Christchurch couple Julie Truman and Mike Winter, and their
dog Recho, were in Invercargill on Wednesday with their
house bus and custom-built trailer for their toys. Photo by
When Mike Winter and Julie Truman go on holiday, they
take the toys with them.
Mr Winter, an engineer, not only converted a 1994, 10.2m
passenger bus into a motor home but built a trailer to carry
all the things which he says make holidays enjoyable -
canoes, quad bikes, mountain bikes and collapsible crayfish
There is even space on the trailer for a jet-boat, but the
Canterbury couple have left that at home this time round.
When they set off before Christmas on a four-month South
Island road trip, they decided it was more prudent to pack a
spare wheel for the house bus than a jet-boat, they said
during a shopping stop in Invercargill earlier this week.
They have owned the fully self-contained house bus and
trailer for about five years and said the combination was a
conversation starter wherever they went.
''People are always interested. They take photographs,'' Ms
Mr Winter said he and Ms Truman ''were sitting in the spa
pool one Saturday night'' a few months ago when they decided
to hit the road.
Their home, along with all the other houses in the coastal
village of Brooklands, at the mouth of the Waimakariri River,
was written off after the Christchurch earthquakes of
September 2010 and February 2011.
They had bought a piece of land and were waiting for a new
home to be built.
''We both said we were getting sick of our jobs and it was
time to have a bit of a break,'' Mr Winter said.
''We had the bus and decided why not?'' They have already
spent a few weeks in Central Otago and are now exploring
Southland, stopping whenever they find an appealing camp site
and staying for as long as they want.
From Invercargill, they plan to wend their way back to
Christchurch via the Catlins and the East Coast.
Mr Winter will return to his job, but Ms Truman, who was a
receptionist at a hairdressing salon, said she was still
assessing her options.