We are potentially looking at spending a month driving up from Christchurch to Auckland and thought a motorhome would be the best bet over hiring a car then having to arrange the extra expense of having to book rooms along the way. Having checked out trail finders it seems the prices of motorhomes is pretty expensive.
Initially I thought this would be the better bet over hiring a car and then having to the extra cost of booking rooms along the way... but am now not sure.
Would like to take out time and see as much as poss along the route, maybe someone has a better suggestion for travel and places to stay as an alternative to motorhomes ?
Just FYI ... iI'd be looking at doing this around Feb-March 2011
Hiring a camper is not necessarily the cheaper option.
If you are on a gap year or are in the country for a long time there maybe other options but if you are on a holiday and need everything sorted before you arrive it can get quite pricey (depending on a number of factors such as time of year, the company you choose etc)
I spent two weeks driving between Queenstown and Auckland with a juicy camper in early 2009 and I was quite surprised at the cost to be totally honest. There are quite a few additional add-ons that can be unexpected such as a relocation fee (for one-way trips) and the Diesel Road Tax (this can be waived however by guess what paying extra).
The cost of a powered camping spot was also quite surprising (between $30 and $40 NZD) a night. It depends on how much you value the luxeries such as shower/toilet facilities (if not in your camper)/hot running water/electricity etc.
Free camping is obviously a much cheaper option but obviously the cons are that you'll have to go without some of the above.
I found this quite a useful reference guide: http://wikitravel.org/en/Renting_a_motorhome_in_New_Zealand
Have a great trip
Had you given thought to freedom camping? There's a bunch of amazing sites, just don't leave rubbish etc as the locals will let you know about it