Where we slept

We spent the trail sleeping in a mixture of places, from crowded holiday parks to quiet freedom campgrounds to cabins to backpackers to huts to beds in complete strangers homes.  The most memorable nights were spent with Kiwis who brought us into their homes and offered us beers, beds, dinner and conversation.  Our other favourite accommodations were the backcountry huts of New Zealand, of which there are close to a thousand of.  This is just a quick summary of how many nights we spent where. The short description of the phenomenal Kiwis we met is not nearly close to the memories and stories we have about them but we need to keep some memories just for ourselves!  A more in depth post of the backcountry huts we slept in will follow this one. 

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Nights paid for a bed: 14

Nights paid for a tent site: 24

Nights hosted by Kiwis on their lawn: 7

Fiona – North Island [fresh eggs from her chickens in the morning!]

Bodhi the golden retriever puppy & his owner – North Island [chewed a hole in Brad & Jess’ tent but still the cutest puppy in the world]

Mary Ann & Allan – North Island [passionate farmers who let us bottle feed a couple of their lambs and picked me up at the bottom of their long as driveway on her quad]

Unknown – North Island [weren’t too eager to meet us but their resident rat was all over meeting us at 3am]

Sally – North Island [runs an Outdoor Education centre outside the Tararuas, greeted us with a cold beer, did our laundry, let us shower, drove us into town to resupply, cooked us a massive meal even though there were 10 of us] 

Unknown – South Island [not too keen on the 4 tents we put up but let us stay nonetheless]

Unknown deer paddock – South Island [didn’t want us on his lawn but his deer paddock down the road was a great campsite]

Nights hosted by Kiwis in their home: 14

Yvonne & Paul – Whangarei NI [my favourite distant relatives, you’ve read about them by now]

Craig – Mangawhai NI [dress up, wine and dinner!]

Roy – Stillwater Motor Camp (in clubhouse!) NI [taking care of his brother’s small motor camp that has a huge clubhouse with a tv, showers, mattresses and a pool table]

Debra – Auckland NI [future TA South Island tramper]

LUMMY- Hamilton NI [buzz buzz buzz BUZZZ! ???]

Debbie – Mangatawhiri NI [after giving us permission to camp on her lawn, came out five minutes later offering us a bed, beer and dinner]

Farmer – Woolshed NI [on a pouring rain day, let us into his sheep shearing shed to sleep]

Brian & Paula – Palmerston North NI [lovely couple right on the track]

Missy & Toby – after the Tararuas NI [gave the five of us beds and also a shot of tequila each]

Rae – Raumati Beach NI [Anna (from Wellington)’s mom who gave us all beds and spent a lovely night watching the waves crash up on the beach and sharing our stories]

Anna – Wellington for 3 nights NI [the perfect holiday between islands, felt like home  ❤️❤️❤️]

Nights freedom camping: 34

Nights in backcountry huts: 29

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Total nights paid:  38

Total nights Hut pass ($90 6-month): 29 

Total nights free:  57