New Zealand Campervan Tips

New Zealand is an outdoor playground, packed full of mountains to hike, waves to surf, tranquil waters to kayak, and forests to explore. Although similar in size to the UK, this compact country is built for touring. With a population less than 4.5 million, you'll enjoy quiet roads that you close to a vast array of natural attractions.

We've put togther a collection of handy 'New Zealand campervan tips' so you get the very best out of your trip, whether you are buying or renting a campervan.

Campervan Tips:

  1. The main site for posting goods for sale in New Zealand is called Trade Me. It's a great place to see your campervan buying options.

  2. Auckland tends to be the most expensive place to buy a van. Wellington is substantially cheaper so do your homework and choose wisely.

  3. To cover the costs of any damage to your rental campervan, a bond will need to be paid at the start of the rental period. Most rental operators will deduct this cost from your credit card, so check your card limit! Your bond is refunded at the end of your trip, but you'll have to accept the exchange rate in play at the time of refund. We recommend the stress free insurance, which is more expensive but does not require any bond and the excess in the event of accident is = $0.

  4. Always check there is ample storage in your campervan/motorhome before your rent or buy. Visulize where all your stuff will go before you sign the contract!

  5. Always have the vehicle checked by a mechanic before you buy. It will save you time, money and stress should you suffer mechanical problems later on. It will also give you peace of mind as you travel through those remote roads on your own.

  6. Staying in holiday parks every night will hit your pockets, so budget accordingly when you plan your trip. They are approximately $20 per person per night. When you combine this with the cost or hire of the van, it will soon add up. 

  7. For a cheaper overnight option check out the Department of Conservation (DOC) sites. The Department of Conservation is a government organization who maintain the many hikes, huts, and basic campsites around the country. These campsites range from being free to $14 per person, depending on the location and the facilities available. They all have toilets, some have drinking water, and some have showers (Hot, Cold or both)

  8. Head to DOC Visitor centers to pick up a booklet that details all the locations of the DOC campsites. They are split up into regions and have little maps at the front which which will help you decide where to stay that evening. Many of the campsites are in beautiful locations. 

  9. Keep enough drinking water to hand in the event of breakdown.

  10. If you don't have shower facilities on board, leisure centers and community pools are good places to clean up with a shower for a small fee.

  11. New Zealand law means everyone in your party needs to occupy their own seat in the campervan. This includes children and babies. So, a family of 5 needs a minimum of a 5 berth campervan/motorhome.

  12. You will need to hire or buy a 4WD campervan if you want to head down those sealed roads. Travelling down a sealed road in a 2WD campervan voids any insurance taken out and you could incur serious costs if you are involved in an accident or damage your vehicle.

  13. Most campervans have powerpoints to recharge your electrical items. However you'll need to stay in a campground with power facilities to plug into the main power (240V).  Campervan microwaves, televisions and air-conditioning units will require 240V to function.

  14. Avoid booking a campervan during the peak public holiday periods. School holidays and the Christmas period will see rates increase due to greater demand. 

  15. To avoid the stress of navigating a busy town centre in your campervan and trying to find parking, park at a campground outside of the city and make use of public transport to head into to the city and enjoy a day out.

To rent a campervan or motorhome, check out our campervan rentals guide.