Sunday, July 21, 2024

Planning To Go to New Zealand by Campervan? Here is what to know earlier than you go.


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Again in 2018, Heath and I ventured throughout the ocean to New Zealand for our first huge worldwide RV journey. This journey modified our lives—plunging us additional in love with journey and convincing us that we should always transfer to this beautiful nation instantly.

We all the time dreamed of returning to New Zealand sooner or later however puzzled if or when it could ever occur.

Then, as we booked flights to Japan, a thought crossed our minds. Ought to we hop right down to New Zealand? We had been already midway there!

Nicely, we had been kidding ourselves if we thought Japan and New Zealand had been remotely shut to one another! Japan is among the northernmost nations in Asia and New Zealand is the southernmost nation in Oceania. It took a protracted, ten-hour in a single day flight, however we made it to Auckland prepared to begin our subsequent journey!

Try our first day selecting up our motorhome and getting down to discover the North Island:

On this weblog put up, I need to share useful fundamentals for anybody impressed to take their very own street journey throughout the islands of New Zealand. I’ll cowl what you could know earlier than you go, plus ideas for planning your route across the nation.


Should you’re American, you do want a visa to go to New Zealand. (This got here into impact in 2019, after our first go to to New Zealand.)

It’s essential to apply for what known as a NZeTA, or New Zealand Digital Journey Authority. The applying is easy and simple. You’ll want your passport helpful for this, but it surely shouldn’t take greater than two minutes of your time.

I needed to get 4 of those complete—one for every member of the household together with the youngsters—and every utility was authorised in about 60 seconds through electronic mail. They advise that you simply apply a number of weeks forward of time in your visa because of processing occasions and you may even pay further to have your visa processed “in a number of hours.” I utilized a month earlier than our journey and as I discussed, we had been immediately authorised.

Whereas these visas are straightforward to get, they aren’t low-cost. They price $58 NZD or about $36 USD every, that means it price practically $150 to acquire visas for our household.

Driver’s License

You don’t want a global driver’s allow or IDL to drive in New Zealand. All you want is an energetic driver’s license out of your nation—with an English translation, if needed—and the arrogance to drive on the left facet of the street!


Flights to New Zealand may be costly and, should you’re coming from the States, very lengthy. Now that we’ve youngsters, we’ve a brand new journey rule: At all times fly direct. We flew direct from Tokyo to Auckland and because the flight was in a single day, jetlag wasn’t too unhealthy. (Plus there’s solely a four-hour time distinction between New Zealand and Japan.)

I extremely advocate flying Air New Zealand should you can. We flew Air NZ from Tokyo and residential to Houston. Each occasions had been superb and a few of our best flights but with the children. To not spoil the final video of our sequence, however let me simply say, I’ve NEVER had such good sleep on an airplane. 10/10 would advocate.

Air New Zealand doesn’t fly out of each US metropolis, however they do fly direct out of main jobs. It’s price it to ebook with them to begin and finish your New Zealand journey!

(I’ve no affiliation with Air NZ, however flying with youngsters and infants is tough. They made it straightforward. I’m now obsessive about them.)

Greatest Instances to Go to

New Zealand, as I discussed, is the southernmost nation in Oceania, that means you may anticipate chilly winters. That is the one time of 12 months I’d not advocate visiting New Zealand. You may campervan the nation within the winter—particularly should you wish to ski—however should you’ve ever camped in freezing temperatures earlier than, you realize the challenges that include ice.

For each of our visits, we selected to go to through the fall months, March, April, and Could. The temperatures are excellent this time of 12 months. It’s heat through the day and chilly at evening, although you may anticipate rain. You’ll want a heat jacket and a swimsuit (for these sizzling springs!). You’ll get comparable temperatures of their spring months, September via November.

Summer time might be the most effective time to go to, with heat climate excellent for New Zealand’s many seashores or mountaineering via the mountains. But it surely’s additionally peak season for tourism, which is why we usually keep away from it. Busy season requires extra planning and reservations for campsites, which could be a headache to ebook from overseas. We choose shoulder season to beat the crowds and have a extra versatile plan. (Bonus: leases and different issues are often cheaper within the low season too!)


Packing for a tenting journey may be very totally different than packing for different holidays. You’ve acquired to consider in case your suitcase can deal with mountaineering boots and should you’ll want a heavy jacket for tenting within the mountains. (I like to recommend each for New Zealand!)

One factor we had been very cognizant of after our first journey to New Zealand was our variety of luggage. We had three checked luggage for our journey and failed to comprehend that our ultimate flight into New Zealand—all booked with Delta—was on a accomplice airline that solely allowed one checked bag per particular person. We spent 20 minutes on the ground of the airport repacking objects to suit into two luggage and be inside weight! (These mountaineering boots ended up on our ft.)

A number of years older and wiser, albeit with youngsters in tow, we now journey with just one giant suitcase.

How will we match every thing for 4 folks into one suitcase for a month-long worldwide journey?

The quick reply: packing cubes. Individuals swear by packing cubes and I’ve been transformed. They make packing SO MUCH EASIER.

The lengthy reply: a three-page checklist of must-have journey objects that I comply with to the letter.

Packing for a street journey may be very totally different than packing for a visit the place you intend to remain in resorts or Airbnbs. You must remember the fact that you’ll spend most of your time outdoors, that you simply’ll seemingly be cooking extra meals than consuming out, and that you simply’ll be in additional excessive temperatures in comparison with a climate-controlled resort.

Happily, should you ebook the fitting camper, you don’t have to fret about packing sheets, towels, dishes, and different tenting gear.

Reserving a Camper

Heath and I’ve nowed RVed in 10 nations, renting an RV in every. Not all RV leases are created equal. For instance, in Japan, we needed to pay further for a stovetop, cooking utensils, and sleeping luggage. And in our upcoming journey within the UK, we’re paying further for sheets and towels. Personally, I discover this extremely irritating. Nobody needs to fly midway internationally with sheets of their suitcase!

However in New Zealand, we’ve by no means needed to fear about this added problem.

Throughout each journeys to the nation, we rented our RV from Wilderness Motorhomes.

Once I say they’re the best possible RV rental firm on this planet, I imply that very sincerely.

What makes Wilderness the most effective?

  1. Have a look at that motorhome. It’s so extremely spotless and exquisite. (Guys, getting a clear RV with the mattress neatly made… This isn’t a assure with different leases. Belief me on that!) Every part a few Wilderness motorhome is lush.
  2. Wifi included! Many rental choices don’t provide wifi. The web on board our Wilderness is among the greatest connectivity we’ve ever had in any nation. We had wifi service in every single place we camped. And we camped in some fairly distant locations!
  3. Wonderful customer support. Customer support is a key part of any journey plan, particularly whenever you’re flying all over the world to go to a rustic. If one thing comes up earlier than or throughout your journey, their workforce is fast that can assist you resolve any issues.

Once we picked up our Wilderness Motorhome, one factor you don’t see within the video above is us signing the rental settlement stating that our rental could be returned on Could eighth. There was just one downside with this. I booked our return flights to the US for Could ninth! 🙈  Such a rookie journey mistake on my half. I utterly blended up the times once I booked our flight dwelling. Wilderness waved off my stress and shortly adjusted our rental to be sooner or later longer. There was an up to date settlement in our electronic mail inbox earlier than we pulled off the lot. The workforce was so fast to adapt, sympathetic to my mistake, and so sort to allow us to prolong our journey.

I, however, am nonetheless embarrassed!

We’re all the time blown away by the professionalism and heat of the Wilderness workforce. There isn’t a different rental firm we’d select to lease in New Zealand!

Planning our Route

As we state within the video, throughout our final go to to NZ, we spent most of our time on the South Island. A lot time in actual fact, that we needed to reduce our North Island go to quick.

There have been a number of locations I knew I needed to revisit on the North, like Rotorua and Taupo, however I didn’t know the place to begin planning for the remainder of the island.

I headed to Wilderness’s web site, remembering how they helped me plan our journey again in 2018.

They’ve over a dozen street journey itineraries with stops, issues to do, and handy notes like what number of days a route would possibly take. I grabbed the Auckland to Cape Reinga street journey in addition to the Auckland to Coromandel itinerary. (You’ll see us begin driving the Coromandel peninsula within the video. Holy WOW it is among the most lovely landscapes I’ve ever seen.


Should you’re planning a street journey to New Zealand, I extremely advocate downloading certainly one of their free street journey itineraries that can assist you begin planning!

Issues to Know Earlier than You Go

I’ve lengthy believed New Zealand to be probably the most lovely nation on this planet. Revisiting New Zealand and seeing extra of the North Island has solely additional strengthened this perception. It’s really a gem that ought to be on each bucket checklist.

We will’t wait to share this New Zealand video sequence with you. You should definitely subscribe on Youtube for all the movies 🙂


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