While the world grapples with Covid, New Zealand is breathing a collective sigh of relief, that, so far, we have avoided the worst-case scenario. We have, we believe, stopped Covid at the border. We can only hope it stays that way.
New Zealand had the cases. There was community spread. Then we had lockdown. Level 4 restrictions, level 3, level 2, and now level 1. Level 1 restrictions mean we can get back out and travel in relative freedom. But the borders remain closed to non-citizens.
With our European holiday canceled, we have taken the chance to enjoy New Zealand. To explore the snow-capped mountains, enjoy the empty beaches, the turquoise blue lakes, and breathe the fresh alpine air.
Travel during Covid Restrictions
But there is an eerie feeling about it. It is quiet. The carparks are empty. You can wander around the stunningly beautiful and small township of Tekapo, and you know it is usually packed beyond its seams. There are countless carparks, toilets, and rubbish bins. There are playgrounds. And walks. And they are all but deserted.
In other popular tourist towns there are empty shops. Signs on the windows “closed due to Covid”. The lack of tourists is hurting.
When it comes to the best camping spots, the blogs and tourist guides all say “get in there early to get a good spot”. We wander in late afternoon and are the first ones to arrive. We get the pick of the best campsites, even at the prized freedom camping spot on the shores of Lake Pukaki.
Kiwis have issued a challenge, get out there and see your own country. #travellocal. Support the New Zealand Tourism Industry. And as a country, Kiwis have done a fantastic job. There were rental campers on the road everywhere during the school holidays and kiwi accents at every turn. It was incredible to see.
But now the kids are back at school, the place is again empty. Just a few of us vanlifers still wandering, or to ‘coddiwomple’ as the English would say.
Coddiwomple: to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.
When the time comes, we will welcome international tourists back with welcome arms, we definitely need them. In the meantime, the world waits. Waits for a vaccine. And for a time when we can all travel and explore new cultures, to meet new people from faraway places.
And while the world waits, we are loving having this eerie, snowcapped beauty almost to ourselves.
Join us on our adventures xx.
#Lockdowntravel #Travellocal #TravelNewZealand #NewZealand #CovidTravel