Camping Roadtrip New Zealand: The best tips for your round trip!
New Zealand is THE country for a camping road trip. A tour of New Zealand with a campervan is MORE than “just looking at one country”.
With your own vehicle you are flexible and free, you can fall asleep in the most beautiful places in the middle of New Zealand’s nature and enjoy your coffee there the next morning.
A camping road trip through New Zealand is a unique experience or a very specific way of traveling. One where you can experience a feeling of freedom. And that is the reason why so many New Zealand travelers get this shine in their eyes long after they return when they think back on their road tip at the “other end of the world”.
You notice: It hit me completely. No wonder, because I spent three whole months in New Zealand. My Campervan Justus has always been a loyal companion to me on my road trip without being complicated once.
Are you also planning a camping road trip through New Zealand and don’t really know where to start planning or what to expect on site?
In the following I have put together useful tips and information for your first New Zealand road trip.
How to start? Basic considerations or tips for planning your camping road trip through New Zealand
When planning your road trip, there are a few basic considerations or tips that should help you get started in the organization.
When should you start planning? How long in advance you plan your New Zealand road trip is up to you and cannot be answered generally. You basically need a flight and a mobile base – both can be organized spontaneously. I myself was in New Zealand during my world tour. I booked the flight from Chile to New Zealand about half a year in advance. I only bought my campervan Justus on site – it took five days. I used this first week in New Zealand to roughly plan the next few days of my travel route on the South Island and to research where I have to book organized tours, ferry crossings or hikes. As you can see, you don’t necessarily need a lot of time for planning – but as the saying goes: “Anticipation is the most beautiful joy” and there is definitely something to it.
Since your New Zealand road trip is likely to be part of your regular or hopefully somewhat extended annual vacation, you will probably know well in advance when you will travel to New Zealand and how much time you will bring. As soon as the exact travel dates and thus also the travel duration have been determined, you should start planning.
Think of a rough route. For this you can buy a New Zealand travel guide, read it in magazines or get tips or inspiration from other travel blogs. The following three posts on my blog are also helpful for planning your travel route: My personal highlights on the North Island, my highlights on the South Island of New Zealand, and the detailed summary of my camping road trip on the South Island.
Look for suitable flights as early as possible. In general, the earlier you book a flight, the cheaper it is. I almost always look for and book my flights with Momondo or Opodo.
Think about whether you want to rent or buy a campervan and start researching and comparing rental offers for campervans. As soon as you have booked your flight to New Zealand, you should also book your campervan. Especially during the skin price season between mid-December and mid-January and during the Chinese New Year, the camper vans are often quickly booked up for a road trip.
ORGANIZED TOURS & HIKES
Think about which organized tours and hikes you want to take in New Zealand. For example, the popular Great Walks such as Routeburn, Milford or Kepler Track in Fiordland are often booked out well over six months in advance. If you want to hike one of these Great Walks, book it early.
If you want to book a tour, a hike and, if necessary, the ferry between the North and South Island here or there, then that’s fine. But please don’t commit yourself too much and plan or plan every day of your camping road trip. So you take away any flexibility and therefore also THAT, what actually makes a road trip.
Some tour operators – such as STA Travel – often have offers where the flight and campervan can be booked as a package. Possibly. you get cheaper than if you book flight and rental car separately. It is definitely worth comparing in a country as expensive as New Zealand.
Book flights to New Zealand: Auckland or Christchurch?
Before you book a flight, you should carefully consider your travel route and ask yourself the following questions:
Do you want to travel to both the North Island and the South Island?
Do you want to make a complete round trip – i.e. end where you started your road trip?
Do you want to start on the South Island and end your camping road trip on the North Island? Or the other way around?
Do you only want to travel to the North Island or just the South Island?
These considerations are important for the flight booking so that you know which destination airport (Auckland = AKL or Christchurch = CHC) and which departure airport you have to choose for your flight booking to and from New Zealand.
When I arrived in New Zealand, I switched directly to Auckland and continued to Christchurch on the South Island, where I started my road trip. My return flight was at the end of my round trip from Auckland.
How much time should you bring?
The answer to this question can only be: As much time as possible. It should be at least three weeks. Without the arrival and departure days from or to Germany. In this case I recommend you to commit yourself to an island. If you have more time, I think that six weeks is a good time to explore both islands more or less in peace.
I myself had 12 weeks, about 6 weeks per island – for which I am very grateful. I have summarized my complete travel route on the South Island for you here.
When is the best time to visit New Zealand?
The main travel time for a New Zealand trip is from October to March. New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere and during this time it is summer – New Zealand summer. That means: There is no guarantee of good weather and sitting outside in flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts in the evening is also not the norm.
I recommend you, if you can set it up, not to travel from mid-December to mid-January. During this time, the New Zealanders are on vacation and this period is particularly popular with tourists. Also check when Chinese New Year is and don’t try to put your trip in that time. Even then it gets crowded in the small country of New Zealand.
Buy a campervan or rent a campervan?
Before you travel to New Zealand, think about whether you want to buy or rent a campervan for your road trip. Whether buying a campervan is worth it depends on how long you are in New Zealand. Always keep in mind: You have to plan time for buying and later selling. Basically, the longer you stay, the more worth buying your own campervan compared to a rented vehicle.
Are you traveling through New Zealand for more than ten weeks? In this case, buying your own vehicle is usually worthwhile.
Do you have less than six weeks time? Then fall back on one of the many rental car providers.
Are you staying between six and ten weeks? Set a time limit for your purchase. For example five days. If you notice that you cannot find a suitable vehicle during this time or that your (German) safety needs are in the way when you buy it, plan ahead and rent a campervan. It would be a shame if you spend too much time searching. Note: In the high season – especially in December and January and during Chinese New Year – it is not always spontaneously possible to rent a campervan.
I decided to buy my own car (Justus). I have summarized here how you buy a campervan in New Zealand. How much did my campervan or my entire New Zealand trip cost you on my blog in the post: How much do 3 months in New Zealand cost? summarized.
Which vehicle is the right one for your camping road trip through New Zealand – tent, campervan or “moving one-room apartment”?
When you are looking for a suitable vehicle for your New Zealand road trip, you will come across many different models that vary in price. In the following I give you an overview of the different vehicles, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the respective models.
Basically, you can first differentiate between a self-contained and an emergency self-contained vehicle.
Self-Contained means that the campervan is equipped with a toilet that can be used (filled) for at least three days. In addition, the vehicle must have a water tank for fresh water and one for waste water, which must also be designed for three days. Incidentally, four liters per person and day are used for this. Further criteria are a sink, a waste water disposal hose, the proof that the waste water tank has been properly kept clean and a lockable trash can.
A Not-Self-Contained Campervan has none or not all of the criteria listed above.
Advantages of a self-contained vehicle:
If your campervan is self-contained, you can spend the night at designated Freedom campsites and thus save some camping fees. These places are usually in the middle of nature in the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Important: The campervan MUST have a “self containment” sticker. You should pay attention to this when booking or ask specifically about it.
Disadvantages of a self-contained vehicle:
In order for a campervan to meet the criteria for self-contained, i.e. equipped accordingly, it must of course have enough space and is therefore quite large – not necessarily a plus point on New Zealand’s roads. Such a campervan is also more expensive than an emergency self-contained vehicle. Also keep in mind that you have to regularly clean the waste water tank and toilet yourself.
In addition to the criteria Self-Contained and Not-Self-Contained, you can also differentiate by the size, on which the price of the campervan depends.
Car & tent:
Renting a small car including a tent and camping accessories (gas cooker, dishes, etc.) is certainly the cheapest option for a New Zealand road trip. Alternatively, you can bring all of your camping equipment yourself and only rent the car.
Advantages car & tent:
Certainly the cheapest alternative. It is definitely easier to drive on New Zealand’s roads with a small car than with a “one-room apartment”. You can also easily find a parking space anywhere.
Disadvantages car & tent:
You have to dismantle and set up your tent every day. You have to cook outdoors – and not every day is a sunny day in New Zealand. Sleeping in a tent is not everyone’s cup of tea, you are more comfortable or softer in a campervan. You are not allowed to camp wild with a tent, but always have to head for a paid campsite or make sure that the freedom campsites can also be used by emergency self-contained vehicles.
Sleepervan or small campervan:
The next bigger alternatives are a small sleeper van (no seating), a small campervan, which also offers the option of sitting when converted, or a campervan in which you can also stand upright. All these models are equipped with a cooking facility and appropriate cooking utensils. There are other differences regarding the equipment that ultimately always affect the price: refrigerator, cool box, air conditioning, oven, microwave, sink, television etc.
These models are more comfortable than a tent, but they do not meet the criteria of a self-contained vehicle.
Advantages Sleepervan / small campervan:
Driving on New Zealand’s roads is much easier and more pleasant with a small vehicle – a sleeper van or a small campervan are well suited for this. With this vehicle size you can also easily find a parking space anywhere. If the weather is bad, you can also stay “indoors” because there is no guarantee of nice weather in New Zealand. Although not exactly spacious, these models are simply cozy. I personally thought it was great and the space was always good for two of us.
Disadvantages Sleepervan / small campervan:
Depending on the model and actual size, it is quite tight in such a vehicle. It may well be that you always have to put your things (backpack, clothing, etc.) in the driver and front passenger seats before you can convert or sleep. You also shouldn’t go wild camping with these models. Either you choose a paid campsite or a freedom campsite that can also be used by emergency self-contained vehicles. *
* Note: I did not have a self-contained campervan myself. However, I didn’t just have to head to paid campsites. There are beautiful freedom campsites where I was also allowed to sleep – toilet was always available here. You also have the opportunity to stay at the inexpensive (usually 6 NZD per person) DOC campsites. You can find more information about the campsites below in this article.
The next bigger alternative are the self-contained campers mentioned above.
Advantages of self-contained camper:
You can stand comfortably in these vehicles. These models are usually designed for three or four people, but are mostly used by only two people. You have enough storage space for your luggage and generally more space. Freedom Camping is allowed with these campervans if they have the necessary sticker.
Disadvantages of self-contained campers:
The rental costs for such a campervan are higher than for a simple, small sleeper van or for the emergency self-contained variant. Depending on the model and size, driving on New Zealand’s roads may be more difficult and therefore more strenuous.
The moving “one-room apartment” – usually called Motorhome:
I personally find a motorhome totally exaggerated, which is of course a matter of taste. Yes, they are spacious and the equipment leaves nothing to be desired. But:
The vehicle length of a motor home usually exceeds six meters. Driving with such a vehicle needs to be practiced first.
New Zealand is not the land of the endless and straight highways. If this picture is part of a road trip or camping trip for you, then you should probably travel to the USA. The streets in New Zealand are often narrow, winding, sometimes unpaved and simply not suitable for a “house on wheels”.
With such a colossus, you cannot park anywhere in the city or on the supermarket car park.
My best moments in New Zealand: sit on a camping chair with a warm coffee in your hand in the morning (obviously, a jacket was often required), breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the view. I will never forget those moments. I rarely saw the campers with motorhomes (not all of them, of course, but a lot), in the morning. In my opinion, they missed the best.
Unpaved roads (there are quite a few in New Zealand) cannot always be driven on with such a long vehicle – provided the rental car company even allows it.
IN NEW ZEALAND
What documents do you need for a camping road trip through New Zealand?
To enter New Zealand you need your passport, which must be valid for at least one month after the intended stay.
Foreign driver’s licenses are recognized for a period of up to 12 months from entry. If the driver’s license is not also issued in English, a certified English translation must always be carried. An international driver’s license is not mandatory, but it is also recognized as a translation in conjunction with the national driver’s license (source: Federal Foreign Office).
My personal experience: A driving license is sufficient to drive a motor vehicle. I have never owned a foreign driver’s license or a (certified) translation of my German driver’s license. In New Zealand, I was checked by the police on the way and rented a campervan for the last ten days after my Justus was sold – neither problem. However, do not rely on you to feel the same way.
How difficult is driving on the left side of the road and what are the road conditions like in New Zealand?
In New Zealand there is left-hand traffic, which you will quickly get used to. Do not worry! If you want to prepare for left-hand traffic, then I recommend Kathrin’s article on her blog Miss Outside: Left-hand traffic for the first time – How to stay relaxed. In addition, you can interactively practice the right of way rules in New Zealand here: giveway.co.nz/interactive.
Road conditions in New Zealand are often very difficult or bad. Under no circumstances expect a well-developed highway, but rather the opposite. Many streets in New Zealand are narrow, winding and confusing. You will also often find gravel raods on unpaved gravel roads. If that wasn’t enough, of course there is also the fact that you have to get used to the campervan and its size.
Allow more time for the daily journey than you e.g. Google Maps calculated.
I don’t want to scare you. But be sure to drive carefully, take enough time, pay special attention to cyclists and don’t stop in confusing places, even if the photo opportunity would be incredibly great. Safety first – both your own and that of other road users.
Dirt roads: There are a lot of unpaved roads (gravel roads) in New Zealand. The access roads to remote bays, campsites and hiking trails and even the section of a highway (!), The Forgotten World Highway, are not paved. Since I had my own campervan, I was able to drive all of these streets without hesitation. I have also seen many rental car campers on the gravel roads. Inquire beforehand whether the rental car provider allows driving on unpaved roads. Should you possibly have to pay an additional fee or take out insurance, I can only recommend this to you.
Which road maps are suitable for a road trip through New Zealand and do you need a navigation device?
For my road trip through New Zealand, I used both a correct map and the map material on my smartphone.
Road map: The road map in my Dumont New Zealand travel guide was surprisingly detailed. I particularly liked the fact that there were many sights on the map. So I was able to quickly get an overview of which highlights are on the planned route and, if interested, look up in the travel guide or simply stop spontaneously and be surprised.
Map material smartphone: I also used the OsmAnd app. I downloaded the map of New Zealand including all hiking trails (not free of charge) and I always knew my current location using GPS. Of course there is also a navigation function. Procedures and are actually excluded.
In times of smartphone and offline maps, you can basically save yourself an additional navigation device.
Are there enough petrol stations in New Zealand?
There are of course no gas stations on every corner in New Zealand, because not every corner is inhabited in New Zealand. However, there are so many petrol stations that you do not need a reserve canister filled with petrol.
In times of Google Maps or map material that can be used offline, in which petrol stations are also listed, it is a mystery to me how one can still stay in the tank in New Zealand without petrol. A little planning or foresight is part of every road trip. Even if you like to let yourself go. If in doubt, just fill up.
How much will you spend on petrol during your road trip?
My petrol costs for New Zealand for three months (course from 27.01.2016): 1,513 NZD ($800) / per week 126 NZD ($60) / per day 16.80 NZD ($8).
One liter of petrol costs NZD 1.92 on average in New Zealand (77 cents; as of April 2015).
The consumption of our little camper van Justus was pretty much 10 liters per 100 kilometers. I drove from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south – a total of about 8,000 kilometers.
How much will you spend on gasoline in New Zealand?
The cost of gasoline depends on two factors: the number of kilometers you will cover and the consumption of your vehicle.
Kilometers: Are you planning to stay in New Zealand for three months? Then 8,000 kilometers is a realistic number. I haven’t driven every street and haven’t seen everything – but a lot. The best thing to do when planning your travel route is to consider which highlights of the North Island and the South Island you want to see. Mark this on Google Maps and let the route be calculated. Now you know how many kilometers you will cover.
Consumption: The larger the vehicle, the greater the consumption. Let the landlord tell you the approximate consumption for the rental car or ask the seller about the consumption when buying a car.
CAMPSITES IN NEW ZEALAND
What kind of campsites are there in New Zealand?
In New Zealand you can basically differentiate between three different categories of campsites:
Campground and holiday parks
These campsites are chargeable. In addition to unpowered sites (without electricity), there are also powered sites (parking spaces with electricity connections), showers (some of which cost extra) and toilets, kitchens, often washing machines and dryers, and a BBQ area. Some of these campsites also have pools or cabins (small houses) in case you should have enough of sleeping in the car. The differences between the different campgrounds are sometimes large. Not only in terms of the basic equipment, but also the cleanliness of the system and the price.
Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites
The DOC is something like the environmental authority that works to protect and preserve the environment; the DOC also operates many campsites in New Zealand. The DOC campsites were mostly my favorite campsites, as they can be found in beautiful places in the middle of nature. The equipment is very simple. Sometimes there are only long-drop toilets, these are toilets without flushing, and nothing else. Other DOC campsites also have running water (note: not always drinking water quality) and even showers (only cold water). The costs for a DOC campsite are correspondingly low.
For the Freedom campsites you pay, as the name suggests: nothing. All equipment is usually missing (sometimes there are toilets), so that you or your vehicle must meet certain requirements so that you can spend the night in such places.
How much does a campsite in New Zealand cost?
Most New Zealand campsites cost between 12 and 40 NZD for two people on average.
Campground and Holiday Parks: The paid campsites cost from 18 NZD (10.50 EUR) to 25 NZD (15 EUR) per person – rarely more expensive.
DOC campsites: Most DOC campsites cost NZD 6 per person.
My expenses for campsites (course from January 27th, 2016): 60 paid overnight stays in campsites for 1,786 NZD ($ 900) / per night on average 29.80 NZD ($ 15) for two people. The rest of the nights I slept on free campsites. And of course a few nights in the huts on the multi-day trekkings that I ran in New Zealand.
How do you find a suitable campsite during your road trip?
I used and loved the crowdsourcing app WikiCamps New Zealand to find campsites.
Download the app and all map material. You can then use the app offline. There you will find all New Zealand campsites including facilities, costs, reviews, pictures of travelers, as well as the exact coordinates and addresses.
Other options are:
Do you have to reserve an overnight stay at a campsite?
Basically, you can only reserve the night on a paid campground or holiday park. On the DOC campsites and of course also for the Freedom Camping Spots: “First come, first-served”.
In my opinion, it is not necessary to reserve the night at a campsite in New Zealand.
I myself reserved only one campsite during my entire 3-month camping road trip through New Zealand. And that was the campsite at the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. I really liked the reviews of the campsite and the opportunity to use the thermal pools exclusively after the bath closed. However, it was pointed out several times in my app that a prior reservation was necessary because the associated campsite is very small. That’s why I called about five hours in advance to make a reservation. Basically, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t take the trip there for nothing.
Otherwise I never made reservations and only twice were campsites fully booked. Which was not too bad, because there was always a suitable alternative.
CAMPING ROADTRIP NEW ZEALAND: WATER, ELECTRICITY, INTERNET & SHOPPING
How does the water supply work?
Depending on the size of your campervan, it is either equipped with a simple water canister (usually 20 liters) or with a water tank system (tank for fresh water, tank for waste water).
Tap water in New Zealand is drinking water. You can easily fill a 20-liter water canister at any campsite if it has running water. This is always the case with the paid campgrounds and holiday parks.
With a little planning, my freshly filled 20 liter water canister and several water bottles were enough for me and my husband to spend two nights on campsites without water. However, this rarely happened, because usually we almost always spent the second night anyway on a paid campsite – with running water.
With a large motorhome that meets the requirements for self-containment, you can – depending on the desired luxury in body cleaning – even get up to five days. You don’t have to. In New Zealand there are many so-called dumping stations where you can empty sewage and toilets and refill fresh water. In addition to campsites, the WikiCamps NZ app also lists all dump stations.
How does the power supply work?
There are two ways to charge your electronic devices: via the car battery or via a power connection.
Electricity on the go / car battery:
The battery of your vehicle recharges again and again when driving and is sufficient to charge your camera, smartphone, tablet and Kindle with a USB charging cable both while driving and overnight. I almost always had a charging device connected permanently (while driving and overnight). In addition, I charged my laptop while driving – this requires a so-called car inverter. A power bank was always included and very useful.
Electricity on a paid campsite:
You can either book a powered site at a campsite or an un-powered site. Since my little Campervan Justus didn’t need electricity for a fridge, fan heater, etc., I mostly chose an un-powered site. I only paid for a more expensive powered site if I (or my husband) wanted to edit pictures in the evening on my laptop. In this case, a power connection was necessary, which could be placed directly in the campervan, since the image processing regularly pushed my laptop to its limits.
How do you get on the internet during a camping road trip in New Zealand?
The Internet is one of those things in New Zealand. I was only at one campsite that offered free internet access, even with a fairly fast data transfer. Otherwise, many campsites sell vouchers for a certain data volume or for Internet access. However, completely overpriced and with poor data transmission.
My personal tip for dealing with the Internet in New Zealand:
Think beforehand how much you want or need to be online. If you need internet access every day, I recommend buying a SIM card from Vodafone with the appropriate data volume, which you can top up again and again, on site. Surprisingly, I often had a network connection with this SIM card even in really remote places.
I myself only used 1 GB with this SIM card during my 3-month road trip. How can that be? I only used it when I really wanted / needed to be online at short notice.
Otherwise, I simply “collected” all the things I wanted to look up or do on the Internet and drove to a so-called Spark Station every few days. These are former telephone booths that are equipped with a WLAN router.
Buy a Spark-Sim-Card upon arrival – costs just under NZD 10 and is “valid” for 30 days. Then you have to recharge the card to use it, even if you still have credit left. The great thing: Every day you have 1 GB of data for three devices. Through the Spark stations mentioned. You can easily find out where you can find the next Spark station in the Spark app.
I could almost always park directly in front of a station. Then I “worked through” everything and the journey continued. It took a little getting used to at first, as you are used to having unlimited access to the internet anytime, anywhere. But after a while I got used to it and found it incredibly liberating. There was no more surfing or internet consumption from boredom. The internet was used efficiently.
Shopping and cooking during a road trip
Many campsites in New Zealand are in the middle of nature. Restaurants are not there, so you will cook a lot yourself during a camping road trip. Every camper you rent in New Zealand has a built-in gas stove and sometimes even a small oven or microwave including cooking utensils. In addition, most of the paid campsites are also equipped with a kitchen. Sometimes more and sometimes less well.
Shopping or planning:
Shopping for a camping road trip should be planned a little in New Zealand. Sure, you can also shop “wildly” for whatever you feel like, but for a variety of reasons that makes little sense. The space in every campervan is limited. You will probably break a lot of food if you don’t use it properly. In addition, depending on the travel route, you have to shop completely for a few days in advance, because e.g. go hiking for several days or there are almost no shopping opportunities in some areas (Fiordland, The Catlins). I always planned what I want to eat / cook for three days in advance and bought it accordingly. Especially because I didn’t feel like going to a supermarket every day because I still lack something. It worked out great for me.
How much does a purchase in New Zealand cost?
Water: Tap water can be drunk safely, so you don’t actually have to buy water in New Zealand. 1.5 liters of still water costs around 1.59 NZD.
Eating: So that you can get a better idea of how much food costs in New Zealand, here is a short list: Spaghetti 500g – 1.05 NZD
Natural yogurt 500g – 5.19 NZD
Chicken breast 300g – 4.08 NZD
Potatoes 1 kg – 2 NZD
Carrots 1 kg – 2.20 NZD
Tomatoes 1 kg – 3.99 NZD
Bananas 1 kg – 2.20 NZD
Kiwi fruit 1 kg – 5.99 NZD
Apples 1 kg – 2.79 NZD
Salami 300g – 9.49 NZD
Chocolate 220g – 3.49 NZD
Granola 650g – 3.79 NZD
Orange juice 1l – 2.69 NZD
Eggs 6 pieces – 2.39 NZD
Durable milk 1l – 2.08 NZD
Ham sausage 250g – 5.49 NZD
Edam cheese 250g – 4.69 NZD
Mini baguette 3 pieces – 2.70 NZD
Road trip without a fridge: my experience
Almost all campervans that you can rent in New Zealand have an integrated refrigerator or an electric cooler. But since there are also camper vans that do not have a refrigerator or no electric cooler, the question rightly arises as to how you can keep your food cool on the go.
Since I have heard many opinions on this topic, I would simply like to write down my personal experiences. I didn’t have a refrigerator, just a cool box with cold packs. With the right planning, this is not a problem and I have no spoiled food on the way.
There is seldom persistent heat in New Zealand and it gets rather cool at night.
At least every two or three days I headed to a paid campsite with a shower, kitchen, and thus a refrigerator. The food that needs to be refrigerated, such as sausage, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, open milk, etc., I stowed in the fridge of the campsite overnight, including the ice packs.
The cold packs keep the food in the cool box cold for a day.
I always ate meat the day I bought it. Then I either cooked dishes without meat for two days or I knew that I could put the meat in the fridge of a campsite in the evening and bought more.
Not all foods need to be refrigerated. A packet of UHT milk, fruit and vegetables also lasts three days if it is not kept in the refrigerator.
PACKING LIST CAMPING ROADTRIP NEW ZEALAND: WHAT DO I NEED?
A headlamp is very important for a trip to New Zealand. You can use it to read in your campervan in the evening or find your way to the toilet at night. If you are planning a multi-day trek, you will also need the headlamp because there is no electricity at the huts in New Zealand.
Are you traveling with a laptop or expensive technical equipment? Then I recommend a Pacsafe to safely store your valuables. I myself had a Pacsafe with me in New Zealand so that I could include my valuables in it, e.g. was hiking and my campervan was parked for several hours or even days. Of course, the valuables are not 100% protected against thieves, but the hurdle is definitely greater.
Additional camera battery & additional memory card:
You will need both, because New Zealand is slightly photogenic (caution irony).
A power bank or a battery pack is useful if you are without power for a long time on your trip. In New Zealand this is e.g. the case for multi-day hikes or if you take a road trip break and spend the night at a campsite without electricity.
With the AUX cable you can connect your smartphone to the radio of your vehicle to listen to your music. Prerequisite: The vehicle must be equipped with an AUX socket.
With a USB car charger, you can use your smartphone, your tablet and usually also charge your camera via the 12V car cigarette lighter.
Motor vehicle inverter:
You need a car inverter to charge a laptop from the car battery. This is not possible with a normal car charger. I bought a car inverter because I often stayed at campsites without electricity and in the evening I usually wanted to edit the pictures of the day immediately. This requires a charged battery. Most campsites have electricity or sockets in the kitchen. However, I didn’t want to leave my laptop unattended in the kitchen. Depending on the size of the kitchen, the sockets are also between the stovetops or on the kitchen worktop. In my opinion not the right place for a laptop.
Want to listen to music at the campsite in the evening? Then Bluetooth speakers are particularly practical. These are already available in small, handy sizes with good sound quality.
In New Zealand you need a sleeping bag for two different reasons. On the one hand if you already have the country with a campervan and on the other hand if you are planning multi-day hikes. If you rent a large campervan, the bed linen is often included. However, if you buy your own vehicle or decide on a cheaper car, you will need your own sleeping bag. When hiking in New Zealand, the huts only have mattresses. You have to bring your own sleeping bag. The smaller and lighter it is, the better. However, it can get cold at night even in summer in New Zealand. In January I measured 3 ° C in my campervan once at night. A good sleeping bag is mandatory for New Zealand.