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Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

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Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

My wife and 10 year old son are traveling around the world starting in August 2012. We will be in NZ for the month of Oct. and are trying to decide if we should rent a campervan or a car and stay in motels. We could also do a combination of the two, maybe car on north island and campervan on south. I am hoping that someone with experience in NZ can give us some advice so we can truly experience the country. We do enjoy camping, but we will be on the go most days, therefore, it seems like too much work to have to pack up the campervan each day. We are looking at a 3 person van not a larger 4 person. I would also like advice on what to see for the 4 weeks. Thanks to all who will take the time to offer your expertise.

United States
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1. Re: Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

Four weeks in NZ is a perfect duration. Camper van or car / motel is strictly your personal decision. The country is beautiful regardless of how you travel. Personally, I'd hire a car and use motels, much less hassle.

Asking the TA community to create your 4 week itinerary is a bit much to ask.

I would suggest that you do some research, draft a potential itinerary and activities you might wish to pursue, then ask the community for comments. Each island has its own unique features, you need to make some decisions on how you split the time. I'm partial to the South Island so would spend at least 20 days there.

Having done many of my own extended itineraries for NZ it's very difficult to build one for someone you don't know or know their interests.


Wanaka, New Zealand
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2. Re: Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

My personal preference is for the car and motels. However, if you want to try both, consider doing the campervan in the North Island where it will be a bit warmer.

I too would spend most my time in the South Island. Perhaps about 10 days in the North, the rest in the South.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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13,144 posts
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3. Re: Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

Start by doing a loop tour of the winterless north. Temperatures are likely to be warmer in the sub-tropical region compared to the rest of NZ. The Far North is an awesome region of NZ, very natural, few people around and it represents good value for money.

Cape Reinga is a must do. The Bay of Islands have dolphin cruises as well as boat trips to Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett Lighthouse. Leigh marine reserve around Goat Island has glass bottom boat tours as well as snorkelling off the beach. There are a number of great camping sites around Northland - Far North including DOC and Top 10 Holiday Parks.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

Welcome to the forum C :)

4 weeks is a good amount of time to explore NZ. And yep, depending on your interests I also suggest spending 10 days in the North and 20 days in the larger South Island.

I also suggest you have a campervan for the North Island and a car and motels for the more rugged terrain of the South Island. Plus Oct can still have overnight frosts in many areas south.

Take some time looking at the many itineraries posted here on the forum to help get you started. Once you have an idea of where you want to go, post it here for our comments.

A frequent comment from first time visitors is the length of time it takes to drive from a to b, particularly in the South Island. So best to keep driving distances short (about 4 hours) as that could still be a 10 hour day on the road.


Happy planning :)

5. Re: Campervan vs. car and motel for 4 weeks

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