Hopefully, in the next few days, we will move down to level 2. With the Government announcing that we will be allowed to travel again, it was time to express some thoughts about the situation. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about when I mention the sky is falling. There is a nursery rhyme that tells the tale of Chicken Little who while sleeping has an acorn fall on her head. Thinking this is the end of the world, she sets off to tell the king and everyone on the way that the sky is falling.
I guess for a lot of people the last 6 weeks have been a little like this. If you own and run a business, then my heart honestly does go out to you. Lots of you will be thinking that the sky or your world is indeed falling. The news has been such that many other people will also be telling others that the world is ending.
There is no other single group of people in New Zealand who can mobilise like the motorhome community. As a group, we represent the whole spectrum of Kiwis. Like no other group of New Zealanders, we have within us the mobility and members with means to make a rapid difference. Thousands of us can do our bit to toss the acorn back into the tree. We can all prevent the sky from falling, and we owe it to future generations to do this. No other group of Kiwis is able to make such an immediate impact on the current business situation in New Zealand.
Like thousands of other motorhomer’s I freely admit to being a cheapskate staying in freedom camping areas or using the NZMCA Parks. While there is nothing wrong with this behaviour, it’s time to get out and support NZ Business and peoples livelihoods where we can. Obviously, not everyone will have the money to stay at some of the more expensive campsites. But if some of us don’t start using them, they will be potentially lost. Without the income from overseas tourists, a lot of these places that were just marginal will become uneconomic. These campgrounds will be sold, and another unique piece of NZ will be lost forever. We have already lost far too many coastal campsites in New Zealand.
The NZMCA has put together a fantastic resource in the Camp Saver project where you can stay at lots of places for just $20 per night. Even less if at most of them if you are on your own. But merely staying one or two nights here or there is not going to be enough to stop the sky from falling.
How many of you are like me arriving at a place. Riding the local bike trail maybe buy a few groceries, top up with petrol and move onto the next town. Now is the time to do those things that you have always wanted to do but put off because of the crowds. Maybe you have always wanted to go to Queenstown or some other tourist hotspot. But like us have been put off by the crowds and the attitude of the local council. I should say here that last time we were in QT 2 years ago with nowhere to park we just drove through without staying. Having last visited in 1990 when we did a lot of tourist things. It would have been nice to at least be able to walk the mall and lakefront or ride the gondola.
Recent estimates have suggested that the unemployment rate in places like Rotorua and Queenstown will skyrocket putting thousands of hardworking Kiwis out of work. These towns with an economy built around tourists will suffer more as hotels and attractions shut down due to the lack of visitors. So maybe that longheld dream to see the geysers or climb Mt Manganui to watch a sunrise then wander down to soak in the hot pools. Now is the time to do these things and not have to worry about thousands of others invading your space.
Of course, there is so much more to NZ than the tourist towns of both islands. What there is, often, is a place hidden away that charges a few bucks entry fee that you might once drive past. Now I am suggesting to you that it’s the time to stop, blow the cobwebs off your wallet or purse and go have a look. You never know you may well be surprised at some of the wonderful things to see and do in this country. Travel slowly see lots. That’s a motto I wish I had followed when we were in the South Island two years ago.
So if you are sitting at home retired with a few spare bucks, maybe suffering from a little cabin fever after the last 6 weeks. Its time to dust off the travel atlas and start thinking about a road trip. Maybe the first stop might be your local garage to get them to give the motorhome a birthday. If you are one of those people that doesn’t like to travel in winter that’s OK NZ will need you just as much come springtime. But if you can spare a few weeks and a few bucks more than you would usually spend, you might find lots of welcoming places on the road.
One of the sad things about the Chicken Little story is how many other birds believed her when she told them the sky was falling. It’s really hard when there is so much negative news around to try and put a positive spin on things. Yes we have had a disaster, yes it was a pretty big acorn, but that’s no reason to end the world. If we, the motorhome community can mobilise ourselves, we could become a very strong force in helping rebuild New Zealand.
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To view the places we have visited click here to see them on Google maps. You can then click the link to read the blog about that area.
To view our Campground Ratings system, that we have done for places we have stayed click here