House buses get to­gether


They be­gan as­sem­bling early Tues­day and by Satur­day of Labour Week­end there were 42 vin­tage house buses parked at Woodville’s Ferry Re­serve.

Or­gan­is­ing a gath­er­ing like this is pos­si­ble only through so­cial me­dia.

Sharla May, editor of the NZ Tiny House and Al­ter­nate Liv­ing Con­fer­ence site put out an in­vi­ta­tion to meet at Ferry Re­serve over Labour Week­end. New res­i­dents in Woodville Matt and Molly Fos­ter did the ground work or­gan­is­ing the re­serve — and it hap­pened.

Ev­ery house bus is the unique cre­ation of its owner. Molly says they “are made with love”.

Some buses are re­ally old, like Merv and Joan Poin­ton’s 1970 Bed­ford VAS bus they have been trav­el­ling in for 25 years.

Oth­ers are newly-fit­ted out cre­ations of older ve­hi­cles, like Sharla May’s bus, on the road for the first time. Some have so­lar power, oth­ers gen­er­a­tors, all are dif­fer­ent colours, shapes and sizes.

John and Bev­erly Per­rett from Strat­ford built their tra­di­tional gypsy house replica 20 years ago, put it on a new chas­sis last year and reg­u­larly travel on ex­tended hol­i­days through­out New Zealand with their dog Heidi.

The own­ers are as unique as their ve­hi­cles — rang­ing from a young fam­ily to an 82 year old still driv­ing his Bed­ford. Ca­ma­raderie is the key at­trac­tion for a meet­ing like this. They meet to swap ex­pe­ri­ences and ideas, have fun and ad­ven­ture.

They were re­ally chuffed to ex­pe­ri­ence two bus­loads of mo­tor homers vis­it­ing at the Woodville Race Course on Satur­day morn­ing and were pleased to wel­come other vis­i­tors.

“We’re not weirdos,” says Holly. “We just or­di­nary peo­ple seek­ing a dif­fer­ent way of life — some­times per­ma­nently and some­times just for a break.”

Merv and Joan Poin­ton from Mar­ton with Ken Hand­cock of Levin by the old con­verted 1970 Bed­ford VAS.

Or­gan­iser of the gath­er­ing Sharla May with her dogs Ava and Har­vey.

John and Bev­erly Per­rett from Strat­ford with their tra­di­tional gypsy house.

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