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Subject Topic: Motorhome holidays in New Zealand Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by atkinbrown on 20/9/2018 at 4:12pm
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Has anyone been to NZ for a Motorhome holiday? We are thinking of going for about 3 weeks next summer [2019]. Any tips or hints would be most welcome. Is it better to book flight and van separately or a package. We have gleaned quite a bit of info on the internet but you can't beat personal experience for this sort of thing.
Thanks in advance.

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Message posted by Lukeledge on 20/9/2018 at 4:57pm
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Hi, we were in NZ for a few weeks and hired a motorhome for a week whilst we were there. We shopped around and ended up hiring an elderly converted lwb van which was fine and fully equipped from a small company called Wendekreisen I think. Some of the big companies are very expensive and you would be cheaper hiring a car and staying in cheap accommodation. Most campsites have wee cabins to rent and indoor cooking and washing up facilities as well as showers etc. So many people just use small tents or sleep in cars or basic van conversions. Away from the very popular areas you can free camp but there are also basic park area camping sites which can be cheap.
Countrt driving is pretty much like rural Scotland with small windy roads.
Watch out for motorhome hire companies that seem reasonable, but then charge you extra for cutlery, bedding, outside table and chairs etc!

Message posted by Claydoncamper on 20/9/2018 at 6:52pm
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We hired one in Australia. Make sure you check the vehicle thoroughly for damage when you pick it up because they'll sting you when you take it back if they spot anything. Be clear on the kinds of roads you are allowed to drive on. It's great fun though. We used a company called Britz and they hire in NZ too.

Message posted by oxter on 21/9/2018 at 8:57am
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You can do an exchange.

We did a few years ago.

Worked really well.

Look here

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Message posted by Claydoncamper on 21/9/2018 at 9:15am
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Is it better to book flight and van separately or a package.


It'll be down to what you can find out there. Airlines may get bulk discount with the moho companies, but will they pass it on? Some might but others might not. You'll have to do the leg work on the research with your dates etc to see what's best.

Message posted by Mike3003 on 21/9/2018 at 9:58am
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I would also do separate bookings also.

BRITZ are huge out in NZ and very popular, but we found it just as easy, or easier, to rent a decent car and use campsite cabins. We did five weeks and never had an issue getting somewhere to stay, nothing booked to remain flexible.

You said you are going Summer 2019, are you talking UK summer or SH summer. If you are talking July or August, then you will need to be very resilient if using a camper van. It gets damned cold in NZ in their winter, especially in South Island where you would be freezing, literally. Plus there is the possibility of major road closures depending on the elevation of the snow line in SI.

We did NZ in July, touring for five weeks following the British Lions in 2005, picking up tickets and accommodation where we could. It was fun, and an amazing country, but I would not go back during their winter again unless sticking to the north of North Isalnd.

I hope your planning goes well, but winter in NZ........Only if your brave!

Message posted by Joolb on 21/9/2018 at 8:08pm
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We went 2 years ago in February. Absolutely stunning country. Was disappointed with the quality of the sites. Most packed the pitches close together-the site in queens town positively dangerous. We booked flights and motorhome separately. We decided too much to do both islands so only travelled to south. Absolute highlight for me lake wanaka and then whale watching in kaikoura. Husband went gliding in .omarama. Doubtful sound magical. Queens town full of people throwing themselves off things for fun. Slightly surreal to travel so far and all the people speak English!
Christchurch still suffering from the effects of the terrible earthquake -the museum tells the story well. What motorhome you choose depends on what level of luxury you want-there are companies who will supply all levels and sizes. We hired a swift bolero which I felt was just a bit too big from a ompany called iconic motorhomes , expensive but couldn't fault the service from start to finish.

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Message posted by Mike3003 on 21/9/2018 at 8:13pm
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Ditto Lake Wanaka, not to be missed. 👍

Message posted by Fiona W on 03/10/2018 at 11:45am
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Another vote for hiring a car (renta-dent are cheap) and staying in the brilliant good-value motels & Airbnb, and campsite cabins too. Someone else cleans the toilet & shower, clean sheets every night, space & comfort. We had an airbnb in a Marlborough vineyard, bliss.
The sites are indeed closely packed.   And as everyone leaves at roughly the same time, heading to the same tourist spots, you can end up in a convoy that's hard to break out of. You can "freedom camp" where a sign allows you to (might be a viewpoint car park or by a beach or in a town park) and it also sets out how many units can stay there and for how long. Most towns have a CDP drop, the road sign is very obvious.
Hire firms work to a hierarchy - top names hire out new vehicles at a price, then sell on to the next tier who rent more cheaply and so on. Friends got a dirt cheap one but it had loads of mechanical problems. One cost-effective option is to investigate is a one-way hire, taking a vehicle back to its base.
My sister lives out there, so I've been lucky over the years to explore everywhere except the top half of N Island - next trip should see to that! My own recommendation is to visit an ecosanctuary - Kapiti Island off the west coast near Wellington, or Orokonui near Dunedin; there are others. These places are free of predators (the introduced possum, stoat, weasel, rats, mice, cats) and it's really only here you'll see & hear the absolutely wonderful birds that you'll see nowhere else in the world.

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2019 - 10 sites, 26 nights.
2018 - 20 sites, 33 nights / 2017 - 10 sites, 22 nights
2016 - 19 sites, 33 nights / 2015 - 15 sites, 27 nights.


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