Buying a campervan in New Zealand is quite the endeavor. Although there is a market for it, it takes resourcefulness, stamina, and some street cred. We started shopping for vans before we arrived in Auckland, but quickly realized that we would need to be here to seal the deal. After a few days of hanging with the rellies and accliimating to kiwi-time we continued our search again. We had an idea of what we wanted: high-top van, big enough to stand up in, three seats across the front, complete with a kitchen sink and refrigerator, a dinner table that converts into a queen size bed, low mileage, and, of course, a reasonable price. What we got was a 2-seater, soccer-mom van with a chilly bin (aka cooler) and a few spare dishes, a folding table, beach chairs, and a mop bucket for dishes; however, it also came with low-mileage, tons of character, and lots of WOLOtude potential (and it came at a fair price)!
Meet Blue Rhino; the cream of the crop of Toyota mini-vans. The name ‘rhino’ comes from the last owners, who came to New Zealand with the intention of having a rhino-themed van. The stuffed rhino, which they found for 10 cents at a second-hand store, accompanied them on their journey, and now sits proudly on our dashboard to continue the legacy. The name ‘blue’ comes from the paint job. Born in 1996, he has a dreamy dark blue exterior, is equipped with a sunroof and a moonroof, and has beige curtains that provide privacy and a touch of home decor. We purchased him from an Israeli couple, that purchased him from another Israeli couple, that purchased him from a local kiwi-family. So that makes us his step-parents two-times removed? Let us know if you can figure that one out!
So far Blue Rhino has been stellar, except for the occassionally squeaky, and sometimes embarrassing, brakes. The change of ownership was completed a few days ago and we’re already on the road. Next stop: Whangarei.
– Go. Change your state of mind.