I could tell you our best freedom camping spots, but I’m actually not going to, because part of the fun and the challenge is figuring that out. We had nights where we tried freedom camping and failed and ended up in a campsite. And we had nights where we were planning on heading to a campsite, but changed our minds and just stayed where we were. We also had moments where we took a random turn, with a sign that said ‘Lake Something or Other’, just to see if it was any good (it was totally average, by the way). Our best nights, looking back, were either spots we freedom camped, or remote DOC campsites – but when were on the road, we needed those easier nights at a campground too. But if I’m honest, it also took us a while to not judge what we were doing, and how adventurous we were being.
At least with the campervan, you have the option of both – sometimes we pushed ourselves to be totally wild and free, and other times, we really enjoyed being able to plug in at a campsite, have a real toilet and shower (no offence little camper toilet, you were handy really) and have a totally safe and secure sleep. I’m not embarrassed to say we loved these cosy nights at a campsite as well as being in the totally wild, snowy and windy mountains at Mt Cook. We owned and loved both experiences. And the camper means you can make your trip exactly what you want it to be. We loved the vanlife and the vanlife loved us and we will absolutely do it again and we could quite possible even live in one (if we could bring our cat).