Sunday, October 21, 2007

Getting Super-Casual in Christchurch ...

As we walked out of the aiport to our shuttle bus it was a cold, wet and windy night - and as we drove into the city we were immediately struck by how the shops and houses had an ever so slightly English air to them.

We'd arrived on New Zealand's South Island with very little plan for the coming weeks - in fact after spending so long living in a campervan we weren't looking beyond the immediate luxury of sleeping in a proper bed.

After weighing up the transport options for touring the country we decided to buy our own vehicle. There's a thriving backpacker market for vehicles that can double up as a bed for the night - from station wagons (estate cars) through to van's with makeshift beds in the back. We set to work trawling the small ads for something that would suit our needs, as well as providing a good resale opportunity - and who knows, we might even be able to turn a small profit ...


Introducing our new wheels - a 1989 Toyota Lite-Ace purchased for the princely sum of $2,700NZ (about 1000 English). Four good tyres, a sweet running engine, converted for a variety of seating and sleeping configurations plus a long WOF (MOT) mean this should be a sound choice for resale up in Auckland in 6 weeks time - but in the end it was the Super-Casual badging that reminded us so much of Malaysian bus names that really sold it.

We didn't see too much of the tourist sights in Christchurch, but dealing with the practicalities of vehicle ownership and kitting ourselves out for the road gave us a different insight into everyday life in New Zealand.

One of the continuing features of the roads in Australia and New Zealand is the presence of customised campervans (see example below), and we've seen some real classics over the last few weeks.



If anyone has any suggestions for customising Super-Casual then just add your comment below ...


We hoping a few factors will help us in our quest for succesful van trading - firstly prices are higher on the North Island, secondly we'll be selling in a rising market as we approach high season. In much the same way as the prices of convertibles rise come early summer in the UK so do clapped-out vans over here ...

5 comments:

T2 said...

You take the man away from CAP but you can't take CAP away from the man....

I suggest that you cover the camper van with memorabilia from your trip such as beer bottle labels and weird and wonderful culinary experiences! Not sure how that would effect the resale value though!

Looks like you are both having a fab time!
T2x

paullangham said...

find some decent wine while you're out there Mark. Paul @ a'Beckett's

Sandy Boyd said...

Mmmm, not sure about the carbon footprinting on that badboy - RV not looking too healthy either!

Sandy x

joolz - Leeds said...

With rising house prices in the UK Mark, I suggest you hold on to that badboy, you may need to live in it!!!!

Enjoy ;-)

Joolz

T1RBO said...

You were done M8, Glass's sees the same year at £800...

Glad to see you're still having fun

M