Campervan holiday - pro's & cons
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 11, 2013 11:01 PM Last Post By: jennirw
Feb 9, 2013 8:24 AM
Campervan holiday - pro's & consWe're just planning our first trip to NZ for approx 4 weeks end Dec 2013/beginning Jan 2014. We have a rough itinerary and are now considering accommodation options. Either hotel/motel/B&B with some days (tent) camping or to hire a campervan for the duration.
Any tips or things we should consider when weighing up these two options would be really helpful.
We're 2 adults - no children.
Trip is to include both Islands and take in wildlife, hiking & wine!
Feb 9, 2013 1:26 PM
Feb 9, 2013 1:54 PM
Feb 9, 2013 3:01 PM
3I always feel sorry for people touring in the kind of enormous campervan that seems, these days, to be the popular choice. It limits the kind of roads they can travel on and makes parking difficult. I pass a few weeks every year travelling around NZ, and almost invariably spend some of that time on narrow, hilly, winding and unsealed roads that get me to interesting places. In general, these roads would be unsuitable for truck-sized campervans.
Feb 9, 2013 11:11 PM
Feb 10, 2013 1:13 AM
Feb 10, 2013 2:10 AM
Feb 10, 2013 2:22 AM
7A lot of people seem to hate the campervans. Not sure why. My parents own a converted bus and regularly take it on trips and for weekends away. They've never had any problems and can go on some roads that a car couldn't (higher clearance). It's self contained and there are plenty of places for them to stay.
Your cheapest option is to hire a car and pay for camping sites. It's not exactly luxury camping though - and can be really miserable if the weather is bad. Most of the camping grounds also have cabins available so you could consider those instead. B&Bs in NZ are generally expensive. There are some very nice hostels with private rooms that have some great locations (bbh.co.nz - take note of the ratings!) but personally I would use these occasionally for those in the amazing spots. A lot of hotels in NZ have tea and coffee making facilities but not all have a kitchenette which can mean your costs are higher as you're always having to eat out. Motels would be a better option that hotels.
You will need to ensure that you have your accommodation booked from a few days before Christmas onwards as this is peak season in NZ.
Feb 10, 2013 6:56 PM
Feb 11, 2013 11:01 PM
9We live in NZ now but have travelled before using car/tent. Much greater flexibility in where you go and there's a great selection of motels if you get rained off! Campsites are of a pretty decent quality as it's a national pasttime.
Camper vans are a hassle if you're not used to NZ roads and NZ drivers, and it can be slow going up some of the hills. I think the cost of the rental vans are a little inflated also. Plus it's a much more conspicuous way to travel, which mattered to us - we wanted to blend in!
We got a small butane cooker from the warehouse and a pan/kettle so we had the freedom of hot food anywhere! Worked out pretty well.
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