The RV (or campervan) culture thrives in New Zealand, and it’s not hard to see why. RV rental in New Zealand is fun, accessible, and the perfect way to take in the country’s breathtaking scenery!Why Rent an RV in New Zealand?
For New Zealanders, campervan travel is a beloved national pastime. For visitors to the country, it’s a cost-effective and efficient way to see the beauty of New Zealand, while experience the laid-back campervan culture. Travelling by RV allows you to easily transport your luggage and your food. Being able to prepare your own meals in the RC kitchen is a huge cost-saver versus having to eat out every meal. Load up on groceries at the supermarket, and hit up local farms for fresh produce. Campervans also provides great flexibility, and while it is important to have a general itinerary, being in an RV gives you the choice to stop when and where you want. Like a particular place? Pull over and have a picnic! Not a fan of a particular campground? Throw it all into the RV, and drive until you find a place that suits you better! New Zealand has many campgrounds (or “holiday parks”) that are well-equipped. Many offer RV hookups, hot showers, laundry facilities, and communal kitchens. There are also numerous non-powered campsites that provide basic facilities, a cheaper alternative if you don’t mind skipping the hot shower. Many RV campers practice what is referred to as “freedom camping”, where they simply pull over and park for the night on public property; keep your eyes open for signs that prohibit this, as authorities have been trying to eliminate freedom camping in most areas.
Planning Your Itinerary
While nothing beats the freedom provided by campervan travel, it is recommended to have a basic itinerary for your trip; this will save you money, and allow you to make the most of your holiday. Where will your trip begin? The major RV rental depots are in Auckland and Christchurch, usually near the airports. Generally, one-way trips are allowed, but fees often apply if you wish to drop off your RV in a different location. Remember, if you will be travelling between the North and South Islands, you will be required to book the ferry to cross Cook Strait; the ride is approximately 3 hours. New Zealand may be a small country, but there are plenty of diversions (one-third of the country is designated national parkland), meaning that it can take time to cover your ground. Consider how much time you have, and settle on the part of the country that interests you the most.
What to Consider Before Renting an RV in New Zealand
Before renting your campervan, consider your needs. How many travellers will be living in the van? Bigger is not always better. The bigger the vehicle, the harder it is to drive, the trickier it is to park, and the more it costs in fuel. Campervans are available in automatic or manual transmission, and most accommodate between 2 and 6 people. New Zealand law allows individuals to drive for up to 12 months using a driver’s license from your home country, or an International Driver’s Permit. After 12 months, you are required to convert your license to a New Zealand license. If your license is not in English, you are asked to bring an English translation of it with you. Keep in mind that you must always have your license on you while driving. In New Zealand, the general age to be able to legally rent a car is 21 years old, but this is often raised to 25 for campervans. Familiarize yourself with the country’s rules and signs of the road; remember that one drives on the left side of the road in New Zealand, and that driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime.