Campervan hire in New Zealand
Down at the bottom of the South Pacific, replete with unique flora and fauna, lies the enigmatic beauty that is New Zealand. This "Land of the Long White Cloud", as it's named in the native language, is one of the most revered travel destinations on earth, and a campervan hire is the perfect way to explore it. Around each bend in the road, you'll discover vistas straight out of the travel magazines - or a particular and popular fantasy film trilogy!
Having your own set of wheels is invaluable in this amazing nation, where you'll want to take the scenic route and check out the side roads that catch your eye. While a car rental also lets you do this, motorhome hire in New Zealand provides a flexible travel adventure. The spontaneity of taking your accommodation with you opens up endless possibilities for exploration and side-of-the-road tea stops with a magnificent view. What's more, it's a cost-effective way to travel. A cheap campervan hire in New Zealand will mean you can fit even more adventure into your budget.
While you're booking with Air New Zealand, we make it easy to find the perfect campervan hire, too. Compare the many options all on one page rather than bouncing around the web looking for what's available, where. Just enter the dates for your trip and a few other details to see the possibilities, and filter it down with your preferences like vehicle age and fuel type. Negotiating for low rates and special deals is already done by us, so you can find a budget campervan hire in New Zealand with no worries.
We've got what you need to get your travel planning started. Read on for campervan tips, reviews and helpful information.
Find your wheels
There's a campervan rental in New Zealand to suit any traveller, with a range of international and local suppliers offering vehicles of various types. These include:
Britz, Mighty and Maui
Britz and its sister brands are well-known and reliable names for New Zealand campervan holidays. Their campers are custom designed with the traveller in mind.
Apollo, Star RV and Hippie Camper
Whether you're on a budget or on the lookout for luxury, these three and other brands in the Apollo group have got the whole spectrum covered for campervan hire in NZ.
The Kiwi-founded Jucy brand is light-hearted, colourful and adventurous, with compact vans with affordable options for your trip.
Tui and their family of brands including Freedom Campers and Budget Campers are homegrown and give you a range of choice to suit what you need.
We love the name. Another excellent option for those seeking a cheap campervan in New Zealand, Spaceships has a fleet of brightly orange coloured sleepervans.
Where to stay
Next, you'll want to find campgrounds and places to stay in your campervan in New Zealand. No worries. The choices cover everything from luxurious to basic, so every type of nomad will find a place to comfortably call home.
These are campgrounds with extra creature comforts, making them ideal for families and anyone who'd like a bit of luxury during their New Zealand campervan holiday – even if it's only once every few nights. Holiday parks often have campervan sites, tent sites, cabins or motel-style accommodation, bathrooms with showers and hot water, and well-equipped shared kitchens. They also tend to have fun facilities like pools, games rooms and playgrounds.
This is a more basic option for your motorhome rental in New Zealand. Campgrounds have simple facilities like toilets (we call out houses "long drops"!) and running water. Some have extra features like camp kitchens or BBQs, hot water and showers. While there are some privately owned campgrounds around the country, many of them are operated by the Department of Conservation and found in national parks and state-owned reserves. They tend to be in scenic spots, incur a small fee and are perfect for an intrepid journey. Visit the DOC website for more details.
Camping for free is great for those seeking an affordable adventure, but be aware that it takes some planning and care. Freedom camping bylaws are set by regional councils around the country, so do a bit of research beforehand to determine what's allowed and what's not. Some free camping sites are signposted. If you want to freedom camp, a self-contained vehicle is a must-have.
Pick your point A and point B
Now, where to begin. You can start your campervan adventure in New Zealand from a range of fabulous locations in both the North and South Islands, and end wherever you choose. From city breaks and beach hopping to small towns and mountain passes, you're never far from something beautiful in this country -- wherever you choose to pick up your motorhome.
The largest city and major gateway for visitors, Auckland is surrounded by stunning coastlines, particularly those of nearby Northland and Coromandel. It's a vibrant place to begin your rental.
Capital city on the shore of a beautiful harbour, Wellington is a cultural hotspot and loved by locals and travellers alike. From here, the many delights of the North Island are easily accessible, and the South Island is just a few hours away by car ferry.
Known as the Adventure Capital, Queenstown is in a gorgeous lakeside setting surrounded by mountains. Holidaymakers flock here for the activities, natural beauty and scenic driving routes which head off in many directions.
This creative southern city is resiliently regaining its strength after earthquakes in 2011 and has plenty to offer visitors. It's the primary air gateway to the South Island, and an ideal beginning point for a campervan hire journey in New Zealand's south.
Blenheim, the hub of a well-known wine region with a small-town vibe, is a great, grape-strewn place for a leisurely start to your road trip.
This lively student city with a Scottish flare is the perfect spot from which to explore the wild and wonderful lower South Island.
Remote Greymouth is the perfect pick up location for any road trippers wanting to focus on New Zealand's wild, desolate and spectacular West Coast.
Just south of Auckland, Hamilton is at the centre of the agricultural epicentre that is the Waikato region. Start your New Zealand campervan holiday here, and much of the North Island is within easy reach.
Come on over
When's the best time to hire a motorhome in New Zealand? We have a temperate climate, and no part of the country is more than 120 kilometres from the ocean. That means there's a lot of variety in the weather through all seasons. Summer's a great time for taking your motorhome around New Zealand, with warm temperatures, a good amount of sunshine and less rainfall.
If you like smaller crowds and perfectly comfortable evenings, spring is from September to November, and autumn lasts from March until May. These "shoulder" seasons are best for pleasant weather and quieter roads.
A good way to get a cheap campervan rental in New Zealand is to travel during winter. For snow bunnies, it's particularly ideal! The mountains of the central North Island and those of the Southern Alps have stunningly scenic and snowy vistas, and there are plenty of ski resorts to visit during a winter road trip. Just make sure you add a heater to your booking.
Popular road trips to take in New Zealand
The highways and byways of the nation are wonderland for intrepid and nomadic travellers. A campervan in New Zealand is a ticket to adventure, no matter where it takes you. The beauty of this relatively small country is that any journey is likely to include a vast array of different landscapes, from mountains peaks to craggy coastlines to the rolling hills of peaceful farmland and more.
The following are a few of the most popular road trips in some of New Zealand's most wonderful places.
Pick up a motorhome in Auckland and make the short trip southeast to visit this holidaymaker's playground. The peninsula is packed with gorgeous coves and long beaches including the famous Cathedral Cove, mountain landscapes with excellent hiking trails, and friendly, laid-back small towns. Breathe deeply and relax with a leisurely road trip around the Coromandel.
The Desert Road and Central Plateau
Another favourite destination for campervan hire in New Zealand's North Island is the imposing and impressive trio of mountains that top the so-called central plateau. A half day's drive from Auckland or Wellington, the Desert Road is a section of State Highway 1 bordering the mountains that offers incredible views of the three peaks, one of which is recognisable from its role as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies.
If you begin in the South Island or ferry over from the North, you'll want to get to the wild west coast. Opposite the more populated eastern side of the South Island, you'll have to cross the Southern Alps - and factor in plenty of time for pulling over to gaze at New Zealand's unbelievable natural assets as you do. Arthur's Pass on State Highway 73/West Coast Road is a natural sightseer's dream. Stop and admire the Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall and the Cave Stream Scenic Reserve along the way.
State Highway 6: The West Coast
No campervan hire trip in NZ can compare to the West Coast for unadulterated, raw and natural beauty. Civilisation is limited to small towns sandwiched between the Tasman Sea and the Alps, and the sheer scale of ocean, mountain and vegetation makes any man-made part of the landscape fade into insignificance. The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers provide opportunity for unforgettable excursions.
Milford Sound and mountain towns
Milford Sound is an absolute gem, a fjord to rival any found in Alaska or Norway. It's best viewed from a boat, but the road there makes for an unforgettable journey. Nearby are Queenstown and Wanaka, small cities amongst big mountains with myriad things to do and see. This part of the country is a must-have on any motorhome rental itinerary!
Why book your motorhome rental with Air New Zealand?
Simply because we make it easier and pass great savings on. When you book with us, you'll find a wide selection of trusted campervan options from local and international rental suppliers, and enjoy low rates because our rental partners are our friends. You also get great Kiwi customer support throughout the whole process. Get planning your motorhome adventure with Air New Zealand.