For many people, a trip to New Zealand is a once in a lifetime adventure. It is a beautiful but sparsely populated country with about four million residents. The best way to travel is to hire a car or campervan, especially if you want to see both the North and South Islands. If you do decide to hire a campervan, here are four tips you can use.
Don’t Misjudge Roads
While the roads in New Zealand are well-maintained, they are probably much narrower than you’re used to driving. They mainly consist of two-lane highways with dotted white lines down the middle separating the lanes. The roads are mostly curvy and winding, and some of them can be harrowing if you’re not used to driving them.
The roads may not have shoulders to pull onto and most remote locations do not have guardrails on the sides. However, if you take your time when travelling, you should be able to easily traverse the road system and get to your destination without incident. Since a campervan is smaller than a motorhome, it is more manoeuvrable, so you shouldn’t have any problems driving it along small two-lane roads.
Confirm Island Crossings
Many rental companies will not let you take their vehicles on the ferry to go from the North Island to the South Island. You will want to confirm this information with the company from which you reserved the New Zealand campervan hire. Ask if they permit island crossings and, if not, ask if there will be another campervan waiting for you on the other island. You may have to make another reservation for the other island, so ask about island crossings during the initial booking.
Consider Taking Sleeping Bags
Depending on when you’re going, it can get chilly at night so you may want to take sleeping bags with you when visiting New Zealand. Even though the campervan is supplied with bedding, if there are more than two of you in the vehicle, you may want the warmth of sleeping bags on the bed at night. Also, use smaller luggage with soft sides to squeeze into the corners in the campervan so it is out of the way until you need whatever is in the bags.
Try Freedom Camping
Purchase an Okay2Stay pass so you can camp anywhere it’s permitted. This may include private farms, the beach, or other private properties that allow it. With the pass, it is free to camp there for the evening, so you can explore the countryside and find still find places where you can spend the evening at a minimal cost.
Whether you’re an experienced campervanner or a novice, it is a great way to visit New Zealand. It can help you save money because you have your accommodations and vehicle all in one campervan. There are several options for camping as well, so you can spend the night at caravan parks with a full range of facilities or rough it in a campervan.