What a great winter adventure!!! Poppy, Levi, and I recently managed to sneak away for a long weekend in the staff motorhome. Last time Levi was only tiny and not moving very far or fast. This time around he was on the move and had lots of energy to burn.
Above: Incredible calm morning at Lake Coleridge.
The trip was all about pushing the boundaries and discovering how he likes the confined space as well as travelling for extended periods of time. The weather certainly helped and all in all the weekend was a great success.
Below: Our much-loved staff motorhome posing on the top of Arthurs Pass.
Blenheim - Lake Brunner
We started on Thursday just before his lunch nap and were aiming to get all the way to Lake Brunner. The weather forecast was stunning so we decided to take the longer west coast route and were hoping that Arthurs Pass would be open the following day.
Tip: We stayed at Iveagh Bay Campground which is a free park over site for self-contained vehicles right next to the water.
Below: Quick pit stop on the way to Lake Brunner.
Lake Brunner - Lake Coleridge
We woke up to a frosty but perfect winter morning and enjoyed a relaxed breakfast and some delicious pastries from the general store in Moana before heading off on our first little hike of the trip.
Below: Levi enjoying dinner and snacks in the motorhome. A portable toddler camp chair is a must have and prevents food stains on the soft furniture.
After the hike and lunch, the temperature was high enough for me to be comfortable driving over Arthurs Pass to Lake Coleridge. The trip takes approximately 3 hours and was stunning. It’s not very often you drive any of the South Island passes in perfect weather like this.
Tip: Parts of the road can still be frozen even in well above zero temperatures. In winter I would suggest driving during the warmer part of the day and take it easy especially in shaded areas.
Above Left: Early winter morning at Lake Brunner.
Above Right: The top of Arthurs pass looking towards the west coast. We arrived at Lake Coleridge Power Station Lodge to meet up with family for a 50s birthday party weekend and were warmly welcomed by our hosts and owners of the property. We plugged the motorhome into an external power socked next to the building and set up for the rest of the weekend.
Below: Levi taking in the beauty of Lake Brunner.
Lake Coleridge - Blenheim
After enjoying a family weekend full of food, activities, play and adventures we headed back home on Sunday via Christchurch and Kaikoura stopping in Cheviot for a play at the school and a strong coffee.
Below: Poppy and Levi overlooking the lake during sunset and Levi playing in Cheviot.
Below: Friday evening cheese board.
Arriving back in Blenheim just on dark Levi was ready for dinner and bed. The weekend was great, and I can't stress enough how beautiful and fun it is travelling in winter. The snow changes the scenery and crisp mornings will give you a clarity in the air you won't experience in summer. A trip we won't forget in a hurry and as always, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to use the staff motorhome.
Let's not forget that owning a late model European motorhome is a privilege most people can't afford and the comfort it provides even during the coldest months of the year allows us to enjoy it all in style and warmth!!!
Above: The best of both worlds. Enjoying a warm fire inside after a hike in the crisp winter air.
Daryl, Linda, Carter, and the dogs have been waiting a long time for this weekend to arrive and finally got to take their brand-new Pilote Pacific P746C motorhome on its maiden voyage.
The whole family including the two dogs Poppy and George, ventured to Nelson and Mapua to check out how the new Pilote performs and had a great time making the most of all activities on offer. Click on the link below and check out Pro Karts in Tahunanui…
The Nelson/Tasman area is a great winter destination and when the weather is as great as it was during the Smith family's trip the region is hard to beat.
Click on the link below and check out all the region has on offer!!!
"Known as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand, Dunedin prides itself on its beautiful built heritage, stunning scenery, and unique biodiversity. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere."
"There is much to see and do in Ōtepoti Dunedin from rare wildlife and spectacular landscapes to heritage buildings and cultural sites. All within close proximity. Globally renowned as a wildlife and eco-tourism destination, the spectacular Otago Peninsula is an area of outstanding biodiversity. Visit the Royal Albatross Centre, the only mainland location in the world where you can view northern royal albatross in their natural habitat. Local tours will help you view the world’s smallest penguins, and the rarest, as well as fur seals and sea lions, among other native marine and birdlife. Dunedin's collection of beautiful heritage buildings includes Larnach Castle, the only historic castle in the country, and the fascinating Olveston Historic Home. In Dunedin you can also visit the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street and natural wonders such as the Pyramids at Okia Reserve or Tunnel Beach, which
features a spectacular sandstone sea arch jutting out into the Pacific Ocean and a hand-carved tunnel leading down to a secluded beach."
"Dunedin is one of the Southern Hemisphere's best-preserved Edwardian and Victorian cities, full of gothic-style architecture and heritage attractions."
"Dunedin has a stunning backdrop of hills, harbour and miles of rugged coastline with a number of unique scenic highlights."
Nature and Wildlife
"You'll experience fascinating wildlife and untouched natural wonders in Dunedin."
"A verdant city of tree-covered hills, green belts and woodland, Dunedin has its fair share of spectacular and historical gardens."
We are happy to welcome Dan, our new yard groomer, to the team and are excited for you to meet him. Make sure you pop in and say hi next time you travel past.
Dan was born in a small town in North Wales. After school he studied Fine Arts and worked in various industries before permanently moving to New Zealand in 2016 calling Picton home.
Prior to joining the Team at Deluxe RV Group, he worked in the hospitality industry followed by a maintenance role for a local car rental company.
At Deluxe RV Dan is responsible for the immaculate presentation of our sales yard and vehicles and ensures our premises are maintained to the highest standard possible.
When not working, Dan produces music and loves exploring New Zealand. His favourite spot in the country is Cape Reinga.
By Matt Gibson
Daryl the GM here who looks after all the shipping logistics alongside Gary has asked me to pen an article on the unprecedented development with shipping to keep our newsletter community informed with some of the challenges that we are currently facing in this area. Presently we have 35 motorhomes that are built and awaiting delivery to New Zealand, so I have outlined some of the reasons below why this has occurred.
As you are all aware during the Covid19 pandemic many dealers were having difficulty obtaining stock from overseas manufacturers, but we were very fortunate that Pilote in France managed the factory very efficiently during this time and 90% of our orders were filled in a timely manner. There were some delays but generally it was pretty good in the challenging environment which is something that myself and Elias from a sales front along with our valued customers appreciated very much.
To add a level of security during this time of uncertainty Pilote in France introduced a price protection policy to ensure that any pre-purchased motorhome had guaranteed fixed pricing which was great peace of mind for our customer base. As a company we absorbed any fluctuations in currency and shipping costs to also ensure fixed pricing. Because of wider industry manufacturing delays during this time, many of the shipping companies reduced their fleet of vehicle transporters which in turn reduced the capacity for RoRo (Roll On Roll Off Cargo) which our Motorhomes are shipped via.
Then in December 2022, quarantine inspections in Australia identified seeds and pest in vehicles inbound from overseas ports which is thought to stem from vehicles sitting in paddocks and storage facilities during the global supply chain blockages, so they have introduced strict biosecurity measures to ensure there is no risk to the country which has greatly increased the time that vessels have to spend in port, causing a bottle neck effect with vehicle transporters sitting at sea awaiting a spot in dock to unload often for weeks at a time. These additional delays are having a cascading effect to transporters to the Australasian region, so the problem continues to snowball as we are at the end of most shipping routes, we are further impacted by delays up the line. Some shipping companies are now even avoiding the route which has led to larger vehicle manufacturers, including cars and farm machinery units shipping to Australasia, to flex their muscle and purchasing power to prioritise bookings for their own stock which has further decreased the opportunity for the likes of us that move fewer units. Added to the mix is a shortage of workers and truck drivers to clear the backlogs.
The fantastic news though is, that Daryl has worked extremely hard and has manged to secure transport via an alternative company to who we have used in the past for importing from a different country to have the stock units that are manufactured delivered here. As of the end of August five units per week will depart from Europe and will sail to New Zealand via Singapore which will clear the current back log prior to the upcoming RV season. Something that we are all very much looking forward to, it is great that we will have an excellent supply of new Pilote and Le Voyageur motorhomes available to meet the current demand so if you are looking to purchase new, upgrade, upsize or even downsize make contact and we can talk though the various options available, we welcome your enquiries.
Deluxe RV Group