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Compare Campervan Rentals in Christchurch

Campervan rental in Christchurch is easy with our time-saving comparison tool. Compare major brands to get better prices and peace of mind with hassle-free bookings.

Camper Champ compares multiple campervan rental companies in Christchurch. Campervans are available from depots a short drive from Christchurch Airport, which serves both domestic and international travellers.

The cost of renting a campervan in Christchurch can range anywhere from $50 to $550 per day for most vehicles with seasonality, vehicle type and other factors affecting prices. A wide range of campers is on offer, from smaller affordable minivans like the Jucy Crib to larger RVs like the Pacific Horizon 6 Berth SAM.

Campervan travel is big in New Zealand—and the perennially popular South Island is no exception. World-class infrastructure meets demand, including dump points and water refill stations. And with an endless selection of jaw-dropping campsites, the South Island is an RV dream destination.

One-way rentals are also an option with many travellers choosing to drop their vehicle off in Queenstown, drive to Wellington on the North Island or alternatively all the way up to Auckland.

Popular Campervans in Christchurch

Find the perfect camper for your travel needs.

Discover New Zealand your way by finding a camper that suits your travel needs.

Jucy Cabana

Cabana

Jucy

Automatic
Backpacker Sleepervans Sleepervan

Sleepervan

Backpacker Sleepervans

Automatic
Britz 4-Berth Discovery

4-Berth Discovery

Britz

Automatic
Budget Campers Budget Finder

Budget Finder

Budget Campers

Manual
Cheapa Campa Cheapa 2-Berth
Automatic/Manual
4 Berth Euro

4 Berth Euro

Apollo

Automatic
Lucky Rentals Lucky Rover

Lucky Rover

Lucky Rentals

Automatic
Portable toilet only
Maui Platinum River

River

Maui

Automatic
4 Berth Double Up

4 Berth Double Up

Mighty

Automatic
Jucy Cabana

Cabana

Jucy

Backpacker Sleepervans Sleepervan

Sleepervan

Backpacker Sleepervans

Budget Campers Budget Finder

Budget Finder

Budget Campers

Lucky Rentals Lucky Rover

Lucky Rover

Lucky Rentals

Spaceships Rocket 2-Berth

Rocket 2-Berth

Spaceships

Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.

Christchurch Airport Campervan Hire

Can I rent a campervan at the airport in Christchurch?

Yes, you can. All the major cities in New Zealand, such as Auckland and Wellington in the North Island, Christchurch and Queenstown in the South Island, have depots located at the airport.

Several more companies offer their airport rentals as “serviced non-depot locations”, meaning that although they do not have a physical depot at the airport, they will arrange to bring the vehicle to you.

The Self-drive Holiday in Christchurch

Renting a camper in Christchurch is the most convenient and cost-effective way to explore the South Island. Here’s why you should consider a campervan for your next adventure:

  • Affordable: Forget about paying for a separate rental car and hotel. The campervan covers both expenses for one reasonable daily rate. New Zealand's numerous free camps further facilitate low-cost campervan adventures.

  • Less driving: You won't need to book and travel to a hotel after each day's adventure. Simply roll into the nearest campsite instead.

  • Flexible: There's nothing quite like the feeling of freedom that comes with a self-contained campervan. Don't stress about complex itineraries; just follow the whims of the road.

  • Get back to nature: Staring at a stuffy hotel ceiling isn't the ideal way to pass an evening. Wouldn't you rather relax amid breathtaking surroundings with a campfire under the stars?

  • Convenience: Fresh clothes, a fridge full of food, and all your essential possessions will be right there when you need them—plus, no more packing and unpacking each day.

When driving around Christchurch in a campervan rental, remember these important tips:

  1. Vehicles in New Zealand are driven on the left side of the road.
  2. Seatbelts and child restraints are compulsory.
  3. Livestock use the roads. Occasionally you may come across a sheep or cow using the main road.
  4. A maximum speed limit of 62 mph applies to open roads and 31 mph in urban areas in NZ unless indicated otherwise. Speed limits do change depending on vehicle weight. School zones also have speed limits reduced to 25 mph during certain hours on school days. Always pay attention to posted speed limit signs and adjust your speed accordingly.
  5. Some railway crossings in rural areas are not indicated by warning lights. Approach these with caution and prepare to stop.
  6. Most popular tourist areas in NZ have dedicated parking for motorhomes that are longer and wider.
  7. There are 3 toll roads in NZ: the Takitimu Drive Toll Road (formerly Route K), the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Northern Gateway Toll Road, north of Auckland.
  8. Carry your driver's license or IDP with you when traveling.
  9. The blood alcohol content limit in NZ is 0.05%.

Travel tips for Christchurch

How can you save money on a campervan vacation in Christchurch?

Savvy budget travelers can reduce their expenses with the following money-saving hacks:

  • Get in early: Booking ahead will save you stacks of cash as campervan rental companies set prices based on availability.

  • Avoid the peak: School holidays, Easter, and Christmas/New Year get super busy in New Zealand. Travel outside these dates to save.

  • Compare companies: Don’t settle for your first quote. Use a comparison tool like Camper Champ to compare dozens of New Zealand rental companies in a single click.

  • Go small: A petite, budget-friendly campervan will come in at a fraction of the cost of a large motorhome.

  • Examine the extras: The best campervan rental companies include essentials like cooking equipment and camping chairs. That way, you won’t have to purchase them yourself.

  • Extend your stay: Most rental agencies reduce rates for rentals of a week or more. You’ll lower your daily rental expenses and get better bang for your buck.

  • Stay south: Venturing onto the North Island will set you back a sizeable sum in ferry and/or one-way drop-off fees. Most travelers stick to the south.

  • Return to Christchurch: Dropping your motorhome off at a different location (i.e., Queenstown) entails a significant one-way fee. Double back to Christchurch and save.

  • Make a rough plan: Explore the island in a circular route to minimize backtracking and save on fuel. The GASPY mobile app lets you compare gas prices between service stations.

  • Unleash your inner Masterchef: Self-catering will save you a small fortune in New Zealand. Good thing your campervan comes with a kitted-out kitchen.

  • Free camp: New Zealand is famously free-camping friendly. Stunning free spots lie scattered throughout the South Island.

  • Walk: Hiking—or tramping, as the locals call it—is the best way to savor the South Island’s immense natural splendor. And it’s free.

When is the best time to go campervanning in Christchurch and the South Island?

The most popular season to visit the South Island is summer (Dec-Feb) when balmy days make outdoor adventures a dream. However, the warmer months also attract the thickest crowds, so rental and campsite availability dry up and prices soar.

  • Christchurch average highs and lows in summer: around 73° / 52° F.

Autumn (Mar-May) is an awesome time to visit, although it gets a tad chilly towards the end of the season—remember to bundle up. March has the most favorable weather, while April and May see the fall foliage bring a kaleidoscope of color to the Central Otago region.

  • Christchurch average highs and lows in autumn: March 68° / 50°F, April 63° / 45°F, May 57° / 39°F

Winter (June to August) is the peak ski season. Stacks of travelers visit Queenstown and Wanaka to carve fresh tracks, but the rest of the island seldom sees RV travelers. Icy winds and regular rainfall become common along the coast, while the high-altitude regions remain frigid throughout the season.

  • Christchurch average highs and lows in winter: around 54°F / 32°F

Spring sees the South Island bloom. Gorgeous gardens in Christchurch, Otago, Dunedin, and Alexandra delight the horticulturist at heart. A thick layer of snow still smothers the Southern Alps, and the ski season doesn’t stop until mid-October. Thicker crowds (and higher prices) return around mid-November.

  • Christchurch average highs and lows in spring: September 54°F / 32°F, October 63° / 43°F, November 66° / 46°F

The South Island hosts a plethora of exciting festivals and events, primarily in the warmer months.

  • Rhythm & Alps Music Festival (Wanaka, December)

  • Twisted Frequency Festival (Golden Bay, December)

  • Beach Break (Nelson, January)

  • World Buskers Festival (Christchurch, January)

  • Electric Avenue Festival (Christchurch, February)

  • Hokitika Wildfoods Festival (Hokitika Beach, March)

  • Marchfest (Nelson, March)

  • Marlborough Wine Festival (Marlborough, May)

  • Victorian Fete (Oamaru, November)

How long do you need in Christchurch and the South Island for an RV vacation?

One to two weeks is enough time to travel around the South Island in a campervan. Although visiting all the destinations in this guide would require more time, a week or two is plenty to discover the highlights.

But what about the North Island? Should you combine North and South into one epic, trans-New Zealand adventure?

It's possible, but you'll have to fork out for the Wellington-Picton ferry and/or a pricey one-way drop-off fee. Plus, you'll need at least a month to do the whole country justice (preferably more). Most campervan travelers prefer to focus on one island at a time.

Parking a Campervan in Christchurch

What are some of the best places to park a campervan in Christchurch?

Christchurch is a small city (population 381,000) with mild traffic and plenty of places to park. Parking in the CBD is relatively straightforward—there are over 10,000 spaces to choose from.

Indoor, council-run parking is available at the Lichfield Street, The Terrace, and the Art Gallery car parks for $4.10 per hour—remember to check height restrictions. The Christchurch City Council also offers on-street parking right around the city for $4.60 per hour. All-day parking in the CBD typically costs between $18 and $25.

The Council maintains a handy database of the top off-street car parks in the city. Wilson Parking also provides a list of its privately-run facilities. Another helpful resource is Parkopedia, which covers private and council-run on and off-street spaces with real-time availability.

If you don't fancy paying, Hagley Park and the Botanical Gardens provide free parking with a three-hour limit.

Got a large motorhome? Check out the council-run Manchester Street car park, which has plenty of space for big rigs (daytime parking only, and fees apply).

Where can you park an RV overnight in Christchurch?

While New Zealand is famous for being free camp friendly, you can't pull up and sleep anywhere.

A non-self-contained camper (tent camping or a campervan without a toilet, wastewater, and trash amenities) may only overnight in a designated campground with appropriate facilities.

Certified self-contained campervans (with the official sticker) can stay for a maximum of two nights in most public Christchurch car parks. See the Council website for a map outlining where you can and can't stay overnight.

Some of Christchurch's most popular paid campgrounds include Tasman Holiday Park, Amber Kiwi Holiday Park, and North South Holiday Park.

How much does campervan entry to a national park in NZ cost? Are any permits required?

National Park entry is free in New Zealand, but you must pay for ticketed attractions, tours, and some campsites.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) divides its campsites into categories. Prices range from free to $23 per adult per night, depending on the location and on-site amenities. Expect luxury extras like powered sites and hot showers at the upper end of the scale.

Free camping in a national park is only allowed where signage explicitly permits it. You'll almost always need to be certified self-contained.

If freedom camping isn't your thing and you plan to visit numerous national parks, you should consider investing in a DOC Campsite Pass. For $95 per adult, you get a 30-day pass to almost all DOC-run campsites.

For individual campsite bookings and the Campsite Pass, kids aged 5 to 17 pay half the adult rate and infants under five are free.

Most DOC campgrounds must be booked online, even if you have a Campsite Pass. Others operate on a first-come-first-served basis—get in early and have a backup plan.

Top 10 Campervan-friendly Campgrounds near Christchurch

The South Island has a plethora of picture-perfect campgrounds. Here are some of our campervan-friendly faves:

French Pass Campsite

French Pass Campsite is the perfect base for travelers seeking to soak up the splendor of Marlborough Sound. Enjoy uninterrupted views of turquoise-tinged waters as they flow past your campervan, and listen to the sounds of gently rolling waves.

Price: from $16 per adult per night

Amenities: restrooms, showers, non-potable water, bbq

Hans Bay - Lake Kaniere Camping Area

Hans Bay is a tranquil waterfront spot within easy reach of Hokitika Gorge. While this basic DOC-run campground doesn't have much in the way of amenities, nobody ever complains about the view. Plus, the adjacent lake is perfect for a refreshing dip in the summer months.

Price: from $8 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, non-potable water

Marfells Beach

We love a good beach camp, and Marfells delivers the goods with unbeatable ocean views. Located on the northern tip of the island, it's a convenient option for campervan travelers heading towards Marlborough Sounds. Need something to read? Check out the cute little book exchange.

Price: from $10 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, non-drinkable water

Milford Sound Lodge

Though a bit on the expensive side, this strategically-located site is the only place to camp within Milford Sound. The amenities are excellent, but most people come for the million-dollar views.

Price: from $30 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, showers, potable water, trash cans, bbq, camp kitchen, laundry, WiFi, powered sites

Purakaunui Bay

On the southern end of the island, this spectacular beach camp is all about those sweeping coastal views. Keep an eye out for curious sea lions who come to frolic on the soft golden sand. Stacks of space and a remote location make this a great place to get away from it all.

Price: from $8 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, non-potable water, fire pits

Pelorus Bridge Campground

Pelorus Bridge Campground serves as a great base to explore Marlborough District and beyond. The scenic site straddles an emerald green river where the barrel scene from The Hobbit was filmed. On-site amenities offer more luxury than most DOC-run sites.

Price: from $20 per site per night

Amenities: restrooms, showers, non-potable water, camp kitchen, powered sites

Punakaiki Beach Camp

Punakaiki is a popular seaside holiday park offering magnificent ocean views. While most sites don't directly overlook the beach, the ocean is never more than a short stroll away. Pop into the tavern next door for a cold beer or hearty meal.

Price: from $18 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, showers, potable water, trash cans, barbecue, camp kitchen, laundry, WiFi, dump station, powered sites

Rakaia Gorge Campground

A short drive west of Christchurch, Rakaia Gorge Campground offers excellent amenities and lush landscapes for a reasonable nightly price. Campers park minutes away from the turquoise Rakaia River, which they can admire via a scenic walkway.

Price: from $15 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, shower, potable water, trash cans, camp kitchen, dump station

Wanaka Top 10 Holiday Park

This well-appointed Top 10 branch offers top-tier amenities within easy reach of the South Island's favorite lake. #ThatWanakaTree is just a few minutes away, and this luxurious locale even has an on-site spa.

Price: from $46 per site per night

Amenities: restrooms, showers, drinkable water, bbq, camp kitchen, laundry, dump station, powered sites

White Horse Hill Campsite

At the end of the scenic drive to Mount Cook, this popular DOC spot offers epic Southern Alps views. Plus, some of the South Island's most magnificent hikes, including the Hooker Valley Track, start right from the campsite.

Price: from $18 per person per night

Amenities: restrooms, potable water, trash cans, camp kitchen

Christchurch Road-trip Itineraries

The South Island is a vast land of stunning landscapes—from the majestic Southern Alps to the rugged coastline and pristine lakes. The best way to explore this beautiful region is by campervan, allowing you the freedom to go where you want and stay as long as you like. Check out our range of campervan-friendly itineraries to enhance your holiday experience.

New Zealand South Island: 7-Days through the Wild South

New Zealand South Island: 7-Days through the Wild South

There’s so much to see here, and truth be told, you won't fit it all in 7 days. Aotearoa (the Maori name for NZ) is a traveler’s paradise, especially if you like the outdoors. This itinerary is a great way to spend seven memorable days in NZ’s south island, starting and ending in Christchurch, because it has an international airport and plenty of campervan rental services.

MORE: 7-Day South Island Itinerary
14-Days Exploring the Wonders of New Zealand’s South Island

14-Days Exploring the Wonders of New Zealand’s South Island

The South Island of New Zealand offers the outdoor-loving tourist snow-capped mountain peaks, enormous glaciers, deep fjords, golden beaches, lush rainforests, and turquoise lakes, sperm whales, yellow-eyed penguins—and memories to last a lifetime.

MORE: 14-Day South Island Itinerary

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of licence do you need to hire a campervan in Christchurch?

Travellers must hold a full, unrestricted car license to hire a campervan in Christchurch. Non-English licences need an accompanying International Driver’s Permit (IDP).

Many campervan agencies refuse to rent vehicles to drivers under 21. One notable exception is JUCY, which rents campervans to customers over 18 and/or with a restricted New Zealand or provisional Australian license.

Can you sleep anywhere in an RV in New Zealand? Is freedom camping allowed?

Freedom camping is generally permitted in New Zealand, however, while allowed, it is strictly regulated. Rules and guidelines must be followed at all times and these can vary depending on the area and any council bylaws (local laws) that may apply.

Generally to freedom camp anywhere in New Zealand, your vehicle must have a self-containment certification

If you are unsure of the rules that apply in a specific area it is best to visit the nearest I-Site (visitor information center) and ask about any local regulations or bylaws.

Can I pick up my RV in the South Island and drop it off in the North Island or vice versa?

Yes, many companies have depots in both the North and South Islands and allow one-way trips.

If planning this you will need to pay the cost of the ferry, our support team can help you book this.

Additional one-way fees may apply, the comparison tool will automatically factor this into your total.

Are one-way RV rentals possible in New Zealand?

Yes, a large number of companies allow for one-way rentals.

This may not be available between all routes and additional fees apply depending on the pick-up and drop-off location. Our comparison tool will automatically factor in any additional fees and show you which vehicles are available on your preferred route.

How long should I plan for a motorhome vacation to the South Island?

A good idea is to plan for a minimum of 7 days. However, even a 2- or 3-week road trip around the South Island will easily be filled.

Popular attractions include Mount Cook, UNESCO-designated Fiordland National Park with Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, and the adventure capital of Queenstown.

Does my campervan rental come with unlimited miles?

Yes, generally unlimited miles are included for standard vehicle rentals in New Zealand. The comparison tool will show you if your preferred vehicle has this included or if the mileage is restricted.

Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.

Campervan Rental Christchurch Reviews

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