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Camper Vans in New Zealand

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Camper Vans in New Zealand

1. Posted by jen_jo (Full Member 5 posts) 11y

I'm heading to NZ nxt week and wondered if anyone one had any opinions as to whether it works out cheaper to hire a camper van and travel around? there'll be two of us


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4896 posts) 11y

A lot depends on how long you'll be going for of course, but given the time of year... (It's winter! It's cold at night! Even in the winterless north!) won't want to stay at campgrounds, and thus don't have the one benefit of a campercan over a car, namely cheaper accomodation.
Lots of hostels this time of year also have cheaper rates (stay 3-6 nights, get the next one free), so I'd stick to renting a car and staying in hostels.
Or if you're going for more than two months, don't rent a car either, but travel by intercity/newmans coach (get a flexipass or travelpass), or - if you're going for more than six months - buy a car instead. (Decent backpacker cars can be had for as little as NZD1000.)

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4896 posts) 11y

Oh, and _awesome_ time of the year to head there. Make certain to travel extensively around the Southern Alps. Those should be absolutely glorious right now, all covered in snow. (This kind of absolutely glorious.)
If you hit any days with clear blue skies, make certain to do a helicopter flight from Lake Tekapo/Mt. Cook/the glaciers.

4. Posted by jen_jo (Full Member 5 posts) 11y

wow you're right that does look amazing! thanks for the advice, i was wondering how cold it would be!

5. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 11y

I'd say you're probably better off hiring a car at this time of year and staying in hostels.

It's not just the cold you've got to consider but the fact that being winter it will be getting dark very early. Unless you could afford a large camper you'd soon get fed up spending so many hours trying to keep warm in a small van.

6. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 11y

I agree. I also think hostels are better since you get an opportunity to meet a few people (the hostels aren't crowded this time of the year so the atmosphere is often quite nice) which is always nice when you're travelling...

And you really have to hit the slopes and do a bit of snowboarding!!! There are some really good spots close to Christchurch, which is also cheaper and less "touristic" than the Remarkables down in Queenstown.


7. Posted by jen_jo (Full Member 5 posts) 11y

thanks for all the advice! We decided to rent a car! we're also planning on snowboarding, so looking fo rthe cheapest and best places to go!

8. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 11y

oh, check out this website: There's everything you need to know about snowboarding/skiing in nz.


9. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 11y

Maybe also check for snowboarding and skiing packages. I agree with snatterand Mt. Hutt is less touristy, but if you're up for partying after you get back from the mountain definitely go to Queenstown.


10. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 11y

Seriously, the best snowboarding I've experienced ever in my whole life was in Craigeburn (I'm not quite sure about the spelling here...) close to Christchurch!!! SOOO WICKED!!!