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It’s one of a hundred stories Tony can tell about the pleasures of holidaying in their motorhome.
Their camper van is a Transit van, converted for tourists and once part of the Horizon fleet.
He and Diane bought it in 2015 and have notched up about 15,000km in the South Island, exploring idyllic spots when time, the weather and inclination allows.
He says it is the life and their compact home-away-from-home has all the mod cons, plus shower and toilet and solar panels if they really want to stay off the grid.
Tony said Central Otago held some beautiful spots and they simply parked up, opened the door and enjoyed the scenery. Sometimes with a glass of wine and a book.
When they are not using the camper van, it parks up at their Tinwald home where it can double as a spare room when the grandkids come.
Tony is also on the Ashburton Lions Club committee organising the South Island Motorhome Show at the Ashburton Showgrounds on February 29 and March 1.
He says the show is all about sharing that motorhome experience.
The show is also an opportunity for motorhome owners to sell privately, and for dealers to sell or showcase their vehicles. Companies that make goods for motorhomes also set up shop.
Tony said about 200 motorhomes were expected at the showgrounds for the event, which was timed to capture those heading to the New Zealand Motorhome Association conference in Oamaru the following weekend.
The club has organised food outlets and invited Fire and Emergency NZ to put on special fire safety in mobile homes education sessions on the Saturday between 10am and 2.30pm.
Tony said the club was also arranging to have some retro caravans on display.
Entry to the show will be $5.