Campervan Road Trip in New Zealand
New Zealand, or "land of the long white cloud" in the Maori language, is a country in Oceania located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is a destination of authentic contrasts offering a diversity of landscapes which are unique in the world. Its geographical isolation for millions of years has allowed it to develop a flora and fauna of incredible diversity, which you will not find anywhere else on the planet.
Among its particularities, New Zealand is known as the largest farm in the world. This is due to the fact that the country boasts approximately 70 million sheep and 8 million cows for a population of 5 million people. It is also worth noting that one-third of its territory is a national park and that the country of the kiwis is home to the largest number of penguin species on the planet. One of New Zealand's most remarkable features is this melting pot of Western and Maori cultures.However, the latter remains at the heart of the country's identity as these people from the eastern Pacific were the first to arrive in New Zealand.
If you're a backpacker, travelling in New Zealand by campervan is the best way to explore this beautiful country and blend in with its culture. This article will tell you exactly how to do it. If you are planning to visit New Zealand, you will need your NZETA New Zealand. Visagov provides you with an easy and simple system to obtain it thanks to our simplified application form for New Zealand that takes you only about 5 minuts to complete.
What are the advantages of having a campervan trip in New Zealand?
Whether as a couple, with family or friends, travelling in a campervan is the ultimate way to discover the world at your own pace. It has become an increasingly common trend among travellers who love to get away from it all around the world, especially in a destination as suitable for this type of travel as New Zealand.
A campervan tour allows you to explore New Zealand's beautiful beaches and turquoise lakes more slowly and freely, as well as enjoying countless spectacular mountain views and camping in exclusive locations.
Knowing that the country has a generally good quality road network, travelling by campervan around New Zealand offers a unique feeling of freedom and allows you to sleep in untouched places. Wild camping is still allowed in New Zealand, which can be a cheaper solution as you don't have to pay for a hotel or worry about public transport.
Generally speaking, a campervan can carry almost everything you need to travel with you and take all the cosiness of a home with you. This type of vehicle is often equipped with a bed, a kitchen, a refrigerator, a microwave oven and sockets, making your long journeys even more comfortable.
In the end, you don't have to worry about finding the ideal vehicle for this road trip car, many rental agencies offer campervans in different models and budgets: from minivans for two people to large family size motorhomes.
Tips for Campervan Travel in New Zealand
A trip to New Zealand in a campervan is all about freedom and evasion, but this adventure should never be improvised. New Zealand's roads are narrow, winding and the driving time is sometimes exponentially longer than expected. Planning and preparing your trip to New Zealand will help you avoid surprises.
Campervans in New Zealand are not free of charge. When considering the cost of renting your campervan, keep in mind that fuel is expensive as well and you will also need to take out insurance for the vehicle.
On the other hand, we recommend you book your campervan in advance, and don't forget to choose an offer that includes the GPS option. For young travellers, many rental companies charge an extra fee for those under 25 years of age.
As in other countries, driving in New Zealand is on the left side of the road. In order for you to move easily between places to visit or to quickly find a rest area, we recommend that you download free applications. Don't forget to download GPS applications that can work offline if you have omitted this option in the rental agreement.
Before planning your trip to New Zealand, you should also consider the season in which you wish to begin your adventure due to the weather in the country. The months of December to February correspond to summer and, therefore, the high season. For a relatively mild and stable climate, we advise you to travel to New Zealand in autumn or spring, respectively from March to May and from September to November.
How do you travel to a campervan in New Zealand?
You should know that New Zealand is made up of two main islands. Although the Southern Island is spectacular and sometimes steals the thunder from the Northern Island, it is advisable to plan enough days to visit both islands as they offer two totally different experiences.
For sea and mountain lovers, a visit to Egmont National Park and its Mount Taranaki is a must to start your North Island adventure. From there, it is possible to follow one of the most beautiful itineraries in the country that will lead you to Tongariro National Park. Another emblematic place is Rotorua, the cradle of Maori and the capital of geothermal energy where you can discover this fascinating culture up close.
The spectacular Coromandel Peninsula is full of breathtaking beaches and coves. In the north of the island, Northland is the last destination to explore. This region, the northernmost in the country, offers fantastic beaches and gigantic sand dunes.
The South Island features spectacular lakes such as Tekapo and Pukaki, two great places to include in your New Zealand itinerary. On the way to Mount Cook National Park, you will enjoy the beauty of New Zealand's nature.
Dunedin is another destination not to be missed. This university town with its colonial architecture offers beautiful walks through its historic centre. You can also attempt to climb Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world.
The South Coast Highway from Dunedin to Queenstown takes you to the Otago Peninsula, The Catlins and Fiordland National Park. Hokitika and Abel Tasman National Park are west coast absolute must-sees.
The crossing between the North Island and the South Island will be a highlight of your trip to New Zealand. Now that you know our recommendations for starting a campervan adventure, we hope this article will guide you on your next getaway.
Remember that with careful planning and a flexible attitude, this New Zealand campervan trip will be an exciting and fulfilling adventure.
Christian Payán Gómez
I do commercial tourism and when time and money allow it, I escape to lesser-known places and to be totally unknown. Document processor at Visagov.com, where I have been working for 2 years. I love traveling, discovering new places and above all, soaking up the musical culture of the countries I travel to, as well as being a content creator and mobile photographer in my spare time.