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Campervan Trips in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide

Campervan trips in New Zealand

🚐 Introduction to Campervan Trips in New Zealand

New Zealand has amazing views and lots of different natural wonders, making it a great country to explore. One cool way to do that is by going on a campervan trip.

It’s like having your own little house on wheels, giving you the freedom to see beautiful landscapes, experience different cultures, and have exciting adventures.

1. Picking the Right Campervan

The first thing to do for a great trip is to choose the right campervan. In New Zealand, many companies rent them out, such as Spaceships Rentals or Jucy Campervans

You can pick a small one for easy driving or a big one with all the comforts of home.

Look for things like a good kitchen, bathroom, and comfy sleeping spots to make your road trip awesome.

If you are looking to hire a bigger campervan, like a Motorhome, you can check Star RV Rentals.

For longer stays, buying is the best option, you can check campervans for sale in our own page of Travel Cars NZ.

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2. Planning Your Adventure

New Zealand’s North and South Islands have different things to offer, so planning your trip is super important. Here are some cool places to consider:

3. North Island Campervan Adventure

3.1. Auckland to Hobbiton (Matamata)

Start your trip in Auckland by checking out the city’s extraordinary culture and famous places.

Drive south to Matamata, home of the Hobbiton movie set from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies.

Explore the world of hobbits, with green hills and cute hobbit homes.

  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Distance: 160 km

Auckland to Hobbiton

3.2. Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula (Coastal Drive)

Leave Auckland and head east to the Coromandel Peninsula. Enjoy a nice drive along the coast by the Pacific Ocean, stopping at Cathedral Cove with its amazing rock arch and Hahei Beach for chilling.

Have fun at Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot spring in the sand.

  • Duration: Around 3 hours
  • Distance: 250 km

Auckland to Coromandel

3.3. Rotorua to Taupo (Thermal Explorer)

Embark on a fascinating journey from Rotorua to Taupo, exploring New Zealand’s geothermal wonders and cultural richness.

The route takes you through the heart of the North Island, offering breathtaking views of geothermal landscapes and picturesque countryside.

  • Duration: Around 1 hour
  • Distance: 80 km

Rotorua to Taupo

3.4. Taupo to Wellington (Cultural Excursion)

This road trip offers diverse landscapes, from the shores of Lake Taupo to the vibrant capital city of Wellington.

If you are planning to cross to the South Island, you can see stunning views from Mount Victoria before taking the ferry.

  • Duration: Approximately 5 hours
  • Distance: 385 km

Taupo to Wellington

4. South Island Campervan Adventure

4.1. Nelson to Abel Tasman (Coastal Trek)

Start your South Island adventure in Nelson, a place with lots of cool art. Go to Abel Tasman National Park for a walk by the coast, finding beautiful beaches and blue waters.

Try kayaking, take a boat trip, or just relax on the sandy shores.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Distance: 60 km

Nelson to Abel Tasman

4.2. Hokitika to Franz Josef (Glacial Encounter)

Hokitika and Franz Josef are both towns located on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

If you’re planning to visit Franz Josef Glacier, keep in mind that weather conditions can affect travel plans in this region, as the area is known for its unpredictable weather.

Always check the latest weather forecasts and road conditions, especially if you plan to travel during the winter months.

  • Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Distance: 134 km

Hokitika to Franz Josef

4.3. Queenstown to Glenorchy (Adventure Hub)

Queenstown and Glenorchy are both located in the Otago region on the South Island of New Zealand, and the drive between these two towns is renowned for its scenic beauty.

The road follows the shores of Lake Wakatipu, offering stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

  • Duration: 45 to 60 minutes
  • Distance: 45 km

Queenstown to Glenorchy

4.4. Queenstown to Fiordland (National Park Exploration)

Go to Fiordland National Park to see amazing places like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Take a boat ride through the fjords, look at big waterfalls, and see animals like seals and dolphins.

Think about going on a hike to get even closer to the stunning landscapes.

The distance from Queenstown to Fiordland can vary depending on the specific destination within Fiordland you are considering.

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Distance: 287 km

Queenstown to Fiordland

🧑‍💻 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Travelling by Campervan in New Zealand

1. What license do I need to drive a campervan in New Zealand?

You can drive a campervan in New Zealand with a valid driver’s license from your home country, provided it is in English. If your license is not in English, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation.

2. Do I need to book campsites in advance?

It’s advisable to book campsites in advance, especially during peak seasons. Many popular sites can fill up quickly. However, New Zealand also offers freedom camping options in designated areas.

3. Are there restrictions on freedom camping?

Yes, there are restrictions on freedom camping in New Zealand. Make sure you are aware of the regulations in each region, as not all areas allow freedom camping, and there may be specific rules to follow.

4. What type of campervan is suitable for New Zealand roads?

New Zealand roads can be narrow and winding, especially in rural areas. A compact or mid-sized campervan is often more maneuverable and suitable for the country’s diverse terrain.

5. How is the weather in New Zealand, and how does it affect campervan travel?

New Zealand’s weather can be variable. It’s essential to be prepared for rain, especially on the West Coast. Check weather forecasts regularly, and pack accordingly with layers and waterproof gear.

6. Are there dump stations for waste disposal?

Yes, New Zealand has designated dump stations for waste disposal. Campgrounds, holiday parks, and some towns provide facilities for emptying wastewater and disposing of rubbish. Always use designated areas to protect the environment.

7. Can I camp anywhere with a campervan?

While freedom camping is allowed in some areas, camping on private land or in prohibited zones is not permitted. Always check local regulations, use designated areas, and respect the environment.

8. What are the best routes for a campervan trip?

Popular routes include the South Island’s West Coast, Fiordland, and the Southern Scenic Route. In the North Island, the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Islands are popular choices. The best route depends on your preferences and the time you have available.

9. Is there Wi-Fi available in campervans?

Some campervan companies offer Wi-Fi as an optional extra. Alternatively, you can use local SIM cards or portable Wi-Fi devices for internet access.

10. What should I pack for a campervan trip in New Zealand?

Pack essentials such as clothing for varying weather conditions, a first aid kit, cooking utensils, bedding, and camping supplies. Don’t forget insect repellent, sunscreen, and a portable charger.

11. Are there specific rules for driving a campervan in New Zealand?

Follow New Zealand’s road rules, drive on the left side of the road, and be aware of local speed limits. Take extra caution on narrow and winding roads, especially in rural areas.

12. Is insurance necessary for driving a campervan?

Yes, it’s highly recommended to have comprehensive insurance for your campervan, including coverage for accidents, theft, and damage.

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Travel Cars NZ is a platform where private sellers and car dealers can list their campervans, backpacker cars, vans, wagons and other types of cars for sale all around New Zealand. General and useful information about converted vans and small campervans for sale is available at the TCNZ blog.