Why a Jucy van is the perfect retreat for those who want to stay connected
23 October 2014 04:10 p.m.
Why a Jucy Campa is the perfect retreat for those who want to stay connected
When journalist and author Amy Molloy set off on a Jucy adventure of New Zealand, she discovered the perfect getaway for her split personality.
I am the first to admit I am a total contradiction. On the one hand I am a workaholic, who thrives on my career as a journalist, and is thrown into a state of panic if I’m away from my computer for more than eight hours. On the other hand, I am a free-spirited adventure-seeker, who’s ideal day out is hiking un-trodden paths, with no human in sight except my boyfriend, and no civilization a distance memory.
These aren’t my only contradicting personality traits. I love camping but, as the former editor of a fashion magazine I also like creature comforts and have been known to ‘travel light’ with a china teapot so that I can brew a proper cup of tea even when roughing it. I love camping but like my head on a real pillow, and I love the way my skin tingles in the cold, but only when I know I can get warm afterwards.
To sum it up I want to be remote but plugged in. Off the grid but within reach of wi-fi. Pushed to my limits, but also wrapped up in warm and comfortable. So, you can see why sometimes booking a trip away can be tricky. Well, gather all my split personalities, because Jucy had the answers.
My boyfriend and I picked up our Jucy Cabana in Wellington, New Zealand, where we flew in from Sydney, opting for the 2-berth ‘Jucy Cabana’. We did think about the 4-man Condo but, to be honest, we’re pretty sickeningly in love and have a ‘no personal’ space rule anyway, so we’re more than happy get up close and person.
In fact, the van had even more room than we expected, with a double bed, gas cooker, fold-out and even a kitchen sink. Oh, and a kettle. I checked this first, like a hotel guest who heads straight for the mini bar. It passed the test. I was happy.
Whenever my boyfriend and I travel we work to a ‘no-plan-plan’, which basically means we wing it, hope for the best, and always end up in wonderful, chaotic, unexpected situations. It can be tricky not planning when you’re in a new country, but our Jucy made it easy, as we didn’t have to worry about booking accommodation or getting from A-to-B before nightfall.
We simply headed up the North Island of New Zealand and, at every major town with an information center, we stopped to pick the brains of employees who looked like they shared our ‘follow the road less travelled’ attitude. We did think twice about taking tourist advice from the guy with his arm in a sling, working in an information center in Tongariro National Park, who admitted he couldn’t quite remember how he broke his arm. A responsible role model?
But he turned out to be an absolute goldmine of adventure advice, directing us to some local caves that we’d have never found on our own and advising us to hike further up the thermal streams at Huka falls, away from the tourist spot, so we could nudey dip (we did, you should, it’s epic!)
Our Jucy van felt like a magical teleporter, taking us in one single day from the bottom of snow-covered mountains where we hiked through a blizzard, to thick rainforest where we discovered a rain-water lagoon and then to the Putangirua pinnacles, which are huge towering rocks that feature in Lord of the Rings. It was such a shift in landscape that my senses couldn’t take it in, and I felt like we’d fitted multiple holidays into one trip.
Our home on wheels also offered us just the right amount of technology– not too little and not too much. We didn’t have phone reception all the time, which was good as I was forced to switch off from work and couldn’t be tempted to check my emails (until we drove past a McDonalds with free wi-fi and I got my work fix).
As we drove through the amazing New Zealand countryside, the CD player and AV cord that we bought for $5 from the Jucy depot, meant that we could pump out the tunes (Busby Marou and Benjalu provided the soundtrack for our holiday). What’s more, every evening, when we were exhausted from a day’s hiking, we could nestle in the back of the van, eating tinned fruit under our doonah, and watch a boxset of Scrubs on the in-build DVD player. I was amazed the Jucy was so insulated as I’ve slept in cars before and been freezing, but even in the snow I was sleeping in shorts and a vest top.
The workaholic within me was happy because once a day I could still check in with my emails. The adventurer in my was ecstatic because my body, my mind, my spirit was seeing, scaling and exploring landscapes I never could have imagined. My week in a Jucy camper made me want to sell my house immediately, give away all my possessions and just keep on driving forever…. although maybe I’ll keep my laptop and teapot.
Follow Amy on Instagram @amy_molloy or on Facebook
An international JUCY adventure!
06 October 2014 04:51 p.m.
JUCYify your adventure – from Australia to New Zealand – check out what Nicola and Matt got up to, and their top tips for a road trip!
Waving goodbye to the UK we touched down 24 hours later in Brisbane, marking the start of our ‘international’ JUCY adventure. Matt and I jumped into a taxi and headed to the Brisbane JUCY branch where we were given an introduction to our camper who we decided would be called Betsy. She came complete with everything we needed for our trip, including a dooner (the Aussie word for duvet and my favourite Aussie word!) pillows, towels, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. The small kitchen unit at the back of the van had a sink, storage cupboard, cool box, a gas stove and not forgetting a kettle for a good brew. It also came with two chairs, perfect for alfresco dining.
We were so excited to be in Australia, with the introduction complete we hit the road. The first stop was a supermarket to stock up on essentials and treats for our trip, the most important ones being Tim Tam biscuits, Bundaberg ginger beer and Bundaberg Rum! Kangaroo steak with veggies for the first nights meal was a tasty welcome to the land of down under. Some very good friends of ours were getting married near their home in the Glass House Mountains so we planned our trip around this. We drove to the Sunshine Coast first stopping at Mooloolaba, where we relaxed on the beach, followed by a night up in the mountains in Mapleton. Here a highlight for me was stargazing by candlelight and listening to the fruit bats in the trees above us. Back on the Sunshine Coast for two nights we Paddle Boarded in Noosa and attended the stag and hen parties. Returning to the Hinterland for two more nights, it was all about National Park walking and waterfall spotting. We watched our friends say their ‘I dos’, then waved goodbye to Australia and boarded a flight to New Zealand for the next part of our adventure.
Arriving in Christchurch after a three hour flight from Brisbane the change in temperature was instantly noticeable so it was off with the flip flops and on with the Ugg boots before I had even left the airport terminal! Our next camper was ready and waiting for us, we named him Boris. Boris came with snow chains and was very similar to Betsy, so we felt instantly at home. The first stop was two nights at Lake Tekapo at a fantastic campsite; I loved waking up in the morning to such an incredible and uninterrupted view of soapy blue water and snow-capped mountains. It was such a peaceful location and a perfect area to relax in. Next on the agenda was Queenstown, a very cosmopolitan place to hang out in and perfect for adrenaline junkies. We stayed there for two nights and took in the atmosphere, sampling the local food and drink as we went.
From Queenstown we booked a days snowboarding at Cardrona, which was just awesome. Following on from Queenstown we ventured to Te Anau for a trip to a glow worm cave. The next day saw us heading to Milford Sound, the drive was just incredible and one I won’t forget in a hurry. JUCY Cruise was our choice of vessel with such a sunny day the sound was just out of this world and there weren’t too many sand flies around either. From Milford Sound we drove back to Queenstown for the night before driving to Franz Josef Glacier the following day. At Franz Josef we booked onto a helicopter flight over the glaciers, this was the icing on the cake of the trip for me! The flight also included a snow landing high above the glaciers, it was incredible. We completed our trip by driving up the west coast, stopping for the night in Hokitika; the coast was an interesting change of scenery. Continuing on the final leg of our journey we followed the route to Arthur’s Pass back through the mountains, stopping at some awesome viewpoints and making friends with Kea.
If you are planning your own Jucy roadie here are a few of my top tips:
-In both Australia and New Zealand we rocked up at most campsites without booking and got a pitch no problem at all. So don’t worry too much about booking these in advance, even the ones that were pretty much full still managed to squeeze us in.
-Campsites in both countries had great kitchen facilities, with ovens, microwaves fridges and tables to sit at. Some even had barbeques for outdoor cooking. (Although it was a little chilly for this in New Zealand.) It is worth mentioning that National Park campgrounds don’t tend to have any cooking facilities or drinking water so if you are planning to pitch up at any of those for the night make sure you have water supplies with you. Of course our JUCY had everything we needed to cook independently which we did most of the time but in New Zealand it got pretty cold in the evenings so it was nice to warm up by cooking indoors sometimes if we had the chance! I also loved hanging out in the kitchens and chatting to other travellers, it was great to hear about their journeys and adventures and to swap advice on where to go, what to do or what to avoid! The kitchens were also perfect for charging all my gadgets.
-If you are hitting the road during the winter in New Zealand make sure you pack a hot water bottle to keep warm at night!
- A few essentials I reccommend to pack for your van include a torch; a USB car charger, (brilliant for charging phones, cameras and laptops on the road) antibacterial wipes, and sealed bags for food storage.
-My number one tip for the road is if you pass a fellow JUCY van make sure you wave! We had a lot of fun waving and were always disappointed when we didn’t get a wave back; no one likes a grumpy JUCY camper!
-It may sound obvious but make sure that you keep an eye on your fuel gauge and fuel up when you can as both in Australia and New Zealand it can sometimes be hours before you come across another fuel station.
- The same can be said for toilets, sometimes they are few and far between so make sure you take the opportunity to stop in larger towns or whenever you see the important signs!
Combining our JUCY adventure across two countries took a bit of planning, I didn’t want to pack too much as sleeping in a campervan meant there would be limited space for luggage. With that in mind I planned to pack the bare minimum but at the same time dividing our time between too different countries meant packing for two different climates, from the mild winter of Australia (Being from the UK it felt mild to me!) to the chilly winter of New Zealand. So the challenge was on and I’m proud to say I stood up to it pretty well, managing to squeeze my Ugg boots, winter jacket, jumpers and beanie hat in along with shorts, vest tops and flip flops all into a cabin sized wheelie bag!
Having your own set of wheels gives you the freedom to go anywhere you like and to make your own adventures. Life on the open road is an awesome way to explore and a road trip in a campervan makes you self-sufficient too. We saw and did so much on our JUCY adventure and in a short time frame, we had seven days in Australia and ten in New Zealand. Even if you don’t have much time for a holiday you don’t have to travel for months, hire a JUCY camper and hit the road, you can do and see a lot in a short space of time. Our trip was fantastic and we loved every minute in our JUCY camper!
Check out the adventure on YouTube: Down Under in Aussie & NZ with JUCY!
Rules Worth Breaking When Travelling
30 September 2014 09:35 a.m.
Everyone seems to have some advice for you when you’re setting off on your next adventure, whether it’s travelling to another town or city, or around the world.
For those of you who want to take the road less travelled and go to places no one knows about or discover sites no travel guide has covered so far, here’s a couple of “rules” that might be worth breaking on your adventure of a lifetime!
“Don’t talk to strangers.”
This is something every parent tell their kids growing up. But now you’re all grown up, you might want to think about breaking this rule. Speaking to strangers, other travelers and especially the locals, is a great way to learn about the best places to go, where to stay, what to eat and where to explore.
Get your head out of the guide book and get talking!
“Follow directions. Take a map with you always.”
Taking a wrong turn isn’t going to turn your trip topsy-turvy. Instead, you might get to see places that lie undiscovered (and won’t be so crowded with tourists). Take a break from following schedules, following directions, staying on time every time – you’re on holiday! What better way to satisfy your wanderlust than by taking a detour every once in a while? Cut yourself some slack and miss a few right turns. You’ll be surprised at where you end up!
“Find the best restaurants and only eat there.”
No way! The best food is discovered in little local cafes, side streets and food trucks! Finding the busiest cafes filled with locals is always the way to go! This is the best way to eat just how the locals eat, find out what foods are popular in the area, and get an inexpensive meal you may have never thought of trying!
“Don’t go to the touristy places – discover the real part of the city.”
If tourists frequent a particular spot, they do so for a very good reason. It’s always worth getting off the beaten track, but you’ve got to see the Eifel Tower when you are in Paris, and the Statue of Liberty when you are in New York – right! You don’t have to tick off all of the ‘must-do’s, at least check out a few – they are popular for a reason!
The best part of travelling is getting out of your comfort zone, and doing things a little differently than you would at home! What ‘rules’ have you broken when travelling?
Jucy Winter Road Trip
22 September 2014 08:26 a.m.
Follow Jenna and Jordan from Stoked for Saturday around New Zealand’s lower South Island as they explore Queenstown and Wanaka in their JUCY Cabana!
When we arrived in New Zealand just over a year ago, we spent the first 6 weeks traveling around the country before settling into our jobs in Wellington. During that time we saw countless hip looking purple and green Jucy campervans and always thought how fun it would be to take one on a roadtrip!
Eagar to experience New Zealand’s ski fields and get a true taste of winter, we decided to plan a winter weekend in Wanaka and thought what better way to do it than in a Jucy campervan!
Arriving in Queenstown, we picked up our Jucy Cabana and headed downtown to check out the adrenaline filled ride Hydro Attack! Where shark meets machine, we climbed into an 18ft shark and spent the next 20 minutes carving our way around Lake Wakatipu, diving under the water and shooting into the air!! Another AWESOME kiwi invention, this was one of the coolest things we’ve done in the adventure city of Queenstown.
Making our way towards Lake Wanaka, we took our Jucy van up the Crown Range for a beautiful scenic route through the twisty roads at sunset. The view was so incredible we had to keep pulling over to snap one photo after another!
We’ve slept in our car and another campervan before but nothing has compared to the comfort our little green and purple machine provided! The Cabana van had tons of room with lots of privacy helping us enjoyed a comfy, cozy sleep under the duvet.
The next four days we spent in Wanaka taking in some pretty epic winter activities including taking advantage of the Jucy Ski for FREE deal at Treble Cone! A beautiful blue bird day, we cut through the groomed trails and even climbed to the summit to get 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains!
Heading back down the Crown Range, we spent the next day up at Snow Farm exploring the miles of backcountry ski trails. Climbing up to towards Top Peak and skiing our way back towards the lodge it was definitely harder than I thought, but was a great day for my first go on cross country skis!
After two long days on skis it was so nice to come back to our campsite and enjoy a soak in the hot tub spa with a cold refreshment on the side. Not a bad way to spend a cool winter evening!
Looking to take in some of the great hikes in Wanaka, we headed up along Lake Hawea to the start of the Isthmus Peak track. Up bright and early to get up to the summit for lunch, we parked our Jucy van and made our way up the track.
A 6 hour round trip, we spend the first few hours making the steady climb up the mountains towards the peak. At the top we had the most incredible 360 degree views of Lake Hawea on one side and Lake Wanaka on the other.
Back at the campsite we setup our stove and enjoyed a cup of tea as we celebrated a great couple days in Wanaka!
Finishing up our last day of our trip, we headed back over the Crown Range again towards Queenstown. Looking for an adrenaline rush, we hung out with the guys at Shotover Canyon swing, throwing ourselves off the 200ft cliff backwards, upside down and off a slide on a trike! Seriously the most adrenaline pumping activity in Queenstown!
It was a great way to cap off an awesome Jucy winter roadtrip. We were so sad to return our mean, green and purple machine but know it won’t be our last!
Damper – the classic Australian bush tucker..
10 September 2014 12:03 p.m.
Damper! The classic Australian bush tucker and an essential at any camp-fire! All you need is flour, water and a pinch of salt to make this delicious bread.
The basic Damper Recipe is:
- 2 Cups of Self Raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 Cup of Water
Mix flour and salt, and then whisk in the water and kneed by hand for around 2 minutes. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more flour.
To cook Damper as a Loaf, place the Damper in the heavy pot with lid (make sure it is all fire resistant and that nothing can melt!). Cook over a hot fire and embers for 30 minutes.
For Damper on a Stick – just find some sturdy twigs near by, and wrap the dough around one end of the stick. Cook over a camp fire (just like you would a marshmallow!) until golden brown. Pull it off the stick and enjoy!
There are loads of Damper variations – you can add cheese and bacon, herbs and tomatoes for a savoury dough, or sugar and dried fruit for a sweet Damper.
We love it with golden syrup… how do you have yours?
How to have the best holiday ever!
10 September 2014 11:26 a.m.
Must Do’s For an Adventurous Holiday
An adventure holiday is the ultimate adrenaline rush that awakens the inner traveler in us all. Whether it’s hiking a volcano or deep sea diving to discover a barracuda infested shipwreck, adventure holidays are memorable experiences everybody should have at least once in life.
Make the most of your holiday escapades and return home with your soul rejuvenated. If you are just planning on doing the touristy things, try taking that giant leap forward and make your trip an adventure you’ll never forget…
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Don’t let fear get in the way of often missing out on wonderful experiences and trying something new. If you have never jumped out of a plane and skydived, do it! If you think you have no stamina to scale the Adirondacks, try to climb at least part of it. Are you worried about kayaking a lake all by yourself? Sign up for kayaking lessons. Who knows, you’d enjoy it! The key to make any holiday an adventure is to step out of your comfort zone. Miracles happen there!
- Be brave (but not foolish)
There’s a reason adventure junkies are a rare crowd – it’s because not many of the others are brave enough. Want to skydive? Bungy Jump? Cage dive with Great White Sharks? But something’s holding you back? “Sometimes, all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something good will come out of it”. Do something that you’ve always dreamed about doing, or admired others for doing, and you’re adventurous spirit will take over! Just make sure you are safe and trust your gut. At the end of the day, even if you’re not brave, pretend to be – no one else can tell the difference!
- Fight your fears
Why are you scared? What’s your phobia? Holidays are a great time to challenge yourself and do things you wouldn’t do in your normal day, week or month. Find out the one thing that you’re scared of and work your way to overcoming that fear. What better than an adventure trip to fight your fears!
- Be a YES person
There are YES people and there are NO people. YES people are happy, optimistic, and eager to try new things, to help and get helped, and enthusiastic about everything in life. NO people are the opposite. No matter how much you are inclined to adventure travel, you’ll enjoy it the most if you become a YES person! Be happy with a positive personality, come out of your shell, you’re on holiday – you’re allowed to do things that are out of character! Give yourself permission to have the time of your life!
Tips You Need To Know When Packing Your Bags…
19 August 2014 02:15 p.m.
Love travelling, but hate packing your bags? We’ve got you covered! Here’s some clever packing tips you need to know when your packing your bags…
Divide your cash and stow away parts of it in various locations in your bag. Same thing with your credit cards, debit cards, travellers checks, and important identification items. Never store everything in one place. That way, even if you are robbed or discover that one of your bags got lost, you will have some cash and a few of your important documents to get you by.
2. Roll your clothes, do not fold them
Always roll your clothes up and then tucks them into your suitcase. This way they occupy less room and you can pack more of your shirts, tanks, and tees. Also, clothes tend to wrinkle less when you roll them up instead of folding them.
3. Lighter stuff at the bottom. Heavier ones go on the top
Always make sure you pack your lighter items first into your backpack and the heavier ones on top. This way, your backpack sits lightly on you lower back muscles and you can walk and climb hills with ease. Next time you pack your bag, remember this mantra – lighter ones first, heavier ones later.
4. Put a dryer sheet in your bag to keep everything fresh
How do you ensure your clothes smell and look so fresh, despite having washed them over a week ago? A travellers secret: put a dryer sheet in your baggage, especially the one containing your clothes and you’ll have them smelling great – that goes for you too boys!
5. Other packing hacks from our JUCY lovers
- If you’re carrying shoes, put them in your shower cap so the dirty soles will not stain your clothes.
- If you’re tired of losing bobby pins, put them in tic-tac containers so they stay in one place.
- Use old sunglass cases to store your earplugs, cables, and other wires.
- Use pill containers to sort and store your jewellery so you don’t spend time searching for the one pair of earrings you need.
- Here’s how to make your collars stiff – roll your belt and stick them in your collared shirts.
- You can store body lotion and foundation in tiny contact lenses case so you don’t end up taking your whole bottle with you or buying a new bottle.
Thanks to our amazing JUCY lovers for helping us out with these travel tips! Got some tips that we don’t know about? Comment below!
Best things about travelling in a campervan
22 July 2014 10:51 a.m.
We’ve put together the 5 of the best things about travelling in a campervan, motorhome, RV, or anything on wheels! There’s definitely more than five, but here is some inspiration to get started. Not that you need convincing, but just in case you do….
Do you feel like getting away from it all? Do you need to inject some adventure in your life? Driving a campervan on a long road trip might just be the thing to revive you and bring out the free-spirit in you. If you want to know why people rave about this kind of holiday, read below and start wondering why you haven’t thought about it before.
Having a campervan means you can do what you want, go where you want, when you want. You don’t need have to worry about having a schedule. Having total freedom to choose your own activities and destinations is one of the appeals of this kind of holiday.
Being the master of your own time and having your house on wheels means that you can change your plans at the drop of a hat, follow a different route, take the advice of fellow travellers and visit a special place you were unaware of. This is great news for someone who chooses to hit the road to break their everyday routine. Plus you don’t need to rely on buses and trains: some areas are more isolated than others and are reachable only by private transport.
Travelling by campervan is fun: you get to do things that you don’t normally do and see places you normally see only on tv or in magazines. You might park in a quiet spot near a stream and do some impromptu swimming – or skinny dipping for the brave ones. You can share stories, have drinks or play guitar around the campfire with new friends. Be intrigued by wild animals, see different lands, find a surfing spot and relax on the beach or take a break from driving and explore a beautiful area by bicycle. There will always be new experiences just around the bend.
The allure of campervans is that you can sleep and cook in your temporary home. Buying groceries and parking on a camping ground is more convenient than booking a hotel and eating at a restaurant. Your accommodation will be used more often and you’ll get your money’s worth. Petrol will be a cheaper option in the long run as well. Do some research and you might be able to find free parking spots depending on the country you are visiting. Also consider the money you will save on package tours.
Everybody is looking to add more variety and spice in their life. Something about hitting the road awakens the adventurous spirit in everyone: it must be the fresh air, the open spaces, the sense that we are closer to nature, that we are experiencing life to the full and that we have the world at our finger tips. We have our few necessary possessions with us and nothing else, we are free and independent, the wheels taking us to a world of possibilities.
Are you ready to go on an unforgettable trip? Can you hear the motor running and your inner Indiana Jones calling? Check out some great campervan options at JUCY and head off on your own adventure!
Snowboarders take to NZ’s outdoors in a JUCY Condo
03 July 2014 09:51 a.m.
Andrew Wilde, pro Snowboarder, hits the road to check out what NZ’s got to offer…
We set out from Christchurch in our Jucy Condo camper ready for an 8 day film trip, with the final destination of Auckland’s Snow planet. We were filming for our own webisodes for a Chinese audience showing them a Kiwi road trip, 2 riders, a filmer and a driver.
Day 1:Leaving Christchurch in the afternoon a bit behind schedule (as getting the shots took longer than expected) we made it to Kaikoura just in time to catch the sunset before getting back on the road to reach the destination of the day Picton.
Day 2: We had an early start but not early enough as we almost missed our Interislander ferry to Wellington. We made it on, as the second to last car. We got to see some amazing scenery before reaching Wellington. We went and filmed a few shots of the nations capital and of course went to see the iconic Beehive parliamentary building, before getting back on the road to reach Wanganui before nightfall.
Day 3: We had a good solid drive ahead of in order to reach Taupo and catch the sunset. So we got some quick shots of the famous Wanganui River or Whanganui as the locals call it nowadays.
We stayed in the Top 10 holiday park in Taupo which was very well equipped with great clean facilities as well a awesome hot pool and lots of fun activities onsite, I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting Taupo
Day 4: We were booked in at Taupo Bungee and Cliffhanger at 10 am. After everyone had a shot of confidence we were ready to try both of the awesome activities out, everyone had such an awesome time! It was such a great start to the day. We spent the day checking out the lake and local skate parks getting all the shots we needed.
Day 5: Having spent night in Taupo, We had the hard job of getting up super early to film the sunrise which only needed two of us so the rest were luck enough to sleep in. We had a change of plans and decided to go to Gisborne to try get some surfing shots instead of going to Rotorua. we had a very long drive ahead of us but we made it there without to much any hassles.
Day 6: Without any waves we had to do our backup activity which was a natural rock water slide on the way to our next destination, Mt Maunganui. When we got there we saw how big it was and it took awhile for everyone to get into it but in the end we got some of the best shots of our trip there! We had to get back on the road straight after as we had another long drive ahead of us.
Day 7:Mt Maunganui is such a beautiful seaside town with awesome scenery and fishing, we were so luck to catch it on a bluebird day. We went to Papamoa Blokart recreation park to go try out there famous blow Karting but there wasn’t enough wind but we ended up having an awesome time on there 3 wheeled drift karts. Afterwards we had a nice short drive to our final destination of Auckland.
Day 8: After a long 7 days we finally got to do what we set out to do, snowboard at Snowplanet. This was our first time in an indoor ski resort but we had such an awesome time getting our final shots and finishing out amazing New Zealand road trip!
After an action packed 8 days everyone was ready to have couple days off . We all had a great time and had the got to try some really fun New Zealand activities. I would like thank everyone who helped us along the way it wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Please check out www.Andrew-snow.com to see our trailers and episodes.
An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!
04 June 2014 03:31 p.m.
Julia Atkinson from Studio Home took a JUCY Styla for a spin around New Zealand… check out the nooks and crannies she explored between Queenstown and Wellington.
I had two weeks booked for a half work, and half excuse to visit the South Island (home) roadie. I’m pretty fortunate that my “work” requires a lot of travel and in general, meeting, photographing and interviewing creative people across New Zealand and Australia. It’s hardly a drag….
My two weeks were strategically planned to coincide with one of my favourite times of year in the South Island – Autumn. There is nothing more crisp, fresh or beautiful than the misty freezing mornings or the first bitter and wintery weather systems that start to sweep through. Yes, I’m a total sucker for having to don my woollens and defrost my car every morning!
While I had accommodation sorted with friends and family the whole way, I didn’t have wheels! Getting paired with the new Jucy Styla was pretty perfect as it was INSANELY economical being a diesel, grunty, smooth and really….nothing like what you would expect from a rental car at all ha!
I flew into Queenstown to be instantly swallowed up by the snowy Remarkables just kind of standing there to greet everyone getting off the plane. I was reminded straight away that the immense majesty of the landscape down there is on a much more massive scale then ever remembered!
I quick chat with the Jucy team at the airport and a chilly shuffle across the car park to pick up my wagon and I was off!
I spent three days in Queenstown, splitting my time between shooting at the delicious and local fave; Vudu Café and Larder, lunches with friends, sneaky explorative cruises up the lake just to take it all in and some intense fireside computer time.
By Wednesday I reluctantly realised it was time to keep the wheels turning and I decided to crack into a large driving day through some of my favourite country. I left Queenstown and her golden colours to wind through the misty Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell. Then I cruised down Lake Dunstan and all its strange, bare hills and through the back roads of historical village; Clyde. I LOVE the landscape through there and on to Roxburgh. It’s weird and alien looking! Dry and bare and scattered with HUGE boulders like they’ve fallen out of a giants pocket!
It took me about 3 hours or so before I made it to Dunedin where I promptly made for the studio of artist Jon Thom, spent a couple of hours interviewing and taking pics then made and U Turn to head back along the same road I came. Seems a little silly – but it was such a beautiful drive, and heading back but in the opposite direction allowed for a totally different view!
What’s more I was heading for Lake Wanaka….only my most favourite place in NZ!
Wanaka had me for the weekend and I lapped up every second. It’s much more low key than Queenstown and the small town vibe suits me just fine. But the skyline catches my breath just the same and it doesn’t matter how many times I leave that place …I spend a lot of time staring sadly into my rear vision mirror!
Due to some last minute shuffling of appointments further north, I cut my Wanaka time short and left in good time on Sunday. Again – one of the best days spent driving in the South Island I believe! I hit Tarras then ventured through the high country of the Lindis Pass and on into the Mackenzie Basin. This area is quite something…desolate (except for the relatively recent circles of green from new irrigation) stony, sparse bordered on one side by tussocky hills and the other, the rugged and black Southern Alps. I always half expect to see a woolly mammoth rolling a long in the distance!
It’s been my tradition for at least the last 8 years to always without fail stop at Lake Pukaki and have a wee silent moment taking in Aoraki/Mt Cook. On this day the usual saturated blue of the lake was more of a glacial milky colour which made everything look silver. Sigh. It’s a pretty special place!
After another 3 hours ish I reached my parents place just north of Christchurch where I bunked down of for a few days to catch up on some work.
On the Wednesday, pre-dawn, I loaded up the Styla and once again pointed her north. In just a couple of hours of low lit driving I slid out of the Hundalee ranges to arrive seas side just south of Kaikoura. The sun was just coming out and I stopped for a second to take it all in as fisherman quietly launched their boats for the day. My timing was kind of bang on as in the rosy gold light I could make out shapes jumping and realised that I was watching an enormous super pod of dolphins frolicking their way south! Awesome!
Tradition struck again with an obligatory piece of fresh battered fish from The Cave restaurant for breakfast and a quick drive to the peninsula look out to enjoy it while taking in Kaikoura, her north and south coast and the snowy peaks to her west. It’s a pretty incredible location!
I continued north and through to Blenheim where I stayed with and interviewed NZ’s Queen of Colour, interior designer Alex Fulton. While it was only 24 hours I lapped up the best Japanese I’d ever had in NZ and a decadent platter with local wine….they don’t do things by halves in Marlborough!
The following morning it was another early one to zip the half hour on through to my last port of call in the South Island; Picton. As they sun came up I drove the car into the bowels of the Interislander Ferry then armed with all warm things I had, found myself a rail side posse to take in the pure magic of the Marlborough Sounds. We slid through Tory Channel then on over the straight to eventually enter Wellington Harbour and the North Island. Wellington always surprises me …its white little houses clinging to the rolling ridges and tops around the harbour, kind of reminding me of San Francisco!
Wellington looked after me for another 3 days. I took photos at Khandallah’s best kept secret; Tea Pea, visited the new harbour side HQ of fashion brand; Kowtow and for the first time ever explored all its exposed suburban bays where houses cling and hide behind rock while the Tasman has a good go and ripping them off! It was kind of unlike any other urban touring I’d ever done!
All in all I had two weeks exploring what I thought was very familiar territory….but for the most part it felt like I was seeing everything again for the first time! That trip is surely one of the most gratifying with its quick and continual changes of scenery. Probably my favourite.
You can also read about Julia’s road trip here