Camping in New Zealand: What You Should Know


Before you start a trip with your campervan in New Zealand, make sure you choose the right type of campervan for your travels. You need to consider the season, or when you will be driving the vehicle, as well as where you will be driving.

When Will You Be Travelling?

For example, if you travel off-road at certain times of the year, some of the dirt paths can turn into pure mud, and the creeks can swell to the point they cannot be crossed. For instance, if you want to visit Mount Aspiring National Park during the winter, you may want to reconsider your plans. If it has rained or snowed, you will have to cross nine creeks before you get to your destination.


What Is Your Driving Experience?

You also need to make sure you are confident driving the vehicle. Some people who have not done much travelling decide campervan travel will be both affordable and fun. Whilst they are correct in their assumption, it is also imperative that a driver be designated who can confidently handle the navigation. If you are new to campervan travelling, choose a smaller vehicle and make sure you take a route that does not involve too many twists and turns.

When you consider cheap campervan hire in New Zealand, you want to make sure the vehicle is sized appropriately for your needs and camping plans. Campervans are available that fit the requirements of solo travellers as well as families. Therefore, consider your travel plans and overall needs before making a decision for a vehicle.

Where Do You Plan to Camp?

Next, you have to make a decision as to where you will camp. You can choose from a variety of camping options in New Zealand. First-time campers often stop at holiday parks—commercial operations that offer a well-equipped and safe camping experience.

Holiday Parks

These parks highlight tent sites as well as unpowered and powered van and motorhome sites. In some of the locations, you will also find cabins or units. A tent site may be specifically designated by a marked patch of grass, or it may be an arrangement where a tent can be pitched just about anywhere. Usually, you will pay about NZ$10 to $40 per night, with the average price around NZ$30.

Holiday parks often offer amenities including recreation facilities, communal kitchens, bathrooms/showers (some of which are coin-operated), playgrounds, shops with food and camping items, swimming pools, and recycling and rubbish facilities.


When you arrive at the park, you need to check in at the reception and pay for each night of your stay. You also must dispose of you rubbish at the site. Supplied motorhome dumping facilities are often available.

DOC Campsites

You can also stay at one of 250 public camping areas that are run by the Department of Conservation. Some of these sites are located in some of New Zealand’s most beautiful areas. Each camping site is operated by an on-site manager and run on a trust-type basis. Motorhomes, vans, tents, and caravans are all welcome at the campsites.

The facilities are usually basic and minimal, but the fees are extremely affordable and sometimes free. There are three grades of DOC campsites, and the nature of the facilities and the expense will differ accordingly.