Epic New Zealand Campervan Tips For Your NZ Roadtrip
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So, you’re looking to travel around New Zealand in a campervan? Are you wondering what to pack for your campervan holiday in New Zealand? Then, you have come to the right blog post on my top New Zealand campervan tips to ensure you have an amazing journey in this epic country.
I have spent 6 weeks travelling both New Zealand’s north island and South Island in a Jucy campervan. It can sometimes be stressful in a campervan, but it’s worth it for the experience and the amazing places to see in New Zealand. Waking up next to Mount Cook is a crazy experience. I learned how to utilise campervan space, what should be in your campervan checklist and exactly what to pack for a campervan holiday in New Zealand. Whether you’re travelling for 2 weeks or 3 months, there are certain items you will need for a campervan trip and there are things you don’t need.
After reading this post you will have everything you need for taking a campervan around New Zealand. And making an epic adventure out of it.
The best places to visit for your New Zealand campervan itinerary
I did New Zealand in a campervan and I’ve seen more or less the most awesome things to do in New Zealand.
How much is a campervan in New Zealand? This will depend on how long you’re travelling for and the distance you want to cover. For example, you might want to hire the campervan for 3 weeks and drive from North to South Island. This will cost around $800NZD depending on the season, which is not a bad price.
So now I am giving you the best of my New Zealand campervan itinerary so you can have an amazing adventure. This is the list of my favourite places to stay in the New Zealand campervan tips post.
Mount cook Helicopter Ride
Mount Cook is the best place to visit in New Zealand for your campervan itinerary. Mount Cook is the biggest mountain in New Zealand. And is located in the most stunning scenery. We did the Mount cook flight and glacier tour. We got to land by a place on the glacier and then fly back to the mount cook airport via helicopter. Check out the Mount Cook Glacier flight
Fox Glacier Hike
The fox glacier is an awesome place to visit. You can visit this epic glacier and grab some cool photos. You have two options to see the fox glacier; #1 You can either do the fox glacier scenic 45-minute walk. You don’t get to stand on the glacier. The other option is the fox glacier tour. #2 This is a paid guided tour on the fox glacier. We just did the free walk, because we had other paid tours on our New Zealand campervan itinerary. Check out the Fox Glacier attraction
This was my favourite place to visit in New Zealand. That’s why it certainly earns its place on the New Zealand campervan tips for you. There is plenty to do in this super-cool place. There’s free and paid activities to do in Queenstown. And there’s such a mega atmosphere in Queenstown. You will find travellers from around the world working here and there is plenty of job opportunities if that’s something you’re looking for. You can check out activities in Queenstown like the bungee jumping, cable car and I-fly. There’s plenty to do on a rainy day in Queenstown. Check out Queenstown
Trust me – you will love the best things to do in Wellington, it’s an awesome place!
You should check out the ultimate packing list for 2020!
Milford Sound Boatride
you will most likely heard about the Milford Sound cruise tour. This is one of the most epic things to do in New Zealand’s South Island. You will take a 2-hour cruise through the stunning Fiord of Milford Sound. You can visit Milford Sound from Ta Anau and enjoy this amazing activity in New Zealand. Also, you can do the Milford Sound overnight cruise and get a true feel what it’s like to wake up in Milford Sound. Check out the Milford Sound cruise experience
You need to check out the best things to do in Christchurch on your visit!
This is a cool place to visit for your campervan itinerary. You can check out some of the best walks in Christchurch or grab some bargains at the shopping here. The shopping mall, restaurants and bars in Christchurch are a great place to spend a day or two. We did 2 nights in Christchurch and spent that time exploring the city. You should check out the history of the earthquakes that hit New Zealand, not to long back.
Kaikoura Dolphin Swimming and Whale Tour
Amazing place to visit! You need this on your New Zealand campervan itinerary. Why? This is the number one swim with dolphins tour in New Zealand. You can do the dolphin encounter Kaikoura or whale encounter whilst you’re there. Swimming with dolphins has got to be one of the best things I did in New Zealand. It was crazy. Kaikoura is also a great coastal town with quirky coffee shops and bars. You can also check out the whales and seals around the coast in Kaikoura.
Loved this place. Hammer springs look like a Canadian wooden huts town. You can check out the hot springs here. They’re amazing, we spent 4 hours just relaxing in a 40-degree pool chatting the day away. There are also some great hikes in Hammer springs. We hired some bikes and did some of the many bike trailers in Hammer springs. You can find some sweet campervan sites here as well. You may only need to chalk in one night here on your New Zealand campervan itinerary.
Kick back, drink coffee and eat food at this epic place to visit on your New Zealand campervan holiday. Lake Wanaka is a cool place to grab some Instagram photos and relax in the sun. A centre is a vibrant place with plenty of fitness fanatics and travellers, you can enjoy a few beers here.
Best campsites in New Zealand
#1 Queenstown – This is one of the best places to stay in Queenstown for both campervan and travellers. It’s located just a 2-minute wall from all the main attractions, bars and restaurants. It offers a large kitchen, TV area, showers, free WiFi and play area for the families looking for something to do for an hour in Queenstown. Check out Queenstown Campsite
#2 Christchurch – This was a great campsite to stay in Christchurch. It offers brilliant facilities such as a kitchen with plenty of free food, a comfy chill-out room with cable, brilliant showers and just a ten-minute bus ride to the centre of Christchurch. There is also a play area for the families who are travelling in a campervan. This is a sweet campervan holiday park for everyone. Check out Christchurch Kiwi holiday park
#3 Hanmer springs – Like the town, this campsite in Hanmer springs was a little different from others we had been to in New Zealand. It is a campsite that has a community feel about it. You will find campers and locals in caravans. This cool place to stay in Hanmer Springs is great for everyone and it’s family-friendly. There are a small playing area and a pool. You can also find a chill-out area with TV and WiFi. The campsite is also close to the centre of Hammer springs and things like the hot springs and places to eat. Check out Hammer Springs campsite
#4 Mount Cook – The Mount Cook campsite is the number one place to stay near mount Cook for doing things like the Mount Cook flight tour or the hikes around Mount Cook. To be fair this is the best campsite I stayed within New Zealand. Check out Mount Cook Campsite
#5 Kaikoura – If you’re doing the swim with dolphins encounter then I would recommend staying here. It’s a cool little place to stay in Kaikoura that offers campervan space just off the coast in a mega setting. The best thing about this campsite is the FREE hot-tubs and swimming pool. Yes, there are 2 hot tubs with a sweet water temp of 40 degrees, perfect for those chilly nights. Check out Alpine Pacific Holiday Park
Campervan list essentials for New Zealand
Okay so in this part of the blog post I am going to tell you some things that should be included in your New Zealand campervan checklist.
If you include these camping gear and travel accessories in your packing, you will have an awesome experience exploring New Zealand.
- #1 waterproof jacket – You will need a waterproof jacket. The weather in New Zealand is very unpredictable and you will most likely be caught in the rain on your journey. All the best things to do in New Zealand are outdoors, so it’s always good to have a waterproof jacket when hiking.
- #2 Food containers – I can’t begin to tell you how valuable these are! The containers will store all your cooked food, allowing you to bulk cook at campsites around New Zealand. It’s no fun when you are trying to cook eggs on a stove at the back of the campervan on a windy day. Some days it’s completely impossible as the weather is too choppy. Food containers are a lifesaver.
- #3 Camera – The best places to see around New Zealand are phenomenal and you don’t want to miss a perfect photo moment. Some of the mountains and glaciers are out of this world. A good camera is going to let you keep these memories forever. If you think your phone can capture these magnificent pictures, then you’re wrong.
I wouldn’t get any old camera as they won’t capture the true beauty of New Zealand. It is worth paying a little extra to make amazing photos of New Zealand.
#4 Laptop – A laptop is one of the best campervan travel essentials you can have. It is the perfect thing to pass a few hours when the weather is bad in New Zealand. You can download the Netflix app to your laptop and then download films to watch when there is no WiFi.
We got through so many films on the laptop. This is why you need one of these on your campervan checklist. A smaller laptop is better to maximise on your campervan space.
Apple Mac for the apple lovers, this is a cool addition for your campervan list.
Surface Pro is perfect for watching Netflix in the camper.
Top New Zealand campervan tip – If you’re stuck for WiFi. There are plenty of places in New Zealand that offer free WiFi. Here is a list of places you can get free WiFi from.
- Burger King
- Some campsites
#5 Waterproof bag – Like I mentioned the weather can get bad at times and there are plenty of awesome hikes and outdoor activities in New Zealand. A wet bag is going to keep your stuff dry. For example, valuables such as cameras
We always used the wet bag as a day bag. It’s perfect for valuables and things like food and drink. And they’re a cool accessory for your campervan checklist.
#6 Drone – The land is vast and the mountains are enormous in New Zealand. A drone is your camera in the sky. You can control a drone from your phone and take amazing photos from up in the air.
Some of the photos you see now on Instagram are simply amazing. These are achieved with the help of a drone. Drones have only been around for a few years, but they have taken the photography game to another level. You can now get drones that can fit in your pocket, so don’t worry about not having enough room in your campervan.
You can also check out what to buy in New Zealand on your travels 🙂
#7 Power charger – As I mentioned the hikes you will do are some of the best things to do in New Zealand. A battery pack will keep your electrical items charged when you’re up a mountain low on battery.
The last thing you want is your phone running out of battery when you’re on a big hike. A power pack is one of the most vital things on your New Zealand holiday checklist.
#8 Water bottle – it’s essential you stay hydrated, that’s a fact. A lot of the campervan hire in New Zealand don’t have a great water facility. So having water bottles is a great way to keep litres of water handy in the campervan. They’re also very useful when doing outdoor activities in New Zealand.
Love top places in New Zealand? Check out things to do in Christchurch
#9 Garmin watch – If you are into fitness or hiking, a Garmin watch is perfect for you. You can check out a thing like how many calories you’ve burned, the distance of your hike or how high you’ve climbed etc. For all outdoor activities, a Garmin watch is a perfect way to see how you’re performing on a fitness level.
Campervan food essentials
Eating a balanced diet whilst travelling in a campervan can be a tricky task. When hiring campervans in New Zealand, you will soon discover a lot of them have small fridge areas.
So with just a little fridge, how can you do a big shop for food essentials for a campervan? Also, storage area in the campervans can be small, this means a limited amount of things like tinned foods and bottles of pop.
So what are the best things for campervan food list essentials?
List of food to take in a campervan
Here is a list of campervan food essentials to take with you on any campervan tour in New Zealand;
- Chicken (cook this at a campsite and it will store for 2/3 days in your food containers)
- tins of fish
- Long last milk
- Tins of beans
- A few treats (bar of chocolate :))
- Some vegetables
- Porridge oats
- Peanut butter
This generally lasted us a good few days and it is also fitted perfectly into the space provided in the campervan. Why don’t you check out these awesome campervan cooking tips ideas.
As you can see from the last it’s a balanced campervan food list with a few treats.
Food in New Zealand can be very expensive, but we found this diet was the cheapest way to eat somewhat healthy and keep the cost low.
What is the best campervan hire in New Zealand
Okay so we have some mega New Zealand campervan tips on your list, but what campervan hire is the best in New Zealand? You will notice while Googling the camper rentals that the prices can fluctuate a lot. Some of the prices get stupid and I don’t think it’s neccessary unless you need one of the super-futuristic-luxurious-truck-style campers.
We went with Jucy rental. Jucy campers stand out the most and look the most fun. Jucy was also the cheapest campervan hire in New Zealand that we found. We had great service and the campervan was everything we needed for our time travelling around New Zealand.
Also, you should check the Campervanfinder, they’re an awesome company!
But there are also some more cool campervan rentals that I saw whilst on my travels, here is a list of some of the ones I thought are a good value for money. Here are some more to look at 😀
- The Spaceship camper rentals seemed very popular and we saw them on both New Zealand’s north and south island. They’re also the same car as the Jucy rentals. We spoke to a few of the people who had these campers and they all said they are cool and decent value for money.
- Britz campers are another really popular camper rental company in New Zealand. They were everywhere! But, these are more expensive than the smaller Jucy and Spaceship rentals. They have more space and are probably suited for those of you looking for a relaxing holiday in New Zealand with plenty of space in your campervan. The kitchens on these campers seem to be a good size and you can certainly cook up some good meals in there.
- Kiwi campers are another popular company to use, you should check these out as they seemed quite good. I still preferred the Jucy.
Each of these campervan rental companies in New Zealand offers different prices and different camper sizes. If you’re looking for value and only need a small camper, then I would highly recommend the Jucy rentals.
If you are looking for a more luxurious camper trip or you are looking to do a family campervan trip in New Zealand, then I would research these companies as they all offer good-sized campers.
The only thing that stings your pocket, is the cost of fuel in New Zealand. We had to spend $120 every 3 days or so, but we were covering a lot of mileage and doing the North to South Island New Zealand famous route.
If you are looking to buy a backpacker campervan instead of renting a good option will be checking some vehicles at Travel Cars in Auckland, or just check their listings directly here Backpacker Campervan Listings
So with this New Zealand campervan tips, you have everything you need for taking a campervan around New Zealand.
You have all the best places to stay, visit and exactly what you should be including in your campervan packing list.
Another word of advice is, just enjoy every moment. New Zealand is an awesome place to visit. Even when the weather gets a little rainy, you just need to put your coat on and get out there hiking those amazing mountains.
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