Relocating a Car From Christchurch to Auckland
Last week I used the website www.transfercar.co.nz to relocate a campervan from Christchurch to Auckland, taking mainly the main route (State Highway 1) aside from a detour to Whanganui and around the Bay of Plenty. One advantage to living in Christchurch, is that many people start their campervan journey in Auckland and fly out from Christchurch, leaving their campervan here. This means that many of the companies will offer incentives such as free petrol and free ferry to get the vehicle back up there. This relocation is something I have been doing for a number of years now, as it allows me to capture new GPS coordinates which are added to the CamperMate database, however this was the second time I had used this website.
I guess I've been a little dubious in the past about going on these websites, as quite often there's an onerous registration process that quite often makes you feel as though you're applying for a home loan with the amount of forms to fill out. But I was quite surprised about how it all works with Transfercar. Yes, you have to sign up and give some details, but the process works. Once you sign up and select your vehicle, you have to pay a deposit with your credit card, then an email is sent to the vehicle rental company (their details are retained from you up until this point), when the company confirms an email is sent back to you with details on pick up time and location. The vehicle I was relocating was a Lucky Rentals campervan, which I picked up from near the Christchurch airport. Once you get there, you are treated as a (paying) customer, either that or the guys at Lucky Rentals are just always super friendly. Within 5 minutes, I was on the road, cruising past Belfast (northern suburb of Christchurch) and heading toward Kaikoura in my 1998 Toyota Estima.
The ferry was booked out for that evening, so I took it pretty cruisy given that Picton was my final destination that night. This allowed me to cruise past Kaikoura which unfortunately for me had the best dive conditions I had seen in a while (6 or so metres visibility and flat seas)..Bugger, no dive gear! Not all was lost, as these flat conditions made for a wonderful ferry crossing between Picton and Wellington. This photo below is the last of the South Island which you sail past before heading into the open seas.
After arriving into Wellington around 9am it was off toward Whanganui on the West Coast, an awesome wee town of around 45,000 people. The great thing about having a campervan is that you have the freedom to cruise wherever you want, and as long as you have knowledge of where you can camp, you're sorted. For the journey I used the CamperMate app to find the campsites along the way. I took the Kaurangaroa Road toward Hunterville, a road that doesn't get much traffic, and stopped off for lunch here (below). Once I passed Hunterville, it was onto the Waikato region which was probably one of the highlights I must admit. Passing lakes like Arapuni and Karapiro were just amazing, with a large number of designated freedom campsites available, (mainly for self contained vehicles). The vehicle was perfroming very well! Some of these campsites have steep hills upon entry/exit, but they were a breeze! After the Waikato region it was a side step over to Bay of Plenty. The sun was out and most of my time was spent cruising past golden sand beaches heading north, ever closer to the final destination of Auckland, which I was due to arrive in the following day. Before organising my plans to arrive into Auckland, I checked the CamperMate road alerts to see if there was anything I should know about. Sure enough, a concrete truck had overturned on the southern motorway and was blocking off all three lanes into Auckland. Not being a fan of being stuck in traffic I decided to stay put an hour out of Auckland at Orere, and would head in the following day. At 9am I started my journey in on the final day of the vehicle relocation. I drove to the Lucky Rentals depot near the airport and cleaned the vehicle, using their skip on site to get rid of any rubbish I had. I signed the return form, handed the keys over and they dropped me to the airport. That whole process took me about 10 minutes. The entire process of relocating the vehicle was pretty seamless and a thoroughly enjoyable journey which benefits both the company and the user. It get's my thumbs up.