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New Zealand in a Campervan x

New Zealand in a Campervan x

Old Feb 11th 2013, 5:33 pm
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Default New Zealand in a Campervan x

Hello all - hope you are all well - hope you dont mind me crossing the forums for a bit of advice lol xxxxx

Next year the hubs and i will be celebrating our Silver Wedding and whilst laid in the bath last night (trying to come up with excuses not to go to work this morning ) i asked him if he fancied doing something different for our hols next year - so i mentioned going to NZ for (probably) 4 weeks and touring around both islands in a campervan.

So now start the questions

Is it easy enough to hire a campervan for 4 weeks and does anyone have any recommendations/experience of where to hire them from?
Can you take the campervan from south to north or vice versa or would we have to hire on both Islands?
Which Island would we be best off starting on - we are in the UK btw?
Are there lots of camping sites around (think im gonna go and see if i can get a book on NZ this weekend and have a read up and start planning )?
We will be coming end of July and probably through August 2014 - what is the weather likely to be like then?
Could you recommend any places to visit - we love travelling around - not really stay in one place kind of people (i think i was a gypsy in a former life lol) - we love walking BUT the hubs fell off a roof 18 months ago and shattered his feet so we are a bit limited nowadays?

I think thats all for now - so a really really big thank you in advance
Love Sam xxxxx
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Firstly July/August is middle of winter in NZ so dreary rainy and pretty much yuk. Idle time to come over would be January February time as that's summer.
Can't advise on camper van hire but there are loads of sites to park up in so that's not going to be a problem.
Walking is a big thing here but places can be rocky and steep so a very good pair (couple of pairs) of walking boots would be advisable.
As for which Island first don't think it matters much if you are going to do the 2.
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
Firstly July/August is middle of winter in NZ so dreary rainy and pretty much yuk. Idle time to come over would be January February time as that's summer.
Can't advise on camper van hire but there are loads of sites to park up in so that's not going to be a problem.
Walking is a big thing here but places can be rocky and steep so a very good pair (couple of pairs) of walking boots would be advisable.
As for which Island first don't think it matters much if you are going to do the 2.
We emigrated in July 2007 and stayed in a camper can for 4 weeks it was great the weather was not that bad and campsites not full, go for it! We only toured around north island before husband started his job
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Lots of camper van hirers pick you up from the airport, Britz, Maori being examples who pick up from Auckland. You can also leave your camper van say in Christchurch (example) rather than having to take it all the way back again.

Yes you can go from one island to another via one camper van, just use the interislander ferry.

There are lots of sites to stay at, Top 10 being a good one, who do a discount card, you pay (was $40 when we did it) and you then get discounts at all the other Top 10 camps and loads of attractions too. We got back our $40 within a few days.

We came over in May/June, which I have to say was quite nice weather and also a load cheaper to hire the van. Prices vary considerably due to the season, we found that one week of our trip was actually classed as winter and was almost half that of the other weeks.

Have a look on the internet, loads to chose from.

Its a wonderful country and the roads are great for driving.

Good luck
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Thank you all for your replies - i work in a school here in the UK so the only time at the present moment that we would be able to have 4 weeks is July/August - oh well - i'll be sure to pack the macs n a brolly - thanks once again xxxxx
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

I just typed a post and lost the lot !

I'll stick my 5 cents in laters Sam.
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Originally Posted by Sam Greenfield View Post

Is it easy enough to hire a campervan for 4 weeks and does anyone have any recommendations/experience of where to hire them from?
Can you take the campervan from south to north or vice versa or would we have to hire on both Islands?
Which Island would we be best off starting on - we are in the UK btw?
Are there lots of camping sites around (think im gonna go and see if i can get a book on NZ this weekend and have a read up and start planning )?
We will be coming end of July and probably through August 2014 - what is the weather likely to be like then?
Could you recommend any places to visit - we love travelling around - not really stay in one place kind of people (i think i was a gypsy in a former life lol) - we love walking BUT the hubs fell off a roof 18 months ago and shattered his feet so we are a bit limited nowadays?
I travelled around NZ in June 2011 (coming from the UK) for the whole month with a friend in a campervan, both islands, so very similar to you. I'd say winter is still a really good time to go - it is quieter and cheaper tourist-wise, though we did end up there in the 3rd warmest winter on record so we got a good deal from the weather! The Milford Highway to Milford Sound may be closed due to snow, but I hope not because it is an amazing place.

We hired from Budget Campers, who were a cheaper version of Tui Campers/Freedom Campers and they were great. Check out Tui Campers' website at http://www.tuicampers.co.nz/ . We originally booked from Auckland back to Auckland, but asked to change so that we left the van in Christchurch and they let us do it for a minimal fee.

You can take the van on the Cook Strait ferry (companies are Interislander or Bluebridge), obviously that increases the cost but you can just drive straight off the ferry and keep on motoring which is great.

There are motorhome parks (where you can hook up to power) and Department of Conservation (DOC) sites everywhere. Motohome parks cost much more but are very nice, and DOC sites are cheap and often very scenic and quiet. My favourite was Lake Mahinapua on the West Coast, just a beautiful, beautiful place .

There are walks everywhere, but a gentler one yoou should hopefully be able to do if you go up around the Coromandel Peninsula (thoroughly recommended) is the Kauri Grove Forest walk just outside of the town of Coromandel. A chance to see an amazing diversity of forest and the giant Kauri tree, plus amazing views of the Hauraki Gulf.

That's enough from me, but it's an amazing place and that's an understatement. You are very welcome to message me if you want any further recommendations etc.
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Old Feb 12th 2013, 9:20 am
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

I've broken down my answer into sections. Makes it easier for me to write and you to read!

The Idea
I like the idea: it's very sweet. I don't want to dampen the dream so to speak, but the costs can be ridiculously high for campervan holidays. There's usually a sting in the tale with hidden insurance costs and you have to stick to a pre-determined schedule and a set number of kilometres.

Four weeks also doesn't leave a lot of time to see a lot of places. If you only want to tour one specific area, you may as well just forego the campervan and bus it about the place. You can get city to city in New Zealand for as little as a $1 with some deals.

We looked into doing the same thing for 8 weeks. The inital cost was $12,000 (~£6,000), not including insurance. It turned out to be FAR cheaper to actually buy our own car, where insurance was optional.

Camp sites
As for camp sites, the Department of Conservation (DoC) have brochures in every i-Site (tourist info centre) listing camp sites both free and pay-per-night all over the country (paid sites are usually only a couple of bucks). The free ones tend to be just fields whereas the paid for sites usually have some basic facilities such a toilet (read long-drop) and showers. Word of warning: just be careful of the camp sites on the west coast: sandflies and mosquitoes are RIFE; especially in summer (December-February).

Time of Year
As for the time of year you're going: July/August is kiwi winter. The weather will be a little dreich to say the least: grey, lots of rain everywhere and cold breezes from the Antarctic. It also means that some areas of South Island (higher altitudes, far south) will be a little nippy; nothing too severe but NZ weather can really catch you out; it snowed when we were in Queenstown - at the height of summer!

Places to go
Where do you start? Well, firstly, head for Northland. Paihia is a lovely little seaside town and you can take a ferry ride (usually seeing dolphins on the way) over to Russell, the first European settlement in NZ (plus there's a LUSH pie shop there, though I forget the name!).

I saw earlier in the thread that somebody mentioned the Coromandel. I'd go there, as it's very picturesque and there's the odd hot spring lurking around. Having been there myself, I'd avoid the far west and east of North Island. The far east is wine country, so if you're looking to sample the local blends head there but other than that, there's nothing really there. Likewise for the west country (New Plymouth area), minus the wine. If you're a mountain climber, Mt. Egmont/Taranaki but that really is it.

South Island is home to the best of NZ, in my opinion. Majestic mountains, frothy fjords and giant glaciers! There's too much to cover but one to definitely see is Milford Sound; NZ's biggest tourist attraction. Also check out Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown as well as Dunedin and Christchurch (though you may be a bit limited in what you can see, what with the post-Christchurch earthquake red zone and all).

I think it covered everything there..? Sorry for the lengthy post!
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Old Feb 12th 2013, 10:02 am
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

You can get cheaper campervan deals if you hire one that is due to be returned (that someone previously took as a one-way hire) for example: http://www.spaceshipsrentals.co.nz/d...relocation-nz/

The ferry can be really expensive but spaceship rates as a car not camper so that will help keep costs down.

Example (costs July/Aug 2013 one-way, 2 adults + car) http://www.interislander.co.nz/Booki...-Sailings.aspx
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Old Feb 12th 2013, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand in a Campervan x

Thank you to you all for your replies - lots to think about and lots of information to take in - i wish we could visit during your summer but i know our head wont let me have anytime of during term time and rightly so - so we'll be stuck with our summer hols - but never mind we live in a wet country now lol - thanks all once again xxxxx
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