We finally got around to putting a sleeping platform in our van - a bit of junk plywood cut to fit the space. With a self inflating mattress on top and boxes of gear underneath, it should work well. Last Saturday we gave it a run overnight on Te Horo beach, about 60km north of Wellington. It's a quiet beach with loads of driftwood, and a couple of free camping areas.
About 8pm that night, when a security guy knocked on our window, we found out that we don't qualify for free camping as we're not a self contained van. He was nice about it and let us stay, but we had to move about 50mt up the beach to appease the locals; Mish drove the van over and I didn't even get out of the sleeping bag.
Had an ok night after that, but it was rather lovely when the sun came up. It's 4-5 degrees warmer than Wellington up there. A few dogs came and said hello in the morning, with their cheerful owners. Then we packed up and pottered off and played tourist in local towns and cafes, sticky beaking down a few more beach roads, and taking a walk on a bit of elevated land for sale. Just curious. The owner came over and walked around with us, explaining what he'd planted over the last 30 years, so that was nice. We decided the block was great now, surrounded by native bush and birds and looking out to sea, but would probably get built out too much in the future. Still, we're not quite ready to buy anything yet anyway.
Mish does love to look...
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