What are your names and which tours will you be leading? Our names are Noel and Kathleen Bodle and we will be leading the New Zealand Discovery Tour in February and April.
What is your back ground? Noel moved to Helensville when he was 5 and Kathleen was born in Helensville. We have been married for 47 years. Noel has been in the motor trade since leaving school, he owned his own service station for 35 years. Kathleen has a background in banking and office administration.
Where do you live? We live in a place called Helensville which is north of Auckland in the North Island.
Do you have a motorhome? We do not own our own motorhome, we just hire one for the duration of the tour.
How many tours have you done? We have hosted 3 motorhome tours and were tour leaders for last 2 Caravan & Motorhome Club tours from the UK (with great feedback). Noel has directed many boat cruises over 25 years, we even owned our own 37’ launch.
What does a typical day on tour look like for the hosts? A typical day on tour begins by checking that everyone has the instructions to get to the next stopover and things they should look for on the way. We are available from 07:30 in morning to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have. Next we check ahead with tonights campground, to make sure the sites are ready for our arrival. Throughout the day we book any tours or adventures requested by guests. We arrive at the campground before anyone else and then help them on arrival, show them to their pitches and make sure everyone arrives. If a guest hasn't arrived by 9pm, we start phoning to see what has happened and if we can be of assistance.
What can guests expect on a typical day? A guests typical day would start by familiarising yourselves with the route to the next destination, what you want to see on way e.g. museums, galleries or just explore the towns on way. Perhaps you will spend some time looking a couple of days ahead to see if you would like us to book any excursions for you. Allow yourself plenty of time to stop and take in the views.
What are the benefit of going on a escorted tour. The number one benefit of going on an escorted tour is access to our local knowledge. Having points of interest shown to you and local attractions pointed out. Having someone to organise group activities and get everyone to organised for any functions on time.
What is your favourite place on the North Island? It is very hard to pick one favourite place in the North Island. Bay of Islands and Rotorua would be our choice. Bay of Island has some lovely scenery, boating and lots more to do. Rotorua is a very interesting cultural city with lots to do and see.
What is your favourite place on the South Island? Once again it's hard to pick one place in South Island. Driving down the West Coast, the scenery is amazing and lots places of interest to stop at. Shotover Jet at Queenstown is not to be missed. Kaiteriteri is a lovely beach.
What optional excursions would you recommend? Optional excursions that we would recommend are:
South Island A drive to Bluff, most southern place in New Zealand. Moeraki Boulders - interesting formation of boulders Pancake Rocks - especially if wind is blowing onshore (look out for the blowholes) Nugget Point - get up close with the penguins
North Island Wellington Te Papa Drive to Castle Point - visit the seal colony Rotorua – Hobbiton, luge and Government Gardens Whitianga – Hot water beach Auckland – a trip on the ferry to Waiheke Island via Devonport (great cafes and wineries) Bay of Islands – Boat trip to Hole in Rock, Trip to Cape Reinga
Which are the best months to tour New Zealand? The best months to visit New Zealand are November to May when the weather is more settled and warmer.
What size motorhome would you recommend & why? We would recommend a 4 or 6 berth motorhome. This gives you a good layout and a bit more room. All the 4 & 6 berth vans are automatic, which makes driving a breeze.
What tips would you give for motorhoming in New Zealand? Get the NZ Road Code and read it before arriving, many of the rules are the same as in the UK. Leave plenty of time each day when travelling, so stops can be made on route. The scenery is great, with interesting country towns that you won't want to miss. Don’t travel in convoy, this upsets the locals and you don't want to be following in a big procession of vehicles. Some campsites (pitches as they are known in UK) are NOT AS BIG and sometimes can be very tight, but they are the legal size in New Zealand.
What should guests bring with them to New Zealand? Listed are some of the essentials tour members should bring with them: Don't forget your Driver’s License Insect Repellent (there are some big mosquitoes and sandflies) Sun Screen Enough medication to last the trip