Having attended the Beach Hop in Whangamata, New Zealand for the past couple of years and seeing all the Australian cars coming over for the event, I thought it was time for Cresta and Betty to come and join me this time.
Last year I met a lovely couple John and Jean Wilson who had brought their hot rod and teardrop caravan over from Australia to New Zealand for the 2013 Sony Beach Hop as part of their traveling tribute their daughter who had tragically passed away in the Victorian Bush fires the year before. I saw them again at the Camperdown Cruise in October and Jean helped me out on my Vintage Caravan Magazine stall - thanks Jean!
This year Vintage caravan Magazine is sponsoring the Vintage Caravan Show at the Beach Hop, so fellow sponsors of the Beach Hop: Famous Pacific Shipping kindly offered to provide safe passage of my car and caravan. Despite my anxieties, the whole process was so much easier than I thought it would be.
We drove down to Brisbane and over the Gateway Bridge to the Brisbane wharf where I signed in at the shipping company and was given a high visibility vest, a visitors tag and directions on where to go. The pink duo sure caused a stir on the wharves I can tell you!
The staff were all super helpful and quite a few photos were taken while we lined up alongside container-laden trucks waiting our turn to load.
When it was time to hand over the keys to the driver who would move Cresta into the shipping area and he saw the car his first reaction was "I'm not driving that!" but when he got in and drove it he didn't seem to mind at all and he even asked me to take his picture!
Before I knew it, it was time to kiss Betty goodbye and bid her bon voyage - I found that my heart was fluttering madly and I was actually quite nervous about the whole thing, but it was obvious that good hands and that they would take very good care of her and the Cresta.
The whole journey only took four days on the water and another few days to get her cleared through customs in New Zealand where she flew through all her mandatory safety checks and was pronounced safe and solid enough to drive on New Zealand roads. Yay!
Beach Hop Whangamata - here we come!
The 2014 Sony Beach Hop is one from the 26th - 30th March in Whangamata, on the Coromandel Peninsual in the north island of New Zealand. The Vintage Caravan Magazine Retro Caravan Show will be held at the Whangamata School on Saturday 28th March