Day 1 (Sunday): Timaru to Otematata (144km)
Should be a good indication of the possible range for the vehicle in the best conditions - gradually climbs from Sea Level to 296 metres. A quick charging boost at Victoria Park in Waimate and (207m altitude) and a topup at Kurow Holiday Park (thanks Joan!) using a 16A charge point for an hour should take away any concerns of range-phobia being the first long leg of the journey. This leg of the journey has been done earlier in 2015 against one of the strongest headwinds South Canterbury has ever had! In recent news, Timaru and Waimate have become one of the first two towns in the South Island to be scheduled for Superfast DC charging. Waimate District Council have been extremely proactive on this, along with Alpine Energy (the local lines company) and ChargeNET.
Day 2 (Monday): Otematata to Wanaka (138km)
After using a standard plug for an overnight charge to 100% in Otematata at a local bach, we head 24km up the road to Omarama. The Ahuriri Motel has offered a 16A plug so a coffee break for an hour or so and then a call in to Dunstan Downs for the last topup should replenish the vehicle to 100% for the big challenge - a climb up the Lindis Pass (altitude 971m). After running a Skype session with questions and answers for the students and staff, we have organised with Tarras School to plug in there and show off the LEAF to students and parents who are around that day. We base ourselves in Wanaka for an overnight charge to 100% via a standard plug.
Day 3 (Tuesday): Wanaka to Haast (142km)
Quite a long day planned today with a good charge at the Makarora Tourist Centre (302m) just 64km into the journey. Theyve recently been added to PlugShare. Also available is the Cafe nearby who have provided a 16A plug to another EV about a year ago. After spending about 2 hours there having lunch at the cafe, we will make our way up and over the Haast Pass (564m) and down to sea level and the township of Haast 77km away where we expect to stay the night. The Craypot in Jackson Bay has offered us a plug for dinner so that we can get home. Will make a decision on that once we get to Haast.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Haast to Karangarua (144km)
Pine Grove Motel in Karangarua are happy for a visiting EV on the journey today and we shall stay there tonight. Visiting Lake Paringa Wilderness Lodge on the way through.
Day 5: (Thursday) Karangarua to Hari Hari (134km)
Have to arrive after 10am at the Terrace Campervan Park for a daytime charge and topup to get to the next night's accommodation. Flaxbush Motels have accommodation available but don't have the 16A charging facilities. Instead they suggest they are available across the road at Hotel Hari Hari and they're very happy to support charing of EVs during the day (or for people staying the night).
Day 6: (Friday) Hari Hari to Greymouth (116km)
Day 7: (Saturday) Day trip to Punakaiki (100km)
Punakaiki Beach Holiday Park are one of the latest camping grounds to offer EV charging. We will pay them a visit. Apparently they're on their "last petrol car" and keen to take the LEAF for a spin.
Day 8: (Sunday) Greymouth to Flock Hill (133km)
About halfway through today's journey, we stop at Jacksons Retreat Campervan Holiday Park for a recharge. Also we have been offered a plug at Arthurs Pass Alpine Motel (740m), although sadly they only offer a 10A plug so it will be a slow recharge... plenty of time to walk to the Devil's Punchbowl if the weather is kind. I will be paying a visit to the Department of Conservation Information Centre who have also made a plug available for a donation (they admit they've not had a "car" plug in before!) Depart here early afternoon maybe and head to Flock Hill for the night.
Day 9: (Monday) Flock Hill to Kaiapoi (116km)
The penultimate leg of the journey is all downhill or flat so we should manage maximum range today. Kowai Pass Domain Camping Ground is the latest to offer EV charging (44km from Flock Hill and a climb up to around 900m midway). We hope to visit the Nissan Service Centre in Christchurch (65km from Springfield) and get them to run a special battery test on a single cell which is reporting extremely and unusually low Voltage in Low Battery conditions before heading out to Kaiapoi for the night.
Day 10: (Tuesday) Kaiapoi to Timaru (177km)
There is a 15A public charging station at Drummond and Etheridge in Ashburton (thanks, guys!) which is close to coffee shops and a good movie theatre, and we will happily charge the vehicle for its return to TImaru.