Off the beaten track

The Northland Age - - Opinion - Cr John Vu­j­cich

Less than two weeks ago I was at Pioneer Vil­lage Kaikohe for the launch of a new TV series called RV Ex­plor­ers — Chas­ing 100 Sun­sets. The series, cre­ated by the New Zealand Mo­tor Car­a­van As­so­ci­a­tion, fol­lows the ad­ven­tures of two of its mem­bers as they travel to outof-the-way places through­out New

Zealand in a self­con­tained mo­tor home.

The pur­pose of the series is to show­case this beau­ti­ful coun­try we live in, to en­cour­age peo­ple into the joys of mo­tor hom­ing in New Zealand, and also to en­cour­age mo­tor home tourists to ex­plore not only the main tourist spots but par­tic­u­larly those beau­ti­ful gems that are off the beaten track.

At the launch we were given an ad­vance screen­ing of the (still to be fi­nalised) Far North episode. It started in the Bay of Is­lands, fol­low­ing the twin coast cy­cle­way, through to Horeke then on through to the Hokianga, vis­it­ing the for­est in the process. Lo­cal peo­ple were in­ter­viewed, side ac­tiv­i­ties and sights were shown, and the scenery looks just fan­tas­tic.

This is not to be missed, and shows just how friendly the lo­cal peo­ple are, and how the mo­tor home life­style al­lows you to in­ter­act in a per­sonal and re­lax­ing way, en­joy­ing the com­pan­ion­ship, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing lo­cal life, and ap­pre­ci­at­ing what small off the beaten track places have to of­fer.

Why launch in Kaikohe? Sev­eral rea­sons, I sus­pect — the last places filmed were in the Far North, Kaikohe was rel­a­tively re­cently given camper­van-friendly sta­tus by the NZMCA, and Kaikohe is off the beaten track so fits with the gen­eral theme of en­cour­ag­ing vis­i­tors to these places.

Please do not con­fuse those vis­i­tors trav­el­ling in cer­ti­fied self­con­tained mo­tor homes with tourists com­ing to New Zealand and trav­el­ling to the hot tourist spots in vans with few if any fa­cil­i­ties. Such vis­i­tors re­quire sup­port­ing fa­cil­i­ties, as with other tourists trav­el­ling by plane or bus. They all make a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the econ­omy, but do put a strain on lo­cal ser­vices such as wa­ter and sew­er­age, funded gen­er­ally by the ratepayer. The cur­rent govern­ment recog­nises is­sues, and vi­able op­tions, led by Kelvin Davis, are be­ing con­sid­ered.

NZMCA mem­bers and those liv­ing the mo­tor car­a­van life­style, pri­mar­ily New Zealan­ders in self-con­tained ve­hi­cles, are, in the main, re­spon­si­ble peo­ple and wish to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and the places they visit. They get in­volved with ral­lies that ini­ti­ate ac­tiv­i­ties such as pick­ing up rub­bish that has washed ashore on to beaches or has been left by oth­ers, even our own lo­cals.

The show will go to air on Satur­day, at 1.30pm on Choice TV. The fo­cus will en­cour­age mo­tor car­a­van­ers to ex­plore places in New Zealand that are out­side the main tourist cen­tres, al­low­ing smaller com­mu­ni­ties like Kaikohe, and many oth­ers, a chance to par­tic­i­pate in the grow­ing tourism econ­omy oth­er­wise de­nied to them.

"NZMCA mem­bers and those liv­ing the mo­tor car­a­van life­style, pri­mar­ily New Zealan­ders in self­con­tained ve­hi­cles, are, in the main, re­spon­si­ble peo­ple and wish to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and the places they visit."

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