There is a moment two hours into every family road trip when this all suddenly feels like a very bad idea.
The young ones are restless. Driving is boring (it’s hard to argue with them on long stretches of motorway leading out of the city centres). Your destination is too far, your lofty ambitions of showing them the country too high.
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But most of the fun of campervans is in using your vehicle as a home, and not in using your home as a vehicle. By which I mean: campervans aren’t that great to drive, but they are a lot of fun to live in. For that reason, plan short spurts of driving from the get-go. An hour here, a quick leg stretch there. Another hour on the road, then the long-promised icecream at the next dairy you pass.
We set out from Auckland with a rough three-night plan – a slow loop from Auckland to Russell, around the Hokianga, and home down the west coast.
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