No worries New Zealand

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in Countries, Featured, New Zealand | 5 comments

“No worries”… The phrase that Mike and I have noticed added to almost every sentence spoken by the Kiwis. We have found that this is not only a colloquialism but a way of life. From campsites where you pay on the honor system to friendly locals that take time out of their day to make travel recommendations, the South Island of New Zealand has been a fabulous way to start our 9 month journey around the world. Mike and I bit the bullet and opted for the popular form of New Zealand travel and decided to rent a campervan for two weeks and drive around the South Island. When we planned this weeks ago in the states, I will admit that my thoughts and impressions were about as far away from ” no worries” as possible.  ” Where would we park our van to sleep?  What about showers and bathrooms?  Is it safe? And how will Mike be able to learn and drive stick shift while behind the wheel of  a large, left handed, manual transmission van on the ‘wrong’ side of the road?!”  You can see I was just a tad bit hesitant to embark on this leg of the trip.
Kat loving the campervan

Kat loving the campervan

Yet, while there were a few hours of treacherous driving (think stalling several times while going uphill in the fog amongst sheep and bikers before nearly hitting a parked car), it was the laid back Kiwis that helped turn our white knuckling moments into opportunities to meet new people and have new experiences.   When I let go of some of my concerns, I was able to embrace all of the natural beauty, freedom, and relaxation that New Zealand has to offer.  The Department of Conservation (DOC) makes it so easy to traverse the landscape and actually enjoy the ride.  The DOC manages vehicle and boat-accessible camping areas on conservation land throughout the country.  They also run numerous information shops and provide camping brochures to show you where everything is, making it simple to stop for a day hike or swim.
Campsite at Mt. Cook

Campsite at Mt. Cook

Even the novice camper like myself can get used to taking bucket showers with the crystal clear lake water if it means sleeping at the base of Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in NZ, or enjoying the sunrise in Kinloch on the shores of Lake Wakatipu (near the starting point of the famous Routeburn Track).  Yes, this trek across the South Island has opened my mind to new experiences (ahem, I actually went skydiving) and allowed me to take a part of the Kiwi attitude and incorporate it into my own life.  I do not know what the next part of the trip will bring but, for now, I am not too worried.


  1. Great story Kat!! I am so glad I did not know about the skydiving plan until it was all over. It was wonderful to Face Time with you & Mike the other night. I was so excited….had a hard time falling asleep. Love & miss you.

  2. I look forward to your blogs. You are living a dream! Praying for your safety and success of your volunteering. God Bless You!
    Grama Mary

    • Thanks for commenting Grandma! We feel your prayers and will keep updating the posts. xoxo

  3. Wow! You and Mike are truly an inspiration! I can be somewhat high maintenance (or so I hear – haha), so I would never have had caravaning around New Zealand on my bucket list, but it is now thanks to you! I look forward to hearing more about your incredible adventures!

  4. Kat I would be hesitant too with Pally behind the wheel trying to drive stick up hill! Great post, good luck in Aussie.

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