Sunday, April 8, 2018

New Zealand Holiday Parks

When Americans take off to go camping it's usually done 'self contained'. By that I mean we take our car full of our cooler, cook stove, tent and stuff; or our trailer; or the packed pack for hiking in somewhere secluded or in a campground. The campgrounds sometime have basic facilities: toilets, water and sometimes showers and sites with a picnic table and fire pit/grill.
The New Zealand 'Holiday Parks' are terrific. It's usually a large plot of land with multiple options for the camper. Got an RV and just need a 'pad'? Come on in. Need power and water? That's over there. Just need a tent site, or a car camping site? Over in that section please.
Don't have a camper or car and just want a bunk room? We've got those, too. Many of the holiday parks have cabins of different sizes, some with toilets, some with small kitchens. Some even have trailers or caravans that are stationary and you can rent one of those for the night. They are vey popular and most parks have had plenty of Rv and caravan space available, but limited rooms or bunk houses to rent.
All of the Holiday parks have an 'ablutions' block. This is where you'll find the kitchen -usually set up with multiple cooking tops and sink stations, maybe an oven and microwaves, and instant hot water spigot, and occasionally pots and pans to use. Some are set up with dish soap, a sponge and towel at each sink station. Multiple refrigerators and freezers for common use are also there. Big BBQ's and grills, and seating area usually out of the sun and rain.
Also in or near the ablutions block will be the bathroom, showers, laundry, a lounge or tv room and anything extra that the owners have chosen to provide. Like the three thermal pools in the photo above. The prices are reasonable 30-80 for renting a cabin. Cheap for renting a tent site or a pad, and a per person rate for RV's and elec hook up. Most of them have some sort of 'dump' station for the RV's and port-a-lets. Most convenient when you're heading out again!
We had chosen an RV that was 'certified self contained' - we have grey and black water tanks for all icky stuff. This allows us to use Dept of Conservation (DOC) sites that generally are a bit more secluded and remote. Unfortunately,Dad needs a C-Pap machine at night and the RV's house battery is not set up to handle the power draw. Staying in Holiday parks has been a bit more expensive than we'd planned, but it's given us the opportunity to mix and mingle with other travelers.

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