Aotearoa, also known as New Zealand and the land of the long white cloud, bewitches its guests with a tapestry of spellbinding landscapes and boundless opportunities for adventure. There's something about the open road that just begs to be explored, and New Zealand is no exception. Full of scenic drives and winding roads - there is no better way to discover this country than by motorhome. Home to 13 National Parks that cover over 85% of the island—there is an endless amount to explore.
With all the comforts of home and the freedom to go where you want, when you want, an NZ campervan holiday is a perfect way to see the North Island or South Island of New Zealand. Better yet, if you have the time, do both! You can opt for making a round trip in a luxury motorhome or seeing all the main highlights with a quicker trip by booking a one-way rental.
There are a few things to consider, such as the type of vehicle you need and your budget. However, with some planning, this can be a great way to see the country and have a fabulous holiday.
Camper Champ quickly and easily compares several popular NZ campervan rental brands. You can choose from cheap campervan rentals to luxury motorhomes to suit your budget and your travel plans. Whatever your choice, Camper Champ has you covered!
Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.
Motorhome rental holidays in New Zealand are a great way to experience the country's natural beauty and diverse landscape. You have your vehicle to go wherever you want, and you don't need to worry about finding accommodation every night. Motorhomes are also fantastic for groups, as there is plenty of space for everyone to sleep and relax.
To get the most out of your campervan holiday in New Zealand, here are a few recommendations:
Plan your route—Make the most of scenic drives to avoid spending too much time driving on long journeys.
Make sure you have everything you need before hitting the road—Including things like bedding, cooking supplies and first-aid kits.
Be prepared for any weather conditions—Pack warm clothes for winter trips and plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent for summer excursions.
Get out and explore—New Zealand is full of beautiful landscapes and exciting attractions best seen by road. Check out local tourist attractions and activities at a fraction of the cost of those in big cities.
And most importantly, don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure – there’s nothing quite like exploring a new place by campervan!
When driving around NZ in a campervan rental, remember these important tips:
Freedom camping in New Zealand is camping for free overnight on public land that is not a managed campsite. This can be done in your campervan, motorhome, or tent. However, not all public land is suitable for freedom camping, and it is prohibited in urban areas, including city parks and beaches, unless specific facilities are provided for this purpose. It is important to check local bylaws and regulations, as freedom camping is restricted in many regions due to environmental and public health and safety concerns.
Freedom camping doesn’t mean you are free from responsibility or to camp anywhere.
To freedom camp responsibly, follow the Tiaki care code and these essential rules:
Check for signage, and do not park in these prohibited (no camping) areas. In addition, do not park on private land, driveways, footpaths and nature strips.
The only exception is if you are in a managed campsite or there is a sign saying that freedom camping is permitted in self-contained vehicles. Here is a complete list of prohibited and restricted camping areas in NZ.
That means disposing of rubbish responsibly and using recycling facilities wherever possible.
You cannot simply go in the bush. To freedom camp in areas without a nearby toilet, your vehicle must be certified as self-contained—otherwise, camp only in designated areas that provide amenities.
Self-contained vehicles such as caravans, campervans or motorhomes must meet the Self-containment of motor caravans and caravans Standard.These vehicles must be able to meet the occupants' needs for a minimum of 3 days without needing external services or discharging any waste. At a minimum, they are required to have the following:
A certified self-contained vehicle will display a blue and white sticker.
In these areas, do not park overnight for longer than three nights in a self-contained vehicle. You must use a waste disposal (dump) station every three days to empty your sewerage and wastewater. There are many designated dump stations throughout New Zealand.
Freedom camping responsibly will help protect the environment, respect fellow campers, and make for an enjoyable holiday (failure to do so can incur hefty fines, enough to spoil your holiday).
There are several options when it comes to freedom camping in NZ.
Many councils in NZ provide and maintain freedom camping sites. The sites are free to use, but you must comply with local regulations. The locations of the freedom camping sites vary depending on the council, but most are in rural areas or near the beach. They generally offer decent facilities such as flushable toilets, running water and a dump station. You can find a list of the freedom camping sites in your area by visiting the local council's website or contacting them directly.
The Department of Conservation DOC manages over 250 campsites throughout the North and South Islands. Basic campgrounds provided by DOC are free, most of which are accessible by campervan. Although you will need to be completely self-sufficient, you do not need a certified self-contained camper at most sites because they have minimal facilities, such as toilets and an untreated water supply.
DOC-managed campgrounds have fees payable based on the campsite. These fall into three categories:
Basic Campsites: There are basic toilets and an untreated water supply. You will need to be self-sufficient at these campsites. They are free of charge.
Standard Campsites: These are more limited but still have toilets, a water supply and vehicle/boat access. Other amenities will vary from site to site, such as - wood BBQs and fireplaces, cold showers, picnic tables, a cooking shelter and rubbish bins.
Powered sites where available:
Serviced Campsites: A good option if you want convenient amenities close at hand, such as tap water (treated /untreated), flushable toilets, hot showers, rubbish collection and laundry facilities. There may also be access to barbecues, fireplaces, cookers and picnic tables.
Bookable campsites require you to pay online and secure your place in advance. Each campsite webpage will explain how to pay and book. Non-bookable campsites run on a first-come, first-served basis, and you will need to pay in cash at these campsites. They require you to register and pay when you arrive. It’s a good idea to arrive early and have an alternate plan if the site is at capacity.
A campsite pass is a way of paying for and gaining access to DOC-managed campsites throughout NZ It can be purchased up to one month prior to the first night of use and can be used at bookable and non-bookable campsites. You can use the campsite pass for a maximum of 7 nights in a 30-day period at a single campsite. Any additional nights can be purchased at the standard rate. However, you need to check the maximum stay period for each campsite.
1 Year (365-night) Pass:
The scenery in New Zealand is simply breathtaking, and it’s constantly changing, so you’ll never get bored. Travel between towering mountains, lush rainforests, rolling green hills and pristine beaches. There are plenty of things to do and see in New Zealand, from exploring the vibrant cities of Auckland and Wellington to many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.
On the North Island, you can visit the city of Auckland, go hiking in the Waitakere Ranges or enjoy wine tasting in the Northland region. In the South Island, you can explore Christchurch and its surrounds, go skiing in the mountains around Queenstown, or visit the beautiful UNESCO-designated Fiordland National Park with Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier.
The culture of New Zealand is also unique, blending elements of British, Maori, and Pacific Island cultures. The people in New Zealand are known for being incredibly friendly and welcoming, making for a fascinating and eclectic mix worth exploring. Whether you're interested in the country's history or contemporary culture, New Zealand has it all.
The sprawling fjord of Doubtful Sound, nestled within Fiordland National Park on the South Island, encompasses nearly one million acres of unspoilt wilderness. Admire its breathtaking scenery, vibrant wildlife, and marine reserves, or journey to the nearby Franz Josef Glacier. For a more invigorating adventure, hike up Waiau Falls or Queenstown Hill.
The secluded and magnificent Milford Sound, one of Aotearoa's best-kept secrets, bewitches visitors with its crystal waters, soaring cliffs, and lush fern forests. Discover its abundant alpine flora and fauna as you explore this pristine landscape.
The geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, situated in the central North Island, invites you to explore its steaming geysers and bubbling hot springs. Immerse yourself in the surrounding forests with hikes and bike rides, and sample traditional Maori cuisine at local eateries.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site on the central North Island is famed for its trio of active volcanoes—Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu. Hike, ski, or cruise across the park's azure lakes, taking in the majestic views.
Queenstown's awe-inspiring landscape, nestled at the base of towering mountains and encircled by crystal lakes and verdant forests, beckons you to unwind and marvel at New Zealand's natural beauty. Hiking trails and ski slopes abound in this South Island paradise.
Christchurch, a South Island gem, boasts verdant parks and gardens. Wander the hallowed halls of the Christchurch Cathedral or meander through the Botanic Gardens, admiring the natural splendour.
New Zealand's largest metropolis, Auckland, thrives with multicultural energy. Ascend the Sky Tower for jaw-dropping city views, delve into history at the Auckland Museum, and savour delectable cuisine at the numerous eateries that fringe the city's pristine beaches.
New Zealand's capital, Wellington, is a coastal haven where culture and nature intertwine. Te Papa Museum unveils the country's rich history, while Mount Victoria rewards explorers with breathtaking panoramas of the city below.
The mesmerising Waitomo Caves captivate travellers with their luminescent glowworms, illuminating the cavern walls like a celestial sky. Witnessing this awe-inspiring spectacle is an unforgettable experience that will stay etched in your memory.
If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, then you'll want to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set. It's located in Matamata, a small town in the Waikato region.
This one-of-a-kind set, meticulously crafted for the beloved films, welcomes visitors for guided tours led by in-character guides, who regale you with tales of the movies' creation.
If planning this type of trip, you will need to pay the cost of the ferry. Our support team can help with your booking.
Additional one-way fees may apply. The comparison tool will automatically factor this into your total.
Yes, many companies allow a bike rack to be fitted to the vehicle. Please note that these may not be compatible with all makes and models, and usually must be arranged in advance.
All drivers must have a current and full driver’s licence to hire a vehicle. Foreign licences are acceptable if they are in English or are accompanied by an accredited English translation. Otherwise, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required.
Yes, a large number of rental companies allow for one-way rentals.
One-way rentals may not be available between all routes, and additional fees apply, depending on the pickup and drop-off locations. Our comparison tool will automatically factor in any additional fees and show you which vehicles are available on your preferred route.
Because there is no tax on diesel fuel in New Zealand, the government imposes a Road User Charge (RUC) instead. This is a set amount per 1,000 kilometres, depending on the size and weight of the vehicle.
For companies that offer diesel vehicles, you will need to pay an RUC based on kilometres travelled. Our comparison tool will tell you if this applies to your chosen vehicle.
Check the rental terms for specific charges regarding your chosen vehicle.
Most campervan rental companies in New Zealand require the driver to be 21 years of age or older to access their full range of vehicles.
Some companies will rent to drivers between 18 and 21, but only certain models may be available. In those cases, additional insurance may be required.
Enter the driver’s age into our search tool and we will filter available vehicles to match.