My Kea Camper on the South Island

Are you an RV-kinda person?

I know some people are really into their RVs and it’s a major part of their lives. I guess they are like boats in that way. For whatever reason, I’ve never really been into that, although you would think my nomadic nature would make that option seem particularly attractive to me.

I remember when I rented this one in the photo below. It was the first one I ever drove, and I guess there was an extra layer of nervousness because I was driving on the other side of the road plus a standard shift (that you shifted with your left hand). It was all a little overwhelming while my family was flying around hanging on to whatever they could find! Well… the kids had a good time…. the crazier the drive, the better!

Daily Photo – My Kea Camper on the South Island

This was one of the prettiest parts of the drive to Milford Sound. You can’t miss it. You CAN miss a lot of things down there, but not if you are right along this main road. This is probably one of the most majestic valleys I’ve ever seen.

My Kea Camper on the South Island

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  • Date Taken2018-01-06 06:04:27
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  • t_linn

    I could totally see you embracing an RV, Trey. It is the ultimate camera bag. I have a large truck camper that slides into the bed of my large 4×4 pickup truck. It has allowed me to reach and stay places that would otherwise be out of the question.

    I wish renting them was less expensive. I looked into the cost of traveling around Iceland in one; the quotes I found were significantly more than a hotel + car rental. That may not be the case everywhere.

  • I live in a camper full time. Dramatically simplifies your life and satisfies the photo bug that infects so many of your readers Trey. Love your photography. You introduced me to HDR and I’ll always be grateful.

    Wayne (Wirs)

  • Trey Ratcliff


  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks! Yes – my friend Ben lives in a bus all the time too – I think it can work in the right situation! 🙂

  • I love that valley… Lived in Te Anau for a while a few years ago and went whenever I could. Did our honeymoon in a Sprinter RV in NZ, super scary driving through Christchurch on the wrong side with a standard shift diesel! On return trips with just the wife and I we purchased a car instead, easier to get around with. But if you’ve got little ones the RV would be hard to beat!

  • Road to Milford is amazing. Sandflies in there are not. In October, when snow starts melting down, there will be thousands of waterfalls on both sides of the road through the mountains. You should also take the overnight cruise in Milford, kids will like that too 🙂

  • And those roads aren’t overly wide either! We were there in November 2009 and took about 5 hours to get from Te Anau to the docks because there’s just so many amazing sights to see on the way.

  • Similar to my own experiences. I first drove a camper van in NZ almost 20 years ago, while I was working at Kodak in Australia and then again, during July 2011, around Iceland. Next time I’m going to shell out more money. There’s no point having to convert a table into a bed and vicki versa. A decent bed, a quality leather couch, great workstation and TV and a proper shower and toilet. Now that’s outdoor living! But the cost would be high and the greater size of the van would make parking and country road explorations difficult at best. Photography really is a game of compromise.

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