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South Island Campervans

New Zealand
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South Island Campervans

Hi. We are planning to book a 4-berth campervan for our South Island honeymoon in early August 2008.

Would love to book a Kea but out of our price range so are looking at Pacific Horizon or Cheapa Campa/Apollo. Both seem quite good considering price (including insurance) and they only take imprints for the bond which is great.

Can anyone provide some advice as to which one to go with (if any)??

Cheers!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,390 posts
84 reviews
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1. Re: South Island Campervans

I admire your fortitude. I wouldn't be able to endure a campervan in the middle of winter with -10C frosts. If on a budget I would far rather prefer a backpackers. Most have lovely double rooms with decent linen and ensuite bathrooms for a reasonable tariff.

Anyhow, whichever company you decide to book with it's important to ensure the camper has toilet facilities if you plan to spend even one night outside an official camp ground. Many councils are planning to institute instant fines and/or clamping for anyone found wilderness camping if their vehicle lacks facilities.

Enjoy your honeymoon and don't forget to pack your thermals... you'll be needing them.

Christchurch
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652 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: South Island Campervans

Hi Travellingshaz

As Wanaka said - you are brave staying in a campervan in August in the South Island. But why a 4 berth camper if on honeymoon - if on budget have you looked at something smaller - Juicy are another company and there is Wicked as well. But remember to bring your thermals - or are you planning on love keeping you warm.

cheers

Kiwi

New Zealand
5 posts
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3. Re: South Island Campervans

Yeah - I'm originally from Christchurch so am well prepared for the temperatures. We'll be bringing all manner of warmth with us (including a couple of hot water bottles!!). We've definitely agreed that a toilet/shower combo is necessary too.

Christchurch
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652 posts
51 reviews
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4. Re: South Island Campervans

Hi Travellingshaz

Well if you are x chch then you know frost. Good luck with the campervan and the honeymoon.

cheers

Kiwi

New Zealand
5 posts
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5. Re: South Island Campervans

It's been nearly a year since we made this trip, but I thought I better 'pay it forward' and provide some information about how our winter campervan experience went!

We ended up booking a 4 berth Apollo campervan through selfdriveshop.com which has some great all inclusive deals including zero excess insurance etc. It's an Australian website but I still found it cheaper than any NZ site and I had great communication via phone and e-mail with them.

When we arrived at ChCh airport we made a phone call and they picked us up within 10 minutes. When we got to the Apollo depot the first benefit of travelling off season became apparent - there was no-one else there!! 2nd benefit - we were upgraded to a new 6-berth Apollo which seemed a bit excessive for just the 2 of us, but it was fantastic.

The vehicle travelled brilliantly - lots of power. It did help that being in our home country we knew the roads well, but it travelled as fast as and handled as well as a normal car. We still pulled over when required, but also passed alot of other campers on the way! We also encountered snow on the Lewis Pass within 24 hours of picking up the van and it was no trouble.

Campervan itself was great. They provided us with a plug-in heater which combined with the air conditioner kept us nice and toasty. Toilet was also very useful, but didn't use the shower as the thought of everything getting wet and then having to use the toilet put me off.

We didn't free-camp anywhere. It is surprisingly hard to find good safe places, and we needed to plug in to get the heat.

I am keen to repeat the experience in summer, but the prices for a decent camper (Kea, Apollo, Wilderness) are a bit expensive. Overall a fantastic trip and would do it again in winter in a heartbeat!!

New Zealand
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11 reviews
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6. Re: South Island Campervans

Thanks travellingshaz for "paying it forward", I wish a few more came back with their travel experiences. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and great that you got upgraded to a 6 berth.

NZ
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35 posts
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7. Re: South Island Campervans

Hi Shaz

It's awesome to hear you are coming to NZ for a honeymoon roadie - you will have so much fun!

As 'Kiwi' mentioned, one thing to bear in mind is the size of your campervan. If there is only two of you travelling, you may be better off in a smaller campervan. Our roads are really windy and hilly in NZ and the last thing you want is to be lugging it around tight bends in the middle of winter. There's also a lot of gravel roads in NZ which aren't the best for large vehicles. Often people think bigger is better and more spacious but you also need to consider that you are on a driving holiday so it needs to be nice to drive. There are quite a few companies with two person vans with plenty of storage, unencumbered floor area and usable seating.

http://www.rankers.co.nz is a really good website to find out peoples opinions on different companies. Like TripAdvisor advice, often it's the people who have used a company's product or service who tell it like it is!

Hope this was of some help Shaz. Have a fun trip and remember to bring your smiles - it's your ticket through customs...

8. Re: South Island Campervans

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