Top Campervan New Zealand Tips for Beginners

There are a few things to consider before heading away on your campervan road trip. Here you’ll find an abundance of campervan holiday tips.

Hiring a campervan is a wonderful way to experience the epic scenery and attractions on offer in New Zealand. Here are a few simple tips for beginners to ensure you have the best campervan holiday. 

Hit the roads of this country with a campervan and experience New Zealand at its best - with the ability to travel at your own pace and fall in love with the minor details and uniqueness of your own custom adventure, it’s no wonder more and more travellers are wanting to see New Zealand by campervan.

Before you start your campervan road trip through New Zealand you’ll need to get clued up on a few key topics as well as some tips for while you travel. Here’s what you need to know:

Can I drive a campervan in New Zealand?

New Zealand was made for road trips! In fact because it’s so small, driving a motorhome is arguably the best way to really see all the goodness on offer. You could be soaking up the sun beachside in the morning, and skiing up in the mountains by mid-afternoon depending on where in Middle Earth you’re visiting. The terrain changes drastically from one place to another and we’re proud of what this offers a motorhome traveller.

Do you need a different license to drive a campervan?

If you have a foreign drivers license, you can legally drive in New Zealand with a current drivers license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). If you will be using an overseas drivers license that’s not in English, you’ll need to get an English translation or an IDP and carry both.

How much does it cost to hire a campervan in New Zealand?

The cost of your vehicle will depend on a number of different factors including the following:

  • The duration of your trip
  • Type of vehicle you’re hiring
  • Time of the year/season
  • Insurance options
  • Pickup location
  • Whether the hire is one way or a round trip

Can you park a campervan on the road?

Yes. As long as your parked motorhome leaves enough space for other vehicles to get around comfortably. Just be aware that it may take a little longer to find motorhome-sized parking spots or clearings - these can be found with a little forward planning.

It’s a good idea to know the height and length of your motorhome as there may be height restrictions in certain parking buildings. Knowing these simple measurements will help when it comes to parking your vehicle.

Can you park your campervan anywhere in New Zealand?

Freedom camping in New Zealand is pretty simple: you cannot park your vehicle on public land unless it’s a recognised camping ground or public space.

The freedom camping rules apply to:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • Motor caravans
  • Mobile homes
  • Motorhomes
  • Caravans
  • Campervans
  • RVs

Other tips to remember:

  • Always take your rubbish with you, and dispose of accordingly - use designated recycling bins to sort your waste if they are available.
  • Look for signage that states what you can and cannot do in the area.
  • If you’re unsure about rules, check in with local i-SITE visitor centres for more information.
  • Use public toilets if your vehicle is not self-contained.
  • Leave no trace.

Before you park up it’s important to do some planning and research ahead of time to ensure your road trip avoids disappointment.

Where can you park and sleep overnight?

There are a number of campsites throughout New Zealand, with a little preparation beforehand you’ll be able to map out potential spots to park up and enjoy the scenery. The Ultimate Roadtripper App is a great tool for accessing all the information you’ll need about where to park up on your trip.

How do I dispose of my campervan waste?

There are a few different ways to make sure you’re dealing with your motorhome waste. Food scraps, litter, water, recycling and human waste all have a place - and that is not in nature. The correct processes will be a little different depending on whether your vehicle is self-contained or not. This is why dump stations, rubbish and recycling bins will come in handy while on holiday in New Zealand.

You can face hefty fines for illegal dumping, so it’s best not to risk anything. Always leave your destination clean for the next traveller after you.

So, where do you start your New Zealand road trip? We’ve created a few tailored itineraries around New Zealand which are a great starting point. Choose to start in the North Island’s biggest city of Auckland, or make your way down south to gorgeous Christchurch or the adrenaline capital of Queenstown.

Ready to explore?

 

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