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Five week trip to South Island (Feb/March 2010)

Day 0 - Packing

With one day to go, it's time to pack the car.

This is quite an art. If you've ever seen the boot in an MGF sports car, you'll know that it isn't very big. Plus, it shares the space in the back of the car with the engine. So it gets hot. There is very little space under the bonnet too - enough for a box the size of a car battery, and a hollow in the spare tyre. And as for space in the passenger compartment - well let's just say it was not designed with practicality in mind. Even the ash tray is so small you can't fit anything bigger than a couple of business cards in it!

And on top of this Art has decided that we might have to camp!

So - here's the packing list:

Six cool bags from the local supermarket. Five of these fit nicely across the boot, like battery cells. They contain:

  • 2 bags (one each) for clothes
  • 1 bag for sheets, towels and toiletries
  • 1 bag for kitchen stuff (including camping saucepans) and food that can stand the heat (!)
  • 1 bag for cameras, netbook, pack of cards, reading material, other entertainment

The remaining bag is for food that needs to stay cool - and it just fits under the front bonnet. Also under the front bonnet is a small coolbag and a bottle cooler for the compulsory emergency bottle of wine

One rule I make is to take one 'emergency meal' pack - this includes a bag of rice that can be cooked in the microwave or a saucepan of water, a stir-fry type sauce, and a vacuum-packed smoked chicken. Also included is a brie and biscuits, and muesli bars. With these and the compulsory bottle of wine (see above) we can survive.

  • Shoes - one pair of trainers, walking and comfortable sandals each.
  • Rainwear - essential! And on the parcel shelf and tucked under the roof when it folds down.
  • Hats - baseball for driving and Aussie drover for walking (keeps the rain and the sun off)

Camping equipment - tent, sleeping bags, self-inflating mattresses, fold-up chairs, storm umbrella. Most of these fit behind our seats - except for the tent, which is under the cool bags in the boot.

Books. These include:

  • 'New Zealand Motorcycle Atlas' from Hema. (we bought this the first year we were here, and it is now slightly dog-eared)
  • 'Excellent Short Walks in South Island' by Peter Janssen
  • '1001 things to see in New Zealand' also by Peter Janssen (he must spend all his life travelling!)
  • Jasons Holiday Parks and Campgrounds - this is free, from any Information Centre, or visit their website -
  • 4 paperback novels that I can swop in various campsite lounges

A small backpack. This doubles up as my handbag, and will go with us on day trips to carry essentials such as water, sunblock, mosquito repellent, muesli bars.

And of course we needed to ensure they contained all those odds'n'sods things - see list below:

  • Pens & a small pad
  • Playing cards
  • Memory stick with music (radio can be intermittent)
  • guide books
  • Torches (for dark campsites)
  • A small kitchen knife & chopping board
  • Microwaveable jug (for cooking in and other uses)
  • camping saucepan set (forholiday parks with no microwave)
  • small stainless vacuum flask (for keeping milk in)
  • ice pack
  • mosquito repellant - tropical strength (compulsory for the West Coast)
  • sun block & after sun
  • anti-histamine tablest and cream (see previous comments about mosquitos)

I am definitely going to take a photo when it's packed - it's cosy!

We have bought loads of stuff from 'Kathmandu' - - not cheap, and NEVER buy something that isn't in their very frequent sales. Even then, they are pricier than elsewhere. But we've found it's worth it. Art has a pair of shorts that must be made of Teflon - they never seem to require washing, and still look fantastic after months of wear.

SEE: Day 1 – Auckland to King Country

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_00.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 20:20 by art
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