A Guide To Planning An Epic Motorhome Trip In New Zealand

There’s no better way to explore the enchanting country of New Zealand (NZ) than on a road trip. Yes, you can ride trains and buses to travel around the country. However, having your own vehicle in the Land of the Long White Cloud allows you to visit places that other modes of transportation essentially don’t access.

Motorhome Trip In New Zealand

New Zealand is one of those corners of the world wherein renting a motorhome or campervan to explore the best attractions is extremely popular. Motorhome road trips differ slightly from traditional road adventures in terms of the vehicle you’re driving and where you’ll be staying. Still, the overall purpose is the same—the flexibility to see and do as much as you want.

First Order Of Business: Getting The Vehicle

If you’re only visiting New Zealand for a few weeks or months, renting a campervan is the sensible way to go. The main advantage of renting is that you don’t have to waste time looking around for the right motorhome if you’re pressed for time. It’s also less hassle on your end since you don’t have to worry about selling it off as your journey comes to an end.

Campervan trip in New Zealand

But if you live in NZ or you plan to do a long-term trip, renting a vehicle might just prove to be more expensive than buying your own in the long run. Motorhomes for sale offer many different paths if you’re serious about investing in one. You can search online for second-hand units you can buy at a fraction of the cost. 

Backpackers often buy and sell their vehicles as they go around the country and that’s your opportunity to score a decent deal. There’s just one obvious drawback to this method—you’re buying the motorhome as is. There’ll likely be no refund or exchange possible once you’ve made the deal. If you’re not really confident in this method, you can opt for credible websites that buy and sell campervans and motorhomes.

The Best Time To Visit New Zealand

New Zealand has four distinct seasons, each with its own set of attractions and natural beauty. The seasons and temperatures are much milder on the North Island; meanwhile, the weather on the South Island is more extreme and temperatures can get cold at any time of year, particularly at higher elevations.

If budget is your main concern, you might want to plan your adventure during the winter during which van rate offers are generally cheaper compared to the summer season. Winter in NZ (June to August) can be pretty cold, hence, the low prices and few crowds. 

South Island, New Zealand

If you enjoy winter sports, winter is definitely the ideal time of the year for you to plan your epic motorhome trip to New Zealand. Be sure to check out the South Island, which is famous for several skiing spots. 

Planning Your Motorhome Itinerary

You have your ideal vehicle and you’ve already decided on the time of the year to visit New Zealand. Before packing for your trip, you need to map out a route to make sure you’ll have the best motorhome experience. Where you start your New Zealand campervan trip will be influenced by where your flight arrives and where you pick up your van.

So, a great starting point is to find out where your motorhome will be ready for pick up. Arrange with the seller before your scheduled flight so you can do your research in advance. Van rentals typically have their garages in airports, so be sure to ask for the details. 

Consider the South Island as your road trip highlight if you’re flying in and out of Queenstown. Here are some spots that you can include in your itinerary:

  • Arthur’s Pass;
  • Lake Pukaki Campsite;
  • Mueller Hut;
  • Tasman Glacier National Park;
  • Milford Road Highway;
  • Vineyards in Marlborough; and
  • Wanaka.

A North Island itinerary is ideal if you have less time to explore NZ. Although the area is relatively smaller, it won’t disappoint with its fair share of stunning volcanic scenery and pristine beaches. Be sure to include a stopover in Wellington, a fun and vibrant city that offers plenty of things to do. If you’re into hiking, be sure not to miss the Tongariro Alpine Crossing spot for an unforgettable and rewarding adventure.

North Island, New Zealand

Final Words

New Zealand is regarded by many travel experts as ideal for motorhome trips. There are freedom camping sites all over the country, making it easy to find a place to rest, shower, and refill your water tank. Few places in the world make campervan travel as simple as NZ, so you might as well take advantage of it when you have the chance.

Without a doubt, exploring New Zealand through a motorhome trip is the best way to have an adventure you won’t easily forget. Imagine waking up next to majestic landscapes as you cook your own meals, stop at your own pace, and spend quality time with family or friends. 

Sleeping in the campervan in New Zealand

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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