the south island). As it went, we still managed to stay in a different place every night and drove anywhere from 2 – 5 hours a day, which for me, made for a good on the road to out and about ratio.

A couple of my favorite days were spent at beaches like Manu Bay near Raglan (bottom two photos) and Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel Peninsula (4th photo block on the left). On both occasions we packed a picnic, took a pretty hike down to the beach and spent a full day playing in the waves,  and relaxing in the sand while the sun moved across the sky.

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

If you are interested in taking a similar trip or just want to know where all we went, I’ve laid out our route after the jump!

… and don’t miss Part 1 for all the info on the Kombi

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smitten travels: Classic Campers, New Zealand Part 1

vw campervan new zealand // smitten studioWhen planning our trip to New Zealand we knew it had to include a road trip campervan style and as soon as I came across the Classic Campers website I was completely sold on getting into one of their rental Kombis. Retro Volkswagen heaven.

stony bay new zealand // vw campervan // smitten studionew zealand // smitten studiokombi camping // new zealand // smitten studiocows coromandel new zealand // smitten studionew zealand // stony bay // vw camper // smitten studionew zealand road trip // coromandel // smitten studioI can not tell you how much we fell in love with this van (and New Zealand). It became a little part of us while we were touring around the north island’s hills. It was our transportation by day, our shelter at night, it screams happiness and total freedom, and it literally made me smile every time I climbed into the passenger seat. Don’t ask me how a van does all that but it downright stole my heart. Rupe has already started scouring the internet for ones for sale and we dream daily of buying one and driving it all around the states.

Bevan and Andrea, the owners of Classic Campers, were also a treat to work with. He is a bit of a whiz when it comes to the VW mechanics so he had the 1975 Kombi running like a champ. They have a collection of seven vintage campervans that they rent out as well as some modern vans and caravan options. Our particular Kombi came complete with a refrigerator/freezer, hot & cold pressure water, a 2 burner gas stove, and a good stereo system with a USB hookup for our Iphones. What more do you need, really?

All of the photos above are from the first few days of our trip, which covered the Coromandel Peninsula.

I’ll share our full 11 day route with the van in Part two tomorrow!

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Get a few tips for planning a NZ road trip after the jump! READ MORE

from the weekend: on the road

vw camper & pagoda lodgeFor those of you that have been following me on Instagram, you know I have been driving around New Zealand in this amazing Volkswagen camper van. This weekend we said our goodbyes to it (and to New Zealand) after staying in the most thoughtfully designed campground. The photo on the right was how the dishes, cutlery, and coffee were laid out inside our tent! More details to come.

Photos by me via Instagram. (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)