We’re tempted to just say “toughen up” and leave it at that – but we understand why a few of you out there tend to pack up your tents at this time of the year and stow them in the spare room until summer.
New Zealand, after all, can be a pretty windswept part of the world when it comes to camping between April and October.
But having said that, here at Lotus Belle, we’re convinced that a tent is for life, not just for Christmas… and when it comes to making a pitch for year-round camping, we think we’ve found the perfect solution with our sturdy, heavy-duty canvas tents which can withstand most weather conditions and even suit a wood-burning stove to make sure you stay nice and toasty.
So now you’ve lost your excuse that the tent won’t stay up and it won’t be warm enough – here are our reasons why you should consider a Lotus Belle getaway this autumn and winter.
1. You get the best sites all to yourself. Yes, that sounds thoroughly antisocial and – sure – during summer, camping is all about getting a whole heap of people together and enjoying life in the great outdoors. But how often are you left with that last spot to pitch your tent next to the toilet block, and how often are you woken by screaming kids at 6am, and how often do those drunk teenagers stumble into the side of your tent in the middle of the night…?
2. It’s more romantic. Leading on from the fact that the children are probably back at school, the teenagers are back hanging around malls rather than campsites and you’ve got the run of the best campsites in the world, is the fact that camping in autumn and winter can be totally romantic. Pack a nice bottle of red and a heap of blankets and cosy on up to your loved one… who cares whether the wind howls and the rain pours?
3. The weather’s better. Trust us on this… yes, relentless blue skies and blazing sun is pretty cool during summer, but all that parched grassland and burning sand isn’t for everyone. New Zealand has wonderfully clear, crisp days over the colder months and when the sun isn’t beating down on your back, you might enjoy some of those tramping trips a little bit more. We’re not advocating heading into the Otago high country or up Mt Ruapehu to pitch a tent in the snow (although camping in snow can be a totally magical experience), but consider Northland or the top of the South Island – there are some truly stunning sites.
4. The wildlife. In short, more of the good stuff and less of the bad. You’re highly unlikely to get munched by mozzies or annoyed by sandflies during the colder months while some of the larger wildlife is much easier to see outside peak tourist season. The best examples of this are at Abel Tasman, where the birdlife is best during the quieter months, and in Kaikoura, where the year-round visits from sperm whales are joined by migrating humpback, pilot, blue and southern right whales from June to August.