Oh my, oh my. I pinched myself as I wrote the title and I will keep pinching myself as I type that we are officially the newest members of the Jayco New Zealand family and proud Vanbassadors for the next 12 months!
What does that mean I hear you ask? It means that the team at Jayco New Zealand have entrusted us with their brand new Jayco JRV Campervan for the next 12 months. We will be road-tripping around our epic home country, Aotearoa, taking in all the sights and sounds as we go along.
We are officially van lifers, that’s us, two happy little campers tootling around in their home on wheels. Let’s rewind a little, seven years to be exact. When I met Robbie in Australia way back in 2014 we had dreams. Dreams of owning a campervan, seeing the Great Ocean Road, living life on our own time, and lighthouse hunting… we had a thing for lighthouses. Little did I know that when I left Australia to pack my bags and tell my friends and family that I was hopping over the ditch for a year (sorry fam, it lasted longer than a year) Robbie was busy working away on a van, we named him Winston, he was, after Robbie, my first love.
Insert cute family photos of Robbie, Winston, and I
It is now, seven years later that we rejoined the van life community. It started in Queenstown. We packed up a rental car and hit the road to Christchurch. Reusable cups in hand and on the search for our first coffee and snack fix we made a pit-stop at Tarras, then Tekapo, and on to Geraldine. The drive from Queenstown to Christchurch is 6 hours of pure New Zealand country. Mount Cook, the bluest lakes, mountain passes, and nothing as far as the eye can see in the Mackenzie country. I couldn’t help but close my eyes and picture the return journey with the van and all the adventures we are about to embark on.
We arrived late, made a pit-stop for food, and hit the hay in our airport hotel, in proximity to Jayco Canterbury, ready for the next day. I felt like a kid at Christmas when I woke up. Do you know that sick kinda nervous excitement you feel in the pit of your stomach?
We walked over and met Tony from Jayco Canterbury, he talked us through all things Jayco and introduced us to Peter. For two hours we listened, watched, and pushed every button in and outside of the van. Peter taught us everything we needed to know about Jayco. He told us stories of his travels and life as a motorhome businessman and with every tale and van instruction I fell in love a little more… with him and the JRV of course. The kindest soul and smile waved us off the forecourt and we drove away in our new home on wheels.
This thing is a beast. It has everything and I mean everything you need to live comfortably on the road. Gas cooking, solar panels, a fully working bathroom, and a microwave. I repeat we have a microwave. There is an awning that rolls out for summer missions and a dining room that easily turns into a bedroom with a window to the best views on the South Island.
It’s comfortable to drive. Comfortable to move around in, heaps of storage and we even have a middle seat if we are to recruit another adventurer on the way. The Jayco JRV has a solar panel too meaning we can be off the grid and exploring the road less travelled. When plugged into power we can cook outside with the external plugs and use the heat/cooling system in the van (Yay for air-con in NZ summer) It has enough power points to charge, boil, toast and smoothie our appliances through the days.
My favoruite feature? The back doors. When laid in the bed or sat up in the comfortable lounge/dining area, with the back doors wide open it is bliss. I don’t think there is a finer feeling in the world than being comfortable, relaxed, and looking at a view, uninterrupted. Bliss.
Where are we planning on taking the Jayco JRV? Everywhere we can. We are SO excited to get on the road and visit some old favourites. Colac Bay, Southland, and Fiordland are high on the list for some surf/hike activity. Mount Cook National park is an adventure paradise and I can’t wait to spend time at one of my favourite DOC campsites in the country and we think a little West Coast road trip will be on the cards too. Fast forward to Christmas and New Year here in New Zealand… this is where the real adventure starts. We will be off in our campervan, hitting the open road with no real plan. Just a hunger to see, do and cram in as much as possible with our new home on wheels
Thank you, Jayco New Zealand, for trusting us with your campervan. We cant wait to create & fully immerse ourselves in van life here in New Zealand.