Planning your Campervan Holiday in New Zealand

New Zealand is a fantastic destination for a self-drive holiday in a motorhome for a number of reasons.

First of all, the distances are not that great, so to drive from one location in your campervan to the next won’t take long. This will allow you to spend more time at each fantastic destination.

Another reason is that New Zealanders themselves love the camping lifestyle and there are plenty of options for those undertaking their own campervan holiday in “the Land of the Long White Cloud”. There is even a national organisation dedicated to camping  – click here.

Camping Our Way NZ

And then of course, there are the stunning destinations that you can travel to in your campervan that you book through Salamanda Travel!

Akaroa_Harbour NZ

Last but not least are the friendly locals. New Zealanders are known as a very friendly nation who will be only too happy to strike up a conversation and give you advice if they can.

So, you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and are considering hiring a campervan … we agree, it’s a great idea! But what do you need to know?

Free Airport Transfer

First of all, our suppliers offer a free transfer both from the airport and back after your journey is over. When you book a campervan with Salamanda Travel the airport transfer from either Auckland or Christchurch is included free of charge. On arrival at the airport, you simply call the number we have advised, and someone will meet you at the airport and bring you to the branch office to collect your motorhome or campervan.

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Where to Stay?

So the next thing is – where to stay?

Here there are plenty of options throughout New Zealand – caravan parks and campgrounds, National Parks, or so-called “freedom camping”.

Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

Caravan Parks are the most convenient places to stay and enjoy your campervan holiday in New Zealand. In addition, prices are quite reasonable. However we do recommend you plan your route and book ahead, especially in the busy season which is during the New Zealand summer and holiday period from late November to March.

Private campgrounds and caravan parks offer plenty of facilities to make your campervan stay easy, such as access to power and water, so you can fill up your water tank and recharge the battery on your motorhome or campervan. They also offer facilities such as shower and toilets, laundries, camp kitchens, and sometimes campfire sites that will make your stay that much more enjoyable. Some campgrounds offer recreational facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and recreation rooms with table tennis and other games.

Campgrounds and caravan parks are usually located close to attractions such as tourist sites and attractions, beaches, and so on.

Coromandel_Peninsula_Panorama

They are also a great way to meet other travellers and swap tales.

To find some options, this is a good place to start: Great NZ Accommodation Directory

Please also have a look through the following list and see if you can find something to suit you:

  • Family Parks New Zealand – this an independant group of holiday parks that provide a family atmosphere. For more information click here 
  • Kiwi Holiday Parks – these are highly recommended. For more information go here
  • Top 10 Holiday Parks – these offer affordable accommodation throughout New Zealand – go here
  • Holiday parks – a range of camping grounds here
  • Jasons – accommodation and camp sites – click here

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National Parks

The NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) manages more than 200 conservation areas throughout New Zealand, including National Parks. The conservation parks feature a range of appealing natural settings, from beach settings to forests or lakes, with each one offering a wide range of campgrounds and facilities.

These DOC campsites are a great place to call in with your campervan for the night and experience the natural wonders of New Zealand. Besides that, they offer very affordable rates and you will most probably meet like-minded travellers.

Bookings are required for the serviced campsites, and also for some of the standard campsites. Fees vary depending on where the park is situated and whether or not it is serviced.  Please visit the Department of Conservation and New Zealand’s National Parks website here for more information.

Milford_Sound NZ

Freedom Camping

It is still possible to “free camp” in many areas in New Zealand, except for areas that are signposted as no camping allowed. Please be careful when choosing your site, because if you camp in a prohibited area you may be fined.

Local authorities are responsible for free stays in their own region. We recommend you check with the local information centre before setting up for the night.

The other thing to consider is the battery power in your campervan. Campervans and motorhomes run on a dual battery system – one battery starts the campervan ignition and the other powers internal appliances. Approximately every second day you will need to recharge the battery, depending on usage. So it’s a good idea to plan to stay at a powered site at least some of the time.

Most importantly, be sure to clean up after yourself and not leave any litter. In recent times, some freedom campers have not done the right thing and this will ultimately lead to tighter restrictions on freedom camping.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us and have a chat!

New Zealand in a Campervan – A Snow Fields Road Trip

Been bitten by the snow bug and the travel bug at the same time? Then you should definitely visit the beautiful snow fields of New Zealand in wintertime. You can travel around New Zealand and try out the different ski areas as well.Apollo Euro Tourer

The south island of New Zealand offers lots of stunning areas to discover. Hire a motorhome from Salamanda Travel so you can enjoy your own outdoor adventure to the max. The greatest thing about renting a motorhome is that you and your fellow travellers are independent and can decide for yourselves where and when you’ll go. You’ll be free as a bird, you can stay flexible and decide to stay at one of the snowfields a bit longer than you planned. But we don’t recommend staying in one place for the whole trip, because there is lots to discover in New Zealand.

If you are able to head to New Zealand right now and if you are a massive snowfield lover, we recommend hiring a motorhome and doing a round trip through the south island. Christchurch is a good location to start and end your trip. Not just because of the international airport, but you can start your trip right away. Pick up your motorhome  and drive directly to the “Porters ski field”, and within two hours you will be standing on one of New Zealand’s magnificent snowfields, where beginners can join a class and the skilled discover the right terrain for them.

The second stop should be the Franz Josef Glacier, where you can discover Heli-hiking. Yes, it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in the helicopter to the Glacier with the finest panoramic view and then your guide and your group will hike amongst the ice caves and the seracs while be told all about the astonishing glacier – an experience you will never forget.

Travel along to Mount Cook, which is New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3.724 meters. Mount Cook will take your breath away; it’s the home of the kiwi adventures. The greatest thing about the Mount Cook area is that there are lots of different activities; go on a 4WD Argo Adventure, take a dip into one of the hot Tekapo Spings Pools  or take a tour and visit the amazing Tasman Glacier.

Drive towards Wanaka, where you must book one of the ‘Heli-Skiing’ tours. Again, yes it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in a helicopter to the mountain, take a deep breath and ski or board down the untouched powder-snow. It’s the ultimate snow adventure for both skiers and snowboarders.

When you love adventure, Queenstown is definitely not a city you can skip. There are tons of activities to  participate in, especially if you are an adrenaline junkie.  This town offers different bungee jumps, sky swings, jet boat rides, sky diving, paragliding, parasailing and many more activities. Next to this, Queenstown offers four excellent snowfields within easy reach of the town during winter.

After Queenstown it will be time to return to Christchurch, but not before you’ve stoped in Timaru. Timaru is the second largest city in Canterbury, with everything you need for a pleasant stopover. Here you can capture the spirit of the region, which means tasting the local flavours when you join a South Canterbury Food & Wine Trail, the perfect ending to a holiday you will never forget!