Going to New Zealand - Our retirement present to ourselves

Mar 25, 2015
14
4
Kirkcaldy
Funster No
35,585
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2008
Hi all, Wife and I are off to New Zealand in November this year.
Looking for tips and hints as to the best, in folks experience, of good rental companies and what we should look out for.
Have looked at McRent via bestCamper site and seems to have potential, but open to suggestions.
Only doing the South Island, so tips, hints and suggestions of what and where to visit.
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
4,964
14,786
Devon.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
Can’t help you but hope you both have a brilliant time. A great idea for a retirement present to yourselves ( I bought myself a wood burner :) )
 
Oct 15, 2012
4,964
16,889
Market Harborough
Funster No
23,304
MH
C Class Laika Ecovip 7R
Exp
2012
We have two sons who live in NZ, one on each island. Both island are very beautiful but to my mind the south is the better of the two. We’ve been 7 times to NZ and are off again in 2 weeks. We find renting a small car and staying in B & Bs, lodges and Airbnb a lot cheaper than renting a camper but whatever you choice you’ll have a great time and get fed up with saying “wow what a great view “ as you drive round every corner. :)
 
Apr 12, 2010
1,580
10,545
West Suffolk
Funster No
11,027
MH
Adria twin van conversion
Exp
since 2007
Probably best to rent privately. The big renters Maui etc, use poor quality vans and are expensive. It’s expensive anyway but at least you might get a decent van.
We used air B and B instead. It’s a great place though.
Phil
 

DuxDeluxe

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 10, 2008
11,070
28,992
Planet Zog
Funster No
3,243
MH
A Class Le Voyageur
Exp
since 2008
Had a great time there. Take your time but watch out for the Chinese tourists who have zero sense of personal space or how to drive a 4 tonne motorhome
 

AXO66

Free Member
Oct 6, 2016
188
368
Pembrokeshire
Funster No
45,470
MH
Chasson 510
Exp
2016
Hi all, Wife and I are off to New Zealand in November this year.
Looking for tips and hints as to the best, in folks experience, of good rental companies and what we should look out for.
Have looked at McRent via bestCamper site and seems to have potential, but open to suggestions.
Only doing the South Island, so tips, hints and suggestions of what and where to visit.
We were there in 2014.
Very motorhome friendly, it’s what they do. Dump sites and water in most towns.
Get a new zealand sim fir your phone. Check the phone will work with it.

Really difficult to give tips where to go as it's all quirky, wild and incredible scenery.
Depends how much time you have got.plan your route and research. Be flexible

DO NOT underestimate the sand flys. They are vicious. Got my ankles through summer socks.

Weather is key on the west coast and alps. Maybe a bit like scotland if wet on the west go east.first and hope it clears. We Were lucky.

Christchurch is obviously the largest place, and will be well on the way re covering from the earthquake .

Told flying into milford sound is a briliant experience , from queenstown , if the budget allows,


Recall difficult to find a place to overnight around Queenstown. A “national park “ camp site about 10 miles away was nearest. Queenstown is quiet commercial, by NZ standards, mecca fir adventure type businesses.

Check out the motorhome apps.which gives locations of dumpimg and water points in most towns..and overnight spots. Sorry can’t recall the name.

The NZ equivalent of national parks have campsites, drive in fill in a form and pay all based on trust.

some hamlets have motorhome parking places, sometimes with a requireme to move on around 8.OO. a.m

Tipping not expected at all in NZ..

Hammer springs is a mud spar resort and there is a road. Going north that has signs , this a private road, you are on your own, the recovery setvices do not operate. 60 to 70 miles long gravel road. Nope ....we chickened out . Told the locals land their planes on the river bed. So worth some research.

All the main travel destinations have campsites/ motorhomes places. If you are going in their peak holiday timr probabky wirth checking if booking ahead is reccomeded

And do not underestimate those sand flys....lethal.

ENJOY!
 
Feb 25, 2018
723
389
Essex
Funster No
52,564
MH
Swift Bolero 680
Exp
Very Little
A friend of mine bought a new m/h and had it shipped out to use it for six months. He sold it after his return ( a family member lives there and sold it for him a couple of weeks after he left ) and he reckons he almist got what he paid for it. Might be worth doing some research to if its a viable option
 
Nov 17, 2012
444
221
WEST SUSSEX
Funster No
23,714
MH
HYMER B SL 674
Exp
SINCE 2005
NZ is just the very place you would want to hire a motorhome as it gives you so much more flexibility with timescale and places to see. Plenty of campsites and a really motorhome friendly country.
We stayed for 6 weeks and visited both North and South Island. Some of the of the many highlights: Doubtful Sound, an overnight adventure. Abel Tasman, Mt Cook. We used a company called Kia who were good although this was in 2011!
 
Jun 10, 2010
2,105
2,956
Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
MH
A Class
Exp
2006
We have two sons who live in NZ, one on each island. Both island are very beautiful but to my mind the south is the better of the two. We’ve been 7 times to NZ and are off again in 2 weeks. We find renting a small car and staying in B & Bs, lodges and Airbnb a lot cheaper than renting a camper but whatever you choice you’ll have a great time and get fed up with saying “wow what a great view “ as you drive round every corner. :)
1, This is a Motorhome Forum, dedicated to those things to do with Motorhomes.

2, New Zealand is right up there as one of the easiest and rewarding countries to go Motorhoming in

Yes motorhomes are expensive and motorhome rental companies are masters at spurious charges but nothing compares to waking up on the shoreline in the true outdoors, its quite difficult to achieve the same thing on airbnb without substantial research IMHO.
 
Jan 22, 2012
514
399
Wigan
Funster No
19,541
MH
Knaus Sun TI 2012
Exp
2010
We spent 3 months in NZ about 4 years ago. I agree with comments above re sandflies, they seem more evident on west coast. We rented a little camper for about 8 days and found it expensive. Much preferred using air bnb as the accomodations were fabulous. We did the entire coastline apart from Milford Sound. We had what was probably the best summer they've had in years but when we arrived around December 12th it was freezing. We loved Queenstown, Abel Tasman National Park, Kaikoura and Akaroa. In fact we loved everywhere. We also flew up to Auckland and spent some time sailing in the Bay of Islands and the beautiful beaches of the Coromandel. Some parts are quite remote we spent new years eve down in the Catlins where I asked the owner of the backpackers we were staying in where the nearest pub was and she replied.."50 miles away". That's one of the most amazing things about NZ , you can arrive at a beautiful location, do a walk or whatever and then look around for somewhere to stay or have a drink and there will be nothing there. We pack loads into our resorts like Windermere or St Ives but NZ have that many beautiful places that they can't possibly commercialise them all. The only resort that can be accused of being commercialised is Queenstown but I found it really nice. So a vote for air bnb from me and we also found backpackers really good (apart from Old Macdonalds at Abel Tasman but that was the only one my son arranged). Many campsites also have lodges that they hire out and these were good value. I keep a blog of all my travels and below is the link to the section covering nz there are additional pages before and after also covering nz , wherever you go you'll love it so have a great time.
http://lightningtours.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2015-02-01T12:09:00-08:00&max-results=7&start=28&by-date=false
 
Jun 10, 2010
2,105
2,956
Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
MH
A Class
Exp
2006
A friend of mine bought a new m/h and had it shipped out to use it for six months. He sold it after his return ( a family member lives there and sold it for him a couple of weeks after he left ) and he reckons he almist got what he paid for it. Might be worth doing some research to if its a viable option
We ve looked at this but the requirements are quite onerous now, second hand vehicles need to be steam cleaned and fumigated and at least euro 5 amongst other things and there are import taxs and compliance charges.
 
Feb 25, 2018
723
389
Essex
Funster No
52,564
MH
Swift Bolero 680
Exp
Very Little
We ve looked at this but the requirements are quite onerous now, second hand vehicles need to be steam cleaned and fumigated and at least euro 5 amongst other things and there are import taxs and compliance charges.
Maybe thats why he bought a new van? Anyway, the suggestion was to check if it was worth it, which you have !!! ☺ best wishes and enjoy your trip
 
Jun 10, 2010
2,105
2,956
Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
MH
A Class
Exp
2006
Maybe thats why he bought a new van? Anyway, the suggestion was to check if it was worth it, which you have !!! ☺ best wishes and enjoy your trip
Sorry I didnt intend to criticise your post I was meaning to add that it has got a little more complicated recently.
 
Feb 10, 2013
436
302
plymouth
Funster No
24,636
MH
Swift bolero
Exp
off and on 30 years
We have two sons who live in NZ, one on each island. Both island are very beautiful but to my mind the south is the better of the two. We’ve been 7 times to NZ and are off again in 2 weeks. We find renting a small car and staying in B & Bs, lodges and Airbnb a lot cheaper than renting a camper but whatever you choice you’ll have a great time and get fed up with saying “wow what a great view “ as you drive round every corner. :)
I agree
 
Feb 10, 2013
436
302
plymouth
Funster No
24,636
MH
Swift bolero
Exp
off and on 30 years
Or you could deliver m homes for various companies at a small cost and get to see the country, they pay for the fuel and ferries,I have done it a few times in Australia.
 
May 23, 2013
486
212
East Sussex
Funster No
26,142
MH
Euramobile A C635LS
Exp
Since 2013
We ve looked at this but the requirements are quite onerous now, second hand vehicles need to be steam cleaned and fumigated and at least euro 5 amongst other things and there are import taxs and compliance charges.
There is a difference between importing new and used Motorhomes into NZ however if you can qualify for the Personal Export Scheme you can purchase a new Motorhome in UK including accessories VAT and depending on usage in UK before hand minimise the 10% Tax and 15% GST upon arrival. It was possible to make good savings here and then sell for a good price in NZ.

An Example would be Deftleffs Trend 7057EB approx 57k in UK take off 20% Vat equals about $87k NZ vs $115 - $150k New over there.

There was an article in MMM and few years ago about doing that.
 
Jan 28, 2017
90
34
New Zealand
Funster No
47,080
MH
Hymer S520
Exp
newbie
Do check Deftleffs weight. They can be so close to 3500 that adding water wife etc can put them over. friend her got full refund when he discovered he was so easily over the weight limit. Do LOTS of research . It is possible to pay shipping from Southampton and GST here have a holiday and sell to cover costs. Even better if it fits in a container. Ours did not.
 
May 23, 2013
486
212
East Sussex
Funster No
26,142
MH
Euramobile A C635LS
Exp
Since 2013
Usually good payload on the Deftleffs but like anything easy to load extra weight. Plenty of options to update above 3500 but hen you get into COF territory which add extra expense of checking twice a year.
 
Apr 11, 2017
183
325
Earby Lancs.
Funster No
48,117
MH
C class
Exp
started Oct. 2016
Our eldest daughter has just been awarded a doctorate so Mary is planning another visit to NZ. She will spend most of her time in the north. If the OP is going that far don't miss out the North Island, there is lots to see and do.
Phil
 
Jan 28, 2017
90
34
New Zealand
Funster No
47,080
MH
Hymer S520
Exp
newbie
I agree. We go up to Auckland and avoid the Desert Road. The Lost highway on one side and Mahia /Napier on the other are worth the extra miles
 
Aug 9, 2011
51
108
Broadway
Funster No
17,684
MH
Aclass
Exp
since 2009
We went as part of a three month pre wedding trip winter of 2017. Spent 6 weeks in NZ. Absolutely loved the place. Didn’t hire a campervan as found them to be scandalously expensive so hired a car and stayed in backpackers accommodation. Did north and south islands . Hired the car from an outfit called Omega. Found them to be excellent unlike the rascals in Spain. Regarding food, did all our own cooking. Crayfish are expensive but monkfish were a bargain. Have Fun !
 
Aug 29, 2010
556
364
Nuneaton. Only when I have to.
Funster No
13,456
MH
Hymer Exsis t564
Exp
Since Sept 2010
We have had several trips to NZ to visit family and have hired motorhomes in both islands. We like Wilderness as a hire company. They have new model Burstners and young enthusiastic and helpful staff. Full of advice and guidance on routes, maps, places to go that are less well known and overnight stopping places. If you go once, be prepared to go again!:D
 
Oct 13, 2010
1,340
1,615
Correze France
Funster No
14,089
MH
Hobby
Exp
Since 2003
We have two sons who live in NZ, one on each island. Both island are very beautiful but to my mind the south is the better of the two. We’ve been 7 times to NZ and are off again in 2 weeks. We find renting a small car and staying in B & Bs, lodges and Airbnb a lot cheaper than renting a camper but whatever you choice you’ll have a great time and get fed up with saying “wow what a great view “ as you drive round every corner. :)
I agree motor home rental is expensive by comparison to car or motorbike in our case and motels work out cheaper
 

Delboyarapaho

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 17, 2013
206
95
Herts UK
Funster No
29,407
MH
Burstner Elegance 890
Exp
Since 2013
As others have said you might find it far more cost effective to hire a car rather than a motorhome. We were there Feb to April 2018 (10 weeks) and I hired a car through Rental cars.com. I paid £2767 for a 4x4 Hyundai Tucson for the entire 10 weeks. When compare with hiring a decent motorhome (not a rabbit hutch on wheels) most companies wanted £1000+ per week. It was a no brainer. You also need to watch out for the catch that comes with most Motorhome hire agreements and that is that you are required to pay a Diesel tax at the end of the hire period that from memory works out to be about 15p per KM. NZ is a large country I think we did about 500Km so not an insignificant addional cost at the end. We didn't have anything to pay with our car hire it was unlimited mileage and all inclusive.

Make sure you get a Diesel vehicle. I recall petrol was about $1 per litre more expensive than Diesel.

We stayed at TOP10 campsites almost everywhere we went.
The camps are normally a bit out from the main towns so we shopped before we arrived. We booked units with en suite facilities and kitchens (but cheaper options are available). They provide all bedding, towels, tea towels (although we bought a couple), cutlery & cookware (although this varied from place to place) and tea/coffee making facilities. Often the sites have laundry facilities and all have BBQ’s. Some have pools and hot tubs. The standard varies a little and a few we felt were a little tired but generally the accommodations were very acceptable. I think it cost us on average about $70 to $80 per night. Regardless of whether you hire a van or car join the TOP10 membership thing. I think it costs something like $40 and you get 10% discount on every booking and also 10% off the inter Islander ferry that runs between North and South Islands. I recall we saved about $300 to $400 over the 10 weeks we were there. Kiwi campsites also offer similar accommodations in most towns.

If you are National Trust members take you cards. On the South island near Dunedin there is a place called Lanark castle and we paid about $25 each for entry and found out after that had we taken our NT cards we could have got in free.

Sandflies, as others have said are real buggers

We found Pack and Save to be the best quality supermarkets. Plenty of pre-packed food options. Just google them to find the nearest.

Buy Geds coffee bags! Great filter coffee in a bag

There is an organisation called rankers who offer help and support and supposedly discounts on all sorts of attractions including motorhome hire. We found them a bit expensive for what pay back we obtained but they do provide information on a host of attractions which I did find to be a useful resource.

If you want to Pm me I can send you the itinerary I developed for our trip with other tips

Have a great time
 
Jun 10, 2010
2,105
2,956
Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
MH
A Class
Exp
2006
You also need to watch out for the catch that comes with most Motorhome hire agreements and that is that you are required to pay a Diesel tax at the end of the hire period that from memory works out to be about 15p per KM. NZ is a large country I think we did about 500Km so not an insignificant addional cost at the end. We didn't have anything to pay with our car hire it was unlimited mileage and all inclusive.

Make sure you get a Diesel vehicle. I recall petrol was about $1 per litre more expensive than Diesel.
This is not quite correct.

Diesel is cheaper than petrol because there is no excise duty at the pump. The NZ authorities make up the difference by charging diesel vehicles on a mileage basis

https://www.transport.govt.nz/land/road-user-charges-ruc-and-petrol-excise-duty-ped/light-petrol-vs-diesel/

the current rate for a camper or car is 15c (7.5p)/km.

It is correct that many of the hire companies tend to treat this as an 'extra' and sting you for it at the end though but you can get this whatever you rent.

The hire companies can be real sharks, they have a lot of 'extras' and with a motorhome it increases the scope.

One of the really naughty ones with the smaller Toyota previa types that they equip them with a loo and charge you about NZD100 deposit, the loo is brand new and wrapped, if you unwrap it you loose your deposit. The reason they do this is that to use the best spots in NZ you need to have a 'self containment' sticker and the only way you can get that is if you have your own loo.

We hired through share-a-camper

https://www.shareacamper.com/

Which is a peer to peer rental like airbnb but for campers. You rent someones camper.

It worked well for us because it was totally honest, came with 5000 km RUC ( see above) and no silliness. Its also cheaper but don't expect brand new or big support network.
 
Jun 10, 2010
2,105
2,956
Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
MH
A Class
Exp
2006
Regarding the mh v motel argument:

We did 2 weeks car hire + motel and 1 month mh and we know how the game is played for both.

Yes the mh is more expensive but you do it for the same reason we do it in europe- massive free choice of where you go what you see and what you eat.

Ok some of the self catering/ airbnb's are good but some are dire and you never know what you ve got until you are there.

IMO NZ is one of the best countries anywhere to go mh ing in. They have a massive selection of free spots in great places and public dump stations etc and if you join the NZMCA you ve got even more choice from their private sites.

I havent got time to do too much more of this now but to sum it up - going to NZ and not going MHing is like drinking alcohol-free beer - OK but not quite the full experience.
 
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