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Rach Stewart tours the South Island in a maui Ultima

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Rach Stewart, a kiwi landscape travel and adventure photographer recently picked up one of our maui Ultima motorhomes from our Christchurch branch and embarked on a 5-day trip heading South to Queenstown. Rach gets inspired by landscapes and loves to travel to new places, exploring the unknown and finding the all-important elements that connect humans with nature. This time Rach wanted to visit places she had never been before, documenting her experiences along the way with her stunning photography skills. Read about her trip below.

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This was my third time touring the South Island in a maui motorhome, and it was of course just as good as the previous times! I had the 2 berth maui Ultima this time and it was a great home away from home with the perfect amount of space for a solo traveller. Having said that, I had friends visit me along the way and we were able to hang out in the motorhome comfortably with the back space converted into a lounge/card playing/chill-out area. The Ultima was super easy to drive and really felt like just a normal car with its manoeuvrability and smooth travelling. It was so easy to get around in and made my trip as a photographer a lot easier than travelling in a car. 

My plan for this trip was to visit a few places I’d never been before, mostly around Canterbury and then over to the West Coast of the South Island. Although the weather was very challenging at times, I was still able to enjoy some absolutely incredible views over Fox Glacier, had a day skiing at Cardrona, and spent some quality time with friends in Hawea and Queenstown. 

As on all the previous trips I have taken by motorhome, it really is such a treat to be able to travel with my accommodation on wheels. It meant that I could enjoy the days wherever I wanted, and for the photography hours I could be exactly where I needed to be. During the day we were able to choose the best spots to park and have lunch, admire the scenery, lounge in the sun. The same went for afternoon teas and dinners, and then at the end of the day we were able to make use of the freedom camping spots available to us, and very reasonably priced DOC camping sites and camping grounds. Because getting up early is a must for a landscape photographer, we were able to park fairly close to the destinations I needed to be for sunrise photography. This meant maximizing sleep and driving time and not having to worry about extended driving to get to particular spots for sunrise.

Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. The freedom and accessibility travelling by motorhome is such a big bonus - you can truly make up your trip almost day by day if you want to, stopping along the way and extending your stay for all those interesting points.

But New Zealand is a truly beautiful country and there is so much more to see, so next trip we'll be planning to explore the lush green and mysterious North Island.


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