You have finally booked your ticket to New Zealand; you have pinpointed all of the scenic locations that you’d like to visit, and you are counting down the minutes until your trip. Now, with that being said, there are a number of ways to explore this picturesque country, but none meet the same level of adventure as a campervan hire in New Zealand!

Campervans: The best mode of Transportation

camper van can be a great way to travel around New Zealand. In fact, if you were to do a quick Google search of New Zealand you will note that this is a poplar mode of transportation. From a weekend trip to a two-week getaway, exploring New Zealand via campervan is so popular that from the moment you land you will see a number of hiring solutions available.

So, to help you navigate the process of campervan hires in New Zealand, I have created this specific guide. Bookmark it prior to your trip and use it to help you ensure the best adventure yet!

Motorhome camper van RV road trip on New Zealand.
Motorhome camper van RV road trip on New Zealand.

How to pick the right campervan hire

When it comes to campervan hire in New Zealand there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind. Before putting a down payment on a camper van look at the following:

  1. Van size including seating arrangements
  2. Budget
  3. Manual or automatic transmission
  4. Petrol meter
  5. Safety

There are also a number of companies that specifically cater to your campervan needs. In the same way that you would hire a company to look out of the best car rental deals, you would do the same with your campervan! They will be able to help you navigate the list mentioned above to ensure that you get the best option for your New Zealand adventure!

Campervan tips

This may seem obvious, but driving a campervan is nothing like driving a car! Prior to signing off on your campervan hire I suggest memorising these tips:  

  • Improve your diving etiquette. Keep in mind that there are a number of rules and etiquettes involved with getting behind the wheel of a campervan. With winding roads and scenic views, it’s in your best interest to brush up on your driving skills.
  • Opt in for driver’s insurance. For your own peace of mind, I would suggest taking our comprehensive coverage for your van! Accidents, dents and scratches do happen, so it is in your best interests to ensure that you aren’t liable for any damage!
  • Shop around. It can feel extremely temping to book the very first campervan that you see, however make sure to shop around. There are a number of incredible options that are available. Many of which come with discounts, included benefits and full -comprehensive customer service operations – which you will need. So, don’t commit to the firs campervan you see – make the right choice and explore your options first before committing!

See also Tips for Getting Around New Zealand

Where to park your caravan

You can easily carry luggage, stop for a cuppa and to take a few pictures. You can easily grab a bite to eat and even sleep inside the camper van while driving around New Zealand, right?

There is however, one very important thing to consider…

Where Are You Going to Park?!

Roadside parking isn’t always the best option. If you are on a budget it is something you may think is a cheap and easy option when it comes to campervan hire in NZ.  

Yes, it is an option but more often than not, I found myself stressing and spending a lot of time driving about in the dark in an unfamiliar place. 

Half of the time I ended up stopping at a campsite, which defeated the point and cost a lot more money.

In the end, I found a car and hostel to be a much better approach. The car was half the price of a camper, fuel costs less and you meet a lot more travellers in a hostel than travelling alone in the road.

See also The Ultimate Guide to Staying at a Hostel

Campervan Hire in NZ: My Personal Experience

I have a great example of a challenge I faced I was in Nelson.

Nelson is a biker town and we happened to park outside a biker club on a party night. We were approached and asked to leave. We couldn’t drive though, as the wine had been flowing that evening.

Surprisingly, we were invited in and started playing pool. All was going well until a young lad we travelled with got a bit gobby with the barman and was asked to leave.  We were okay as they invited us back later, however, we gratefully declined.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later we discovered that the bikers we met were a notorious Drug and gun-running gang! We realised how lucky we were not to find ourselves in a much more compromising position!

The ultimate Kiwi Experience

If you like the idea of using a camper van, leave plenty of time to arrive at your destination and decide how you want to travel and who you want to meet. The novelty may wear off a little quicker than you think!

Campervan hire in New Zealand can also end up being pricier than other options. If the camper van or car isn’t for you, you can always book a tour bus.

Check out our other New Zealand blog posts:

Best Beaches in New Zealand

New Zealand and The Wonders of The South

Best Places to Visit in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Colorful North Island

Why Blenheim, New Zealand Doesn’t Suck


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.