From monumental landscapes to vineyard tours, New Zealand provides the perfect road trip destination with well-maintained and signposted roads. This country seems tailor-made for campervan rentals, thanks to its enviable pitches in quiet, magnificent settings.
New Zealand is a mecca for campervan rentals with plenty of epic experiences en route.
New Zealand is a dream to navigate. Many winding road sections add to the atmosphere — but there are also lots of single-lane roads to prepare for. If you find yourself tailgated, simply pull over and allow the traffic to move on. Drive on the left and obey speed limits expressed in kilometres per hour, the highest being 100 kilometres per hour.
A camper rental in New Zealand can cover all sorts of vehicles. When choosing the right vehicle, think about how much space is important. You'll find vehicles that suit everyone from couples right up to a family of five. Since roads can be narrow, slim and compact sleeper vehicles are more stress-free — but trad campervan rentals can be just as rewarding, especially if you like comfort.
Picking a route for your campervan in New Zealand is a difficult decision. Aside from a lengthy country-wide itinerary that is unbeatable if you have the time, you’re likely pressed. In this case, stick to one island with your rental. While two weeks are good, four weeks are preferred and over a month will give you plenty of time to enjoy diverse destinations, including seeing the whole country.
With a general two-week or longer stay, you can drive a circular route from Christchurch, the perfect base to begin an adventure with an RV. While some head north to Kaikoura and the Kahurangi National Park via Nelson, those with pressed itineraries should head directly for Lake Tekapo. An impressive star-gazing hub, it’s just two hours west via the epic Arthur’s Pass. From here, follow the coast to Lake Mapourika and Franz Josef Glacier. The next stretch from Franz Josef to Queenstown is among the most impressive in the country and feels designed for an RV trip. Winding roads give way to undulating peaks. Thankfully, there are plenty of viewpoints to park your rental and take it all in.
You can then continue on from Queenstown on a detour to Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most majestic natural wonder with its towering peaks and plummeting waterfalls. It’s then a steady route in your camper back to Christchurch, taking in sights like Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook, the country's highest peak. While this campervan New Zealand roundtrip should take two weeks with plenty of peaceful pitches, extending your stay allows you the time to enjoy the stops for longer.
North Island visitors should consider seeing some locations in Auckland, the country’s largest city. Aside from exploring this fine surf city and its stellar museums, you’ll head out on a roundtrip along the Northland Peninsula to locations surrounding Auckland. Hotspots for campers include Waitangi, Whangaroa, Pukenui and Kohukohu, unforgettable Māori areas that are blessed by forests, sandy beaches and beautiful bays. The Museum of Waitangi and Tāne Mahuta are landmarks of this region. You can do this route in seven days before setting out again from Auckland for Rotorua on an extended circular.
The next half of this camper trip takes in the North Island’s bubbling geothermal heartland and the historic Bay of Plenty, so named by Captain Cook for its abundance of fish and timber. You’ll travel east along the coast via Mount Maunganui and Gisborne before hugging the east coast to Napier and turning your rental back for Taupo. For those seeking adrenaline-fuelled adventure, Taupo is the premier outdoor sports and activities epicentre, worth exploring with your camper. It’s then a short drive through the Tahorakurī Forest for Rotorua. This revered Sulphur City of steaming geothermal pools is matched in magnificence by Whakarewarewa Forest, home to tall redwoods. As you meander through this bucolic and richly green region through locations to Auckland, consider a stop at New Zealand’s very own Hobbiton, a mainstay for Tolkien fans in Matamata.
Staying with a campervan in New Zealand gives you flexibility, and saves time and money. You’ll get up close to New Zealand’s most treasured feature — the landscape. Book your route with motorhomebookers for the perfect camper adventure in New Zealand.
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