If you travel around New Zealand, you will see an abundant of tourists driving themselves through the country in campervans. That is because New Zealand is set up perfectly for campervan travel.
We picked up our AllWays Rental Campervan in Christchurch for two fun filled weeks of freedom driving around the South Island. Equipped with a bed, stove, cookware, utensils and bedding, we had everything we needed including the kitchen sink! Caravanning in New Zealand makes for an affordable vacation in the country and offers you the freedom to go off the beaten path and take in the sights at your own pace.
The driving in New Zealand is effortless and the automatic transmission on the AllWays van made driving on the other side of the road an easy transition. The roads aren't overly busy and traffic is minimal. AllWays is located right by the Christchurch airport, so you are already on the outskirts of town when you start your vacation.
All you have to do is fly into the country, have them pick you up when your flight arrives and you are on your way to a very reasonable vacation in the most exciting adventure destination on earth.
What we found amazing about New Zealand was the amount of campsites in the country. Every village, town, national park, beach and tourist attraction has a campsite nearby. You won't have a problem finding accommodation if you have a campervan to stay in.
There are even certain areas where you can camp for free! If at times you find yourself tired of staying in the van, you can book a room at the campsite as nearly all sites rent out cabins.
The campsites are well equipped, clean and reasonably priced.
We never used our stove once in our van. Instead we took our cookware into the impeccable kitchens at the Holiday Parks and Top 10 Holiday Resorts to cook our meals. We used their stoves and spread our food out on the large countertops. We bought our groceries at the local Four Square or Countdown supermarkets and chose a nice bottle of New Zealand wine to go with our dinner.
We cooked in warmth and comfort each night and then sat down in the common area to relax, talk to fellow caravaners or catch up on a little T.V. We lived well beyond our budged camping our way around the island.
Typical facilities at New Zealand Campgrounds
- Hot Showers – some resorts had a $2 NZ fee to shower but most were free.
- Laundry facilities – $2 per wash $2 per dry
- Satellite TV
- Internet – $10 for 100 mb
- Kitchen equipped with refrigerator, stove, sinks, tables, chairs
- picnic tables
Sometimes found at campsites:
- Swimming pools
- Hot tubs
- games room
While some of the parks definitely had a resort feel equipped with swimming pools and media rooms, we also stayed in more remote campgrounds run by the department of conservation. These locations were some of the most pristine and beautiful settings we have ever witnessed.
Even these more basic campsites had clean toilets.
We were in awe of new Zealand's toilet. Nowhere else on earth have we seen such pristine public restrooms. Unlike anywhere else we have travelled, the toilets are not only clean, they are free! We never had to worry about being stuck without facilities. Every town had well stocked and very clean public restrooms that we took full advantage of during our epic road trip.
You don't need to have a full size motorhome to travel New Zealand. A basic campervan will do just fine. That is because the campsites have everything you need. Even if it rained, we could sit comfortably inside the van. Our bench seat folded down into a bed but when it was also comfortable and roomy enough when not in sleeping mode to put up the table and eat, play games and watch a movie on it.
Besides, with the high price of gasoline in New Zealand, you don't want to be driving a giant motorhome around the country watching your adventure budget be guzzled up by every kilometre you travel.
Tip: I would recommend asking for an van equipped with an electrical outlet when booking your campervan. It helps to have some heat on those cold New Zealand nights and if you don't feel like hanging out in the common area all the time, it is nice to have your computer to use the wifi or to watch a movie.
We thoroughly enjoyed driving a campervan through New Zealand and now that we have a taste of what it is like to RV our way around a country, we look forward to taking more trips just like this.
For more information on renting a campervan or car during your trip to New Zealand visit AllwaysRentals.co.nz
Vans can be picked up in Christchurch and Auckland.
All rentals come with Free:
- Itinerary planning
- Basic Insurance
- Roadside Assistance