A red flag fluttering in the breeze caught my attention as I was traveling south along Highway 6 from Nelson. ‘Freewheelers’ was written across it. I’ve read the term ‘Freewheelers’ before in The Motor Caravanner magazine but wasn’t sure what it meant. Being curious (and nosy!) by nature, I decided to take a look.
Freewheelers are a special interest group of NZMCA members who travel on their own. They meet up and socialise at various gatherings. Mostly they are single people holidaying and exploring our beautiful country in their vans.
In February, the Freewheelers had chosen Wai-iti Domain to hold their New Zealand wide gathering. Directly before the Wai-iti Bridge (4.2 kms south of Wakefield) is a left hand turn, which takes you to the Wai-iti Domain. From the main road, a narrow gravel road winds through some trees into an expansive, flat grassy paddock surrounded in trees.
A disused forest track runs behind the domain making it an ideal area for walking dogs, riding horses or mountain biking. There were about 80 Freewheeler members in campervans, caravans and buses. Some had brought their dogs along too. The venue appeared to suit everyone from dog walkers to cyclists.
Freewheelers pride themselves on friendships, companionship, support and fun get -togethers. As one member said, ‘One day you may find yourself without your partner. This welcoming group makes it easier for those on their own to carry on campervanning. It’s great knowing there are others doing the same thing.’
Another couple belonging to Freewheelers, met last year at a gathering in the North Island. Their friendship blossomed and recently they enjoyed a holiday in the South Island. Both travelled in their own campervan, which gave them the opportunity to do their own things at various times. Knowing they had each other for company and support was the icing on the cake for their holiday.
What an awesome troupe … a group of like-minded people who travel solo and provide support and friendship to fellow members.