new zealand

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by spforeman, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. spforeman

    spforeman Read Only Funster

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    Nothing like planning on the spur of the moment to make things go with a bang!

    Busy researching motorhome trip to New Zealand in November for 3 weeks, I am reluctant to book the motorhome tours offered as would rather explore & discover in an unorganised fashion! The adventure is aiming to cover both north & south island highlights without the 'OMG today's is monday must be wellington' scenario!

    I have the loney planet guide, been checking web sites for NZ based camper hire companies comparing prices etc.

    If you've been on the organised tours were you very much on a time plan /route march? How's the wild camping? Is the a kiwi equiviant of CL or CS sites?

    All suggestions etc would be much appreciated :BigGrin:
     
  2. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    I went for a month and used a 7 seater Toyota for 4 with Luggage and then used their home-stays (b&b) and their Motels for want of a better description.

    Met loads of guys touring in Rental vans, bear in mind that they have a population of about 6 million of which 4 million live in Auckland so out on the road it's unusual to see another car.

    This makes for easy Wilding. It is the only place I've ever been to that I could happily emigrate to. Beautiful, simply breathtaking.

    Allow more time for the South Island though.
    :thumb:
     
  3. cydersyd

    cydersyd Funster

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    Hi Spforeman. I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip. I have not done an escorted trip as we like to choose our own routes.

    We spent 8 weeks going around both islands and that wasn't long enough!

    I wish I had recorded how many times I had to leave the van to take a photograph, it seemed to be every time we turned a bend in the road.

    We hired the North Island van from this country via the internet and the South Island van while we were over there. This was about 12 years ago so prices then would be no use to you now.

    With regard to cl's etc there didn't seem to be any, but we had no trouble wildcamping. On a number of occasions I asked people in the homes that I wanted to patk near (by beaches and rivers etc) if they minded us parking up. We were never refused and indeed were invited in for a meal on a few occasions.

    Sites were in plenty and not too expensive and everyone was very helpfull. We are still in contact with a few of the people we met.

    I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.
     
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  4. Soaringman

    Soaringman Funster

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    Hi there at last as a newbie I can answer a question from someone :Smile:
    We hired a 4 birth Motorhome for 4 weeks about 5 years ago, this is why we have now bought our own. We used Maui rental for the van, at about £100 per day it was quite expensive for just the 2 of us.
    We rented in Auckland and took it back there after 4 weeks, but I suggest dropping it off in christchurch. 4 weeks was never enough time and we will go back:thumb:
    The campsites were very well appointed with everything that you needed, although if you like to wild camp NZ is a paradise, waking up overlooking one of the wonderful lakes, or by the beach with not a sole around was wonderful.
    All this and Rugby as the main sport … what a country:thumb:
     
  5. tadpole

    tadpole Read Only Funster

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    We caught the campervan bug in NZ in May this year (came home and bought our own within the month!) when we had 3 weeks over there. We spent 2 weeks on South Island and 1 week on North. It wasn't really long enough and although we saw 90% of what we would have wanted to see on South Island we only scraped the surface on the North.

    We wouldnt have dreamed of some kind of organised tour - waking up in the morning and deciding what to do and where to go was the best bit. We did a bit of 'freedom camping' but the DOC sites were so cheap (usually the equivalent of about £6) and well located that we used them most of the time.

    We would highly recommend Wilderness as a rental company. Very well equipped vans at a good price and great people to deal with. We flew into Christchurch to pick up our first van, then dropped it off and flew to Aukland to pick up another.

    If you are interested you can see our pictures and read about our trip here
     
  6. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    As all have said New Zealand is an amazing place ! We toured 4 years ago but on a motorbike and we are going back again next year at the end of Feb. we are biking again but was a difficult decision between motorhome or bike !! Is a great place for a motorhome and wild camping would be no problem . Last time we had 4 weeks and spent the majority of the time in the south but did get as far as Lake Taupo in the north.

    Scenery is really the best I have ever seen and the people very friendly and helpful. Price wise we found it inexpensive but that was 4 years ago so someone who has been there more recently will know better. Our daughter and husband live in Melbourne so we make a side trip from there . Australia has certainly got more expensive but not sure if it is the same for NZ .

    I am sure you will love it !!
     
  7. wiljoy

    wiljoy Funster

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    We did the full monty three years ago, fantastic. We were put in touch with a travel writer in NZ who does all your itinery, van hire etc without ANY charge. All we did was to give him a rough idea of where we wanted to tour and he did the rest. He tailormade our route to take in all the hidden unseen villages that were off the beaten track. As he is a resident of NZ and a photographer/travel writer he knew of some remarkable places.
    If you want more info just PM me, I will be happy to furnish you with all details.
    Wilf
     
  8. wiljoy

    wiljoy Funster

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    Sorry I forgot to mention.
    DO NOT BOOK ANY CAMPER VAN FROM TUI TRAVEL.
    There vehicles are as bad as it can get. They are notorious in NZ but tourists are tempted by there cheap prices. Most are high mileage, no tax, baldy tyres and very badly looked after. We just hired a LWB Ford transit which was ideal to explore of the main roades. South Island is beautiful but the North Island isn't as friendly and scenic. Problems still exist with the old school tripes who prey on tourists.
     
  9. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    We did some MH touring on South Island last year. The DOC sites are great, limited facilities but in terrific locations. They do have some strict rules about what vehicles can use them and what you can't do, but they are in fabulous locations (e.g. just a spit from Mount Cook under one of the neighbouring mountains - discovered the rumbling noises were avalanches, some were quite awesome - wonderful walk to Mt. Cook. Full blown campsites are good and usually quite close to a small town.
    One big nasty (actually a small, big nasty) are sandflies. These buggers bite with a capital B. The strongest Deet you can find is all that keeps them at bay and if / when you get bitten Anthisan cream is the best treatment available. If you don't treat the bites you'll have really painful, itchty red blotches to show you've been had.
    We hired through Alpha, which is part of United - older vans, hence cheaper. We had a couple of issues with the van we had, but on balance felt we were treated fairly. Picked it up in Christchurch just one week before the earthquake and returned it a week or so after - thank goodness we had a look at Christchurch first rather than last. It was a beautiful city.

    Enjoy your trip. You certainly won't regret it.


    John
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  10. tadpole

    tadpole Read Only Funster

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    I'd echo the comment about sandflies - go prepared. They didn't spoil our trip though.

    Take plenty of memory cards for your camera, whichever island you visit
     
  11. spforeman

    spforeman Read Only Funster

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    many thanks everyone! :Cool:
     
  12. kiwicamper

    kiwicamper Read Only Funster

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    Hi from NZ.

    you could contact the NZ Motorhome Assocaition and ask if you could join. Fees are about 60 pounds. They have their own sites at various locations and also have a booklet which gives details of POP's , which are private properties where you can park overnight or a few days at very little cost or even free . There are at least 1000 of these POP's listed.
    Freedom camping is allowed but it is becoming more difficult as a lot of local councils are banning it. The problem being a lot of tourists travelling in non selfcontained vans , fouling the enviroment with their excrement:Sad:
    It's not pleasant walking in pristine native forest , to find loo paper and sh.. all over the place.
    The problem is backpacker class rental companies , where the van has only basic sleeping and cooking facilities not wahroom or toilet.
    The South Island has the best scenery and less population. the North Island usually is warmer and has more Maori cultural attractions.
    Best time to visit is Febuary/March, it's when the weather is best and the major school holidays have finished.
    Make sure you visit the Marlborough Sounds and the West Coast of the South Island and the Bay of Islands in the North Island.
    It is possible to swap motorhomes with kiwis wishing to visit UK , doesn't have to be at the same time. The NZMA has a monthly magazine where you can advertise a swap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
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