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Jaw-dropping landscapes, exotic flora and fauna, and the untamed beauty of nature – welcome to the breathtaking terrain of New Zealand. Imagine experiencing all of it at your own pace, cosy in a mobile home, waking up to a different picturesque view each day. Yes, that’s the captivating allure of a campervan adventure! Here is everything you need to know for your first time travelling New Zealand in a campervan!

Why Choose a Campervan?

Campervan travel, the charming blend of comfort and spontaneity, is the golden ticket to the Kiwi experience. If you are still unsure why, picture this – no strict hotel check-ins, no hastily packed day trips, and no juggling between transport modes. Instead, you bask in the scenic splendour that makes up the NZ tapestry, savouring the unhurried rhythm of a holiday on wheels. In short, a campervan hire in New Zealand can transform a great vacation into an unforgettable one!

Choosing the right campervan

First and foremost, your vehicle is, of course, a key player for your New Zealand travels. If you already have your own, that’s great, but how do you select the right campervan hire NZ? Don’t worry, it’s not as overwhelming as it sounds.

All you have to do is think about your own needs and requirements. How many of you are travelling? What kind of travellers are you? For instance, a family might need a spacious six-berth model, while a couple might be happy with a cosy compact two-berth campervan that is also easy to drive. There are many different models too, some older than others, which will highly depend on your budget and the amenities you desire to have on board.

However, if you are hiring a campervan in New Zealand, you can rest assured that it will already be prepared with all of the basic necessities. These campervans have been designed to provide travellers a smooth, hassle-free experience. So, as long as you make sure the company is reputable and has great customer reviews, you can trust them to do just that. 

Planning your route

Navigating New Zealand’s glorious geography in a campervan is a traveller’s dream. Be it the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, the vineyards of Marlborough, the dramatic fjords of Milford Sound, or the white-sand beaches of Bay of Islands, the choices are aplenty. However, with so much to see and do, you also will need to plan a rough route ahead, making sure that you cover all of your must-visit attractions. 

One of the most popular campervan routes is the “Grand NZ tour”. It is a three-week trip, covering both North and South islands. This is a great option if you cannot decide between the two and want to cover as many different landscapes as possible. But, remember, the beauty of a campervan New Zealand adventure lies in its flexibility – so, feel free to leave some room for spontaneous decisions and stray off the beaten path!

Campsites and overnight stays

NZ is dotted with a range of campsites, from scenic DOC campsites and fully-equipped holiday parks to spots where freedom camping is allowed. Some offer simple toilet facilities, while others boast showers, laundry facilities, and communal kitchens. Your choices will depend on your personal preferences, available budget, and the amenities that you have, or lack, in your campervan. 

Many travellers suggest to mix it up – a few nights of basic camping followed by a night in holiday park to recharge and restock. If you are travelling for 3 or more weeks at the time, the availability of laundry facilities, for instance, will be much needed. A mixture of different stays will create a balanced experience, with a blend of rustic charm and comfortable convenience. 

Rules and regulations for campervan travel in NZ

While the freedom of campervan travel is intoxicating, it’s vital to respect the local rules and regulations. New Zealand is extremely protective of its pristine environment, which is why you should be aware of the “leave no trace” principle. Always stick to the designated campsites and avoid freedom camping where it’s not clearly allowed. Leave the campsites as clean as possible upon your departure.

Furthermore, driving rules are pretty straightforward in New Zealand, other than driving on the left side of the road, which may be new to some. Keep an eye out for the unique “One Lane Bridge” signs too. Lastly, if your campervan meets the specific requirements of waste storage, make sure it has a “self-contained” sticker on it – this will significantly broaden your camping options. 

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Other tips for a smooth journey

As with any campervan holiday, make sure you equip your vehicle with the essential items, such as a good road map, a first-aid kit, reusable water bottles, cooking utensils, a warm blanket and so on. If this is your first time camping, read up on how to manage your resources wisely too. The supply of gas, water , fresh food and power might be limited in certain parts of the country, so look-up where you can get refills in advance. You may also want to invest in a portable Wi-Fi device locally for connectivity 24/7. 

Final thoughts

As you embark on your journey, remember, it’s not just about the destination, but the amazing experiences along the way – the impromptu picnic by a bubbling brook, the stunning sunset watched from the comfort of your campervan, or the newly found friendships in a shared campsite. Each moment forms a unique memory in your campervan New Zealand journey! 


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