Our bus has wings…
…and we could quite honestly not travel around New Zealand without them.
The Kiwi Blog Bus may be a little dishevelled and in need of some cosmetic attention but it very proudly wears its red wings and NZMCA membership number (40209 – give us a wave if you see us).
The New Zealand Motor-Caravan Association issues “wings” to all its paid members and for a very reasonable annual subscription you get many benefits of being in the association; including waves, nods and horn-toots from other wing-wearers on the road.
One of the greatest benefits to us is the NZMCA Travel Directory.
It is our bus bible.
The directory has maps and details of motorhome amenities and a wide variety of parking sites nationwide.
Some are public campsites, some are DOC sites, many are exclusive park-over-properties (POPs) for members-only.
POPs are great. In establishing the scheme the NZMCA has provided a unique network of over 300 safe overnight parking locations across New Zealand.
For little or no cost members can stay on private land, often established by other members, at residential sites or business premises.
We have had great experiences and met some fantastic people while staying on POPs (oh what tales I could.. and may yet… tell).
Personally we don’t tend to stay at the big campsites/motorparks any more (too expensive) so once we know where we are heading, a quick look in our bible gives us details of what overnight parking is available nearby and we are quite often spoilt for choice.
Another biggie for NZMCA is their active promotion of responsible camping.
As described by NZMCA: A self containment vehicle is designed to completely meet the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants (including water for drinking and cooking) for a minimum of three days without requiring any external services or discharging any waste.
All campervan owners can (and should) have their vehicles tested for self-containment and it’s a membership requirement of the NZMCA.
It proves you pose minimal risk to the environment (unlike the irresponsible buggers that give freedom camping a bad name) and communities and councils are a lot more accommodating to responsible campers.
I’ll rant and rave about freedom camping more at a later date (you have been warned) but the NZMCA deserve a big pat on the back for all the work they are doing to create a satisfactory solution to the issue.
The NZMCA do all this and so much more but I’m not going to make a list – you’ll look at their website if you are interested. WON’T YOU?
I reckon we’ll be members for life – because as long as our bus has wings we are happy, and responsible, travellers.