Travel tip: Campervan roadtrip around New Zealand

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Travelling around New Zealand in a self contained camper, free to choose where to go and sleep each day, was so much fun, and a great end/start of a year.

Some of our highlights included:
  • Swimming in a river then drying off in the setting sun, then being greeted by a sky full of stars at night
  • Another night of thunderstorms, feeling small, exposed yet safe, snuggled under the duvet in the small van
  • Daily walks in native bushes often overlooking the waters
There were some downsides to travelling in a rental camper, too, of course:
  • The ridiculously long wait times because the companies don't seem to hire more even in the high season, resulting in grumpy customers and defensive employees
  • High season hire means expensive rates for very old campers, slow and ear ringing loud engine noise

Useful tips when going on your own road trip in a campervan:
  • When choosing where to park and sleep for the night, or places to dump your grey and black waters, the app Campermate was the most helpful. Up to date and honest reviews from other campers and coordinates to just set and go. Highly recommended
  • Real fruit ice creams or frozen yoghurts are the best treats when on a Summer road trip. Our favourite place was in Takaka township in Abel Tasman - the Wholemeal cafe on the main road. The most generous scoop of mixed berries ever. Loved it!
  • We only took one shower in the actual van, opting to swim in rivers and beaches, instead. We didn't smell, but definitely could have washed more. For future trips we would definitely look into biodegradable soaps for washing in rivers. Is it legal?
  • Not realising that the portable toilet on the van had no chemicals put into it, having been given false information at the rental place, we struggled through the growing stink towards the end of our trip. Luckily we had only done small business, but still! Make sure to have the chemical added at the start of your trip and empty often. You've been warned
  • Cheap camping chairs are useful for meals outside the van when the weather is gorgeous like it was for most of our trip. We didn't bother with a table, though. Our laps and a nearby rock were enough

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