This blog is written, photographed and compiled by Vicki Annison, a freelance writer based in Cambridge, New Zealand.
The blog, and Vicki, could not exist without assistance from :
Sam – Bus driver / wallet holder / pancake maker / awesome-est husband
Abi (age 10) – Joke teller / dog handler / beach buddy / fellow book-worm
Dexter (16) – Sound engineer/ technical assistant / funny guy / source of infinite wisdom
Jacob (18) – Artist / musician / provider of lawn and animal care at home during bus trips
Pip & Jess (dogs) – Photographic models / spreaders of sand and dirt into every corner of the bus
Bruce & Sheila (cats) – Non-travelling pets that stay at home to help Jacob look after the house
In 2008 two lengthy airplane journeys bought the Annison family from the UK to the land of the long white cloud.
Having jumped in feet first, with gumboots and jandals, we are now bona-fide Kiwis loving living the life here.
The Kiwi Annisons settled down in Cambridge – the town of trees and champions – in the Waikato.
Nearby Lake Karapiro was the location for many adventures with a new toy… an old motorboat with which we could tow the kids on the end of a long rope (or something like that).
However we decided that we wished to see more of this wonderful country, so we ditched the boat and set out to source a low-budget campervan that with love, attention and a splattering of money would give us many years worth of wonderful trips around New Zealand.
In March 2010 we bought our bus.
It is a 1981 Isuzu Journey Custom (an old Japanese school bus I think) with heaps of potential. We have done numerous jobs on it already but it is definitely a work in progress.
Most importantly it has allowed us to travel.
We like to get to places we’ve never seen before but also love to visit good old favourite spots to relax.
Often the bikes and kayaks come with us and enable us to further explore areas and have more adventures.
Unfortunately, we have limited amounts of free time (and money) so our travels fit in around our finances and other commitments. We do not full time OR live in the bus.
However, I realised that a lot of comments were from other New Zealanders who wanted to know exactly where was that beautiful waterfall? How could they get to that remote beach? How do we know where we can camp for free?
A kiwi friend told me she was showing her family some of my facebook pictures, taken on a trip in our bus, and her daughter exclaimed, “That Vicki Annison has been to more places in New Zealand than we have!”.
The idea of starting a more accessible diary of our bus trips lodged in my head at that moment and has been swirling around ever since.
The new year of 2012 has spurred me into action and, after some deliberations on the naming of it, the Kiwi Blog Bus has now been born (or begun – whatever you call it in blog world).
My dream for the blog is that it will enable me to better chronicle our road trips and so pass on any advice and useful information to other would-be travellers of this beautiful land of kiwis.
(And a book deal would be nice too!)