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New Zealand for 6 weeks Feb 2017

Hello from Canada! 2 very active 60 years olds will be on the islands for 6 weeks. As I am the planner in the family any advice as to small motorhome or campervan rentals one would recommend would be appreciated:)

Posted by
203 posts

Maui/Britz are certainly not cheap but they are very good. More comforts and inclusions than some of the others. I spent ages comparing them not realising they are the same, so after all that I booked Britz and got a Maui.

Posted by
95 posts

I know they are popular, but I would seriously consider whether you'd be better off with a rental car and motel accomodation. I know I'm not answering your question, but just some points that you many not have considered:
- the really aren't cheap to rent
- Fuel is expensive (currently NZD$1.96 per Litre), although I guess most are diesel, which will be cheaper $1.23 per Litre.
-- Staying at a powered site is another expense
- the roads are windy and one lane in each direction most of the time. You'll be chugging along with a bunch of people behind you wanting to get past.
- they are vulnerable - NZ has petty crime too :(
- Freedom camping (ie. not using a proper camper van park) is unpopular with the locals in many areas

But, to answer your question :) I would see most often Maui, Britz, Jucy, Apollo. Wicked is probably best avoided.

FYI - February is super busy in NZ - Chinese NY tourists and the best weather (no promises :) ). Book early...

Posted by
379 posts

Just returned from a three week self driving trip in NZ with a regular car. Agreed with kiwi's points. On the narrow winding roads, more often than not there are no place for long stretches for the slower vehicles to pull over. And the cars behind (typically the locals) can get very impatient and tail gate.

If OP have reasons for wanting a motorhome or campervan. let's hear them.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you for the great info. We thought a motorhome on the South island would work better for some of the remote hikes we want to do. Windy narrow roads are not really a problem after driving in Britain last year for a month!!! They wrote the book on them.
Perhaps a combo of vacation rental homes in the North and the motorhome in the South? Any suggestions as to 3 or 4 locations in the North to make as home basis for daily excursions.
Thanks in advance!

Posted by
95 posts

Well, whatever you decide isn't going to ruin your holiday! Feb in NZ is great.

But...if you are planning remote hikes, do you plan to leave the camper unattended for the day or days? I wouldn't do it...I'd want my stuff somewhere safer. If I left my car to go on a day hike (aka day walk or tramp) I'd make sure there was nothing of value - which is pretty hard with a camper.

Places in the North for daily excursions...Maybe pick from Auckland , somewhere in the Coromandel eg. Whangamata, Napier, Taupo, and Wellington. If you're into day hikes, you might want to look at the Tongariro Crossing. Also lots of fun activities, mountain biking, walks, etc. around Rotorua - or check out Lake Tarawera for something less obvious than Rotorua.

http://www.totallytarawera.com

Posted by
379 posts

sadougan, I understand. As a photographer, I often wished that I had a campervan to park near locations for dawn/dusk shoots. Without one would mean driving/hiking in the dark to reach those locations.

Reaching "remote hikes" may mean driving on unpaved roads. Is a motohome up to it? I drove my regular rental car on quite a few unpaved roads, and it took a beating. A few times after crossing a number of "falls", I had to give up and double back when my testing stick went two feet deep!

Posted by
22 posts

Any motorhome companies worth suggesting for south island in New Zealand in February?

Posted by
95 posts

The same ones as suggested in previous post... :) Same country, same companies...

Posted by
313 posts

Don't want to totally discourage you from a caravan, but NZ is not England. Motels are fairly inexpensive, and a rental car would give you the freedom you want with the security that you could consider. My husband has fished all over both north and south islands and has always has found inexpensive accommodations, with a reasonable amount of security.

We have a good friend in Central Otago who is a native (has a Parks and Rec degree and fishes/hunts all over). He is currently up in the mountains hunting, but I'd be happy to email to get his opinion.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you Mother Duck but motor home is booked for 3 weeks in south and rental car for 3 weeks in north. Probably stick to DOC sites mostly. Whatever happens it will be an adventure and any type of travel costs $$. 😊

Posted by
313 posts

Have a great trip! There's so much to see and do. Hope you make it to Dunedin, and if you can, spring for the flight out from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Great experience.