With so many must-see locations all packed into two small islands, New Zealand is a perfect place to explore. Summer has historically been the main visiting season, but more recently travellers have discovered arguably a better season to travel in. You'll certainly need to prepare a little more for a winter campervan trip, but with stunning snow-capped vistas and unique experiences, it's well worth it. We want you to enjoy your winter trip as much as possible, so here are our top tips to get the most from your rv travel in New Zealand.
Stay in powered sites
Whilst travelling, stay in powered campgrounds in New Zealand. With power to the camper van, you'll be able to leave the heater on overnight in case you get chilly. And of course, that hot shower in the morning will be more than welcome.
Eat and drink well
Food and drink is fuel for your body, therefore providing adequate fuel will help keep you maintain temperature. Warm meals and drinks prepared in the camper van such as soups, tea and hot chocolate, will help raise your core body temperature, literally making you feel all warm inside.
Bring adequate clothing to New Zealand. Winter days can be warm in the sun but chilly out of it. Layer effectively with a thermal base layer, mid-layer and then a down jacket and this will allow you to always have the right amount of clothes on for any activity or conditions.
Don’t forget the extremities
Pack some gloves and a beanie. Combined with your layered clothing, you'll be toasty warm comfortable temperature even while it's snowing outside.
Or the feet
Leave those dress socks and pop socks at home. Instead, pack some good thick socks, ski and snowboard socks are ideal as they can be pulled up to the knees to keep out any drafts. Merino is the material of choice in New Zealand - if it keeps a sheep warm over winter, it'll do the same for you. And don’t forget to pack some warm and preferably waterproof shoes, especially if you intend to do any sort of walking or any activity involving snow.
Bring the home comforts
Some New Zealand campervan rentals have microwaves, so bring your wheat bags to throw in for an instant warm up. For those that don't, a hot water bottle, also known as a "hottie" in New Zealand will warm the bed nicely before you slip into it.
Whilst caravanning in New Zealand, there are a number of must-visit locations. With unique activities to enjoy in each location, we'd suggest trying to fit them all in during your RV travel in New Zealand.
A must visit, Queenstown comes alive during winter. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the beauty of the town is that it rarely sees snow at the bottom of the valley. So you can soak up stunning views while you explore the town, the gardens and the exceptional local wineries. Fancy something a little more adventurous? Try cross-country skiing and dog sledding at Snow Farm just a short drive away.
With outdoor geothermal heated pools, you can literally relax and enjoy natural thermal heated water whilst it snows around you. Bliss! Gateway to the St James and Molesworth areas, there are endless stunning winter walks to be had here, before a stroll to dinner at one of the quaint little restaurants.
Located on the edge of an intensely blue glacial fed lake, and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Tekapo is an iconic New Zealand campervan spot. Mount John Walkway is a fantastic short walk that will take you to the Mount John Observatory where you'll get some great mountainous views. If you get a clear night, don't forget to take a stroll and soak up the starry night sky - a sight to behold.
Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers
On the West Coast of South Island are two of New Zealand's most famed glaciers. While you can walk up to them, if you want the real experience, take a helicopter flight over them. A true trip highlight, seeing the full extent of these glaciers from the air is spectacular. If you're feeling adventurous, there's also an option for a guided walk on the glacier.
One of North Island's most popular camper van destinations, there's plenty of excitement to fill your days. You can soak up this geothermal wonderland by relaxing in your private lakeside hot pools, taking a walk past the local bubbling mud pools or visiting the geyser at Te Puia. The area is also renowned for Maori culture, so take the time to enjoy something unique, with a Maori cultural show followed by a traditional hangi meal.
So, if you want to do something a bit different this winter, head to New Zealand, hire your Britz Campervan and set off on a journey to remember. Just don't forget to pack appropriately!