hi there, we have spent just over 3 weeks in NZ travelling via motorhome touring both north & south island, [mid january to mid february = summer]
We booked our trip independently, flight through air new zealand & the motorhome from kea motorhomes
We did a fair bit of research into vehicles & floor plans before booking & chose the 3 berth kea, new for the 2013 season. we went for a decent sized bus as 3 weeks in a van conversion didn't sound like fun especially if the weather was not good! The van was fully equipped & as we were in the van for more than a couple of weeks asked for extra bed linen & towels. Oh, we didn't have a BBQ but all the sites have communal ones!
We didn't have a set route in mind, but allowed a week in north island & 2 weeks in south island. The reason for this was that we wanted the flexibility & with this in mind didn't book any campsites either, all we did book was the ferry crossing from wellington to picton, to give us a deadline so to speak.
So what info can l pass on? Well, don't go mad on the driving, NZ is large, we allowed about 150 -250 km per day, leaving campsites / DOC sites at around 10'ish & stopping for overnighters at about 4pm. Diesel, this is tax exempt, with drivers facing an annual fuel tax bill so that helps your cash flow, down side - food is expensive, we took prepaid currency cards. Plenty of campsites with facilities, your tourist map [c/o hire company] will show these, DOC sites are pretty special but get there early. average price from 12 - 30NZ$. Your hire company will provide loads of tourist literature together with a tourist radio, this plugs into the cigarette holder, you tune into a set station & low & behold you get a 'ding dong' sound as you approach a place of interest & are then informed all about what ever it is!!! sounds a bit tat, but was useful.
take a selection of clothing, it can be warm, wet & snowing in one day, all campsites have wii-fii, pay for 24 hours use, it works out cheaper than buying an hour.
insider notes on motorhome sites, wellington, there is a motorhome site, bit like an aires, on the waterfront in wellington, drive straight into wellington & there are motorhome signs on the left, this is really good for the picton ferry. if you go to roturoua, go to the campsite south of the town, Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
, here you can have a welcome soak included in the overnight fee! Milford Sound you can park over night at the campsite at Milford lodge
then catch the 1st boat of the day for the milford Sound cruise.
Finally on arrival in NZ allow at least 48 hours to recover from the flight, we stopped in a B & B with good access into Auckland city centre.
NZ is a fantastic place, really geared up for motorhomes, the roads are excellent in the sense of being empty & having no pot holes. Take the Rough Guide together with Explore New Zealand: Over 60 Scenic Driving Tours by John Cobb from amazon & a good supply of of insect repellent!