To celebrate World Friendships Day, we had a good old natter with Cath – one of our long-time frequent “flyers” – about her many awesome adventures in Quirky campervans!
Kia ora Cath! So lovely to be speaking with you today. To start off, who are you?
Hi! My name is Cath and I am a teacher living in West Auckland with my family of four – me, my husband, two kids, (and dog Marlo!) We love to adventure and find good food in great places.
Here’s a tough one. Describe Quirky in 5 words.
Ooo… Freedom, fun, unique, stylish, and dog-friendly!
In your view, what is Quirky Campers all about?
For me, they are about the freedom to explore New Zealand in a cool, quirky way.
Why do you resonate with Quirky’s mission?
I’m always on the hunt for something that’s not mainstream and love getting away from the crowds.
Hiring a Quirky Camper is like a mini experience inside your whole trip. The van becomes [a big part of] the trip as opposed to being just a tool!
Quirky Campers have all these great features, and the pickup and drop off is literally up the road from me where I walk my dog… so it’s super easy!
Tell us… What do you love most about Quirky?
With Quirky, you’re given a unique experience to travel NZ. In some ways, [traveling in a Quirky van] is kind of like a throwback to the free and retro 70s surf, beach and campervanning life… the good old days when you could park up anywhere!
Some of the best spots we’ve stayed in [in Quirky’s self-contained campers] have been free camp spots! With freedom camping, you just have to do your research.
I can’t let too many secrets away, haha, but our favorite was in Matapouri (the most gorgeous beach!) We opened Ivan’s (one of your previous vans’) doors and you could literally step out of him onto the beach…. SO dreamy! We even had little candles and people coming along saying “excuse me, we love your van!” I was thinking “Ahhh, I wish it was mine!” It was a real talking point!
Another beauty of renting through Quirky is that you can hire a different one each time! There’s a little book in each campervan you can write and read the stories of people who’ve previously adventured in it. You’ll be cruising along and suddenly think “Ah yeah, I should have a look [at old entries!]” It’s so cool. Everyone always says things like “It was sooo lovely!”
You’ve been a Friend of Quirky for quite some time now. How many trips have you taken with us & which vans have you been in?
We’ve taken a total of four trips – Ivan [one of your old vans] up north, Barbara down to Rotorua and the East Coast, and Brendan to Awhitu Peninsula and Tāwharanui! I also rented Morrison for a weekend to go to Piha!
Tell us about your favorite trip in a Quirky Camper
Hmm.. I’m going to say my trip in Barbara. Brendan was great because of his enclosed shower, but Barbara is the ultimate van for any season because you’ve got spaces inside to cook, the table [that slides into] the bed and the projector screen.
In summer you can open the door, swing the stove outside and cook outdoors. Then in winter you can cook inside and have a cosy movie night. Also the the dog bed in Barbara was stupidly amazing. 😀
What keeps you coming back to Quirky?
The ease of booking! All the costs are upfront/included. When you look at the prices you might think “ouch”, that’s a little expensive, but when you actually compare it to the end price of a Maui or a Britz, it’s basically the same… except with Quirky you’ve got a really cool campervan, with easy pick-up, delivery, and way more fun!
What makes Quirky stand out from other van hiring companies you’ve rented with before?
We’ve picked up vans at the airport before and it’s just two horrendous hours of stress. I don’t want to Uber to the airport to wait for two hours to pick up a van and then come home.
With Quirky, however, communication is always great. Leanne answers your questions straight away. You just park your car at the pick-up, say “hey, I’m here” via text, and the van is ready for you to drive away. It’s that simple!
And a Quirky trip is a little more boastworthy, don’t you think? 😉
Oh 100%! The amount of comments I get from others, like “OMG, is that yours? Give me the link.” It’s crazy. So many people have booked through our stories, and I’ve given the website link out a lot. One friend saw us in Barbara and replied: “Where, what, when, how!?” Then they did a big trip in Brendan […] down through the Bay of Islands.
So yeah… You can definitely brag! People resonate with that sense of freedom. I’ll often post a photo of me parked up brewing my coffee or having a wine, and I’m thinking “Yeah, that’s the view I have right now… Sorry you’re at work!” Hahaha. Everyone’s like… I’m not even going to comment, I hate you right now! 😂
What advice would you give to people thinking of hiring a Quirky camper?
- GO FOR IT! All the information you need is in the van. Got questions? There’s always Leanne or Dan to ask. I had to ask a question when hiring Brendan and it was straight away answered. They know their campervans so well!
- You’ll be fine! It can be a bit daunting [renting for the first time] but just do it because it’s incredibly rewarding. I get that there’s the fear of driving the vans and sorting out […] how the van works. But you quickly realise that it’s actually quite easy and everything is mostly the same across campervans. It’s like driving a car. It’s not hard, you just have to go a little bit slower, [like] 90. Just think of that all-encompassing sense of self-drive… Knowing [you] hired it, worked it out, made it happen and had a wonderful time ! It’s pretty cool.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When it comes to hiring, the information is all there. (See our FAQs and COVID-19 policy)… and you can’t really go too wrong ‘cause if you have any questions [during your trip] you can just call Leanne. [When I first hired,] I asked what things were included and how the security deposit works. Don’t worry – Leanne will answer all your questions.
Who have you shared your Quirky adventures with and how did these experiences compare?
Kids and my dog! In recent times, I’ve just taken one kid at a time! It’s a great way to spend some quality time with them, and they’re always really keen for a bit of adventure. Normally they just cruise along, but sometimes I’ll ask “Where should we go on holiday next guys?” One time my son suggested Rotorua so we decided to head down that way. But wherever you go in New Zealand, you can’t lose! In a campervan, you can go wherever you want.
Taking a dog adds that element of family, and it forces you to find walks! Just make sure to research the trip so you know where there are free areas. The main thing is that traveling with a dog requires a bit more planning ahead of time. With free campsites by the road, you just have to make sure you pick up what you left.
What doubts did you first have when first considering hiring with Quirky?
To be honest, I didn’t have too many reservations, and I did a lot of the research myself. I just emailed the campsites I was going to, saying I’m going. There’s a cool app called Campermate which [you can use as] you’re traveling around and find free rest stops. There are some privately owned places that might charge you $10 to park up.
Reviews often mention Leanne and Dan’s superb service. In what ways does Quirky go “above and beyond”?
They are very timely with their responses [and] very friendly! The whole process from pick up to drop off is casual but gets the job done. It’s not like going into an office and signing sheets. It’s more relaxed. They’ve got a clipboard there, [which they run through] as you look at/check the van together. Dan shows you how everything works. It doesn’t feel all official like it does when you go into a big campervan or car hire place. They try to make you feel at ease. 🙂
Who’s next on your bucket list?
I’d really like to rent Big Buzz in Queenstown! It’s hard to rent in Auckland and then drive all the way down to the South Island, so the next dream is to fly down and rent there! Big Buzz is a four-berth camper, meaning we can take all four of the family! I’ve previously taken one child on each trip, [and they’re always like] “Muuum, it’s my turn!!” With Brendan last time I had to split the trip into two days to give them each a turn!
Thanks so much for chatting with me today Cath! It’s been a pleasure!
Thank you too! I swear I go and look at some dates and almost book a campervan every two months! Looking forward to the next one!
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