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NZ Campervan Road Trip

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#1 IVL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:00 AM


we are planning to take our DD's on a road trip next year in a campervan around NZ. I haven't decided which Island yet but leaning towards the south as the scenery looks lovely. We will have about 10 days - 2 weeks.

Our girls will be 4 and 6 and are quite well travelled so I think they should be fine. Just after recomendations on a hire company and also which Island would be best suited for us. We have not done this type of holiday ever before so thought I would get some advice.


#2 Apageintime

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

I did a similar thing earlier last year, but we drove and stayed in hotels. I would worry about the coldness of the campervan if you were going in winter, it was nice to come back and warm up in a hotel room when I was there in June.

I would reccomend the south Island, I have been to both and just found the south island nice. The glaciers have short walks that may be doable for your kids (there was certainly a lot of them around) and Queenstown was a fantastic city.

#3 IVL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

Thanks Apageintime, we actually are looking at motorhomes with heating so not too worried about cold. Will also be able to have some campfires to sit around and keep us warm. Sounds so nice, but I am worried the reality could be quite different.

We are planning to go around Easter so not quite winter yet.

#4 kidwrangler

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:36 AM

We did a similar length trip last year with kids the same age. We hired through Britz and decided on the north island. It was a beautiful and fun family trip. They also give you membership to Big 4/ Top 10 tourist parks with the van so you can get a discount. We got a 6 seater van so that we didn't have to move the kids car seats to open up a bed for them at night. Only a little more expensive but worth it for the space and less hassle.

We chose the north island because we didn't want to do too much driving in steep mountain areas, and it seemed to have more suitable activities for children that age/ time we had.

Loved Rotorua so much we stayed some extra days (lots of free areas as well as tourist places), same with Lake Taupo (the Big 4/ Top 10 park there had a great playground and jumping pillow, kids loved it). No worries with the temp in the van as we stayed at powered sites and ran the a/c as needed. Only went as far north as Whangarei and not all the way south either so we didn't do too many hours of driving. Kept us and the kids happy. Waitomo Caves was great (we did a boat tour through to see the glow worms, kids loved that too). The coldest was when we went up Mt Ruapehu, it was spring and the very last week of the ski lifts operating, so we got to go up to the top of the mountain and toboggan/ play in the snow before heading back to warmer areas. The kids loved Auckland Museum so much, we had to go twice (start and ended the trip from Auckland), and the butterfly house near the airport is worth a trip too original.gif

Hope to go back and explore the south island too, but could easily go back to the north island and do that trip again, it was so much fun original.gif I am sure you'll have a great trip whatever you choose! original.gif

#5 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

We spent 15 days traveling around in a campervan in September. We decided on sticking to the North Island this time, as the weather was going to be slightly warmer and the roads less challenging to drive on. Plus, for the itinerary I'd like to do, we'd have needed at least 3 weeks for the South Island. It also made me nervous thinking of going to Christchurch with the continued aftershocks. We had an awesome time, seriously one of the best holidays I've ever had.There are loads of interesting things to do on the North Island, especially with kids.  We plan on returning next year to do the South Island.

I can highly, highly recommend Kea Campers- the customer service was brilliant and we had no issues with the campervan whatsoever. It was warm, comfortable and cosy. Like a PPer, we opted for a 6 berth for that extra bit of room and although it was a little more expensive, it was money well spent. I can't wait to do it again.

#6 PrincessPeach

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:50 AM

It can still be snowing at Easter,  particularly on the South Island. We froze our buts off on the North Island in November, mainly due to the windchill factor though.

Something to consider (thanks to my NZ colleague's advice!) is the cost of petrol & diesel is a lot higher in NZ than here, so that may sway you in choosing your camper as well. Eg today the price for Petrol is $2.16 per litre whereas the price of diesel is about $1.50 per litre.

DH & I hired a car & stayed in self-contained apartments through the North Island, which we loved. Particulalry as we had a clothes dryer in our room. It rained a lot whilst we were there & it was very handy for getting damp jeans dry at the end of a long day sightseeing.

Sorry - bad grammer.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 14 November 2012 - 09:55 AM.

#7 JillyJellyBean

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:52 AM

I think the north island is lovely as well as the south. North will be warmer and less challenging roads. You really dont want to short change yourself and not have enough time to fully enjoy the south island. Enjoy

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