Is a motor home rental in NZ worthwhile?

Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Is a motor home rental in NZ worthwhile?

Whats the up and down side to renting a motor home in NZ. Thinking about two weeks in July
mayday1b is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 12:15 AM
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Personally, I think its the way to go, particularly if you have a short time to visit. Each morning, you just roll out of bed and drive off. Every town has at least one Holiday Park, where you can hook up and meet other travelers. On the other hand, it can be expensive, particularly if you hire a big motorhome (as opposed to a small campervan). It may be more cost effective to hire a car, then stay in tourist flats, which are available at many of the holiday parks.
ALF is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 10:51 PM
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It'll be winter in NZ in July. The school holidays are in the first two weeks in July.
It probably isn't necessary to rent a motor home. It may be just as easy to hire a car and travel about. There are plenty of motels, backpackers etc about. If you plan to travel on the Interislander ferry between islands, a car will most likely be cheaper.
Enjoy your stay in our beautiful country.
kiwigirl is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2003, 01:34 PM
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We spent two weeks in New Zealand in November 2001. We had no advance reservations for lodging - only for car rental. We were surprised and thrilled by the quality and quantity of inexpensive "motels" in New Zealand. We paid as little as $28 US for a night's lodging. We had a living room with two sofas (twin beds), a fully-equipped kitchen, a bathroom with shower and toilet, and a bed room with a queen and a single bed; the motel had a pool. When we checked-in, we always received a small carton of milk for our tea. Laundry facilities were available.

We drove a compact car with good gas mileage; gas prices were comparable to the US western states or a tad higher. Driving on the other side of the road can be tricky if you have never done it before. It is even trickier when driving a large vehicle with manual transmission.

We really enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of driving a smaller car. The people we met at various motels and guesthouses were extremely friendly and helpful.

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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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Since you asked for the up & husband and I rented a campervan for 2...the co upgraded us to a 4 person ALOT bigger..
Up & down #1 bigger does not always mean better..a 4 person campervan is BIG..harder to think about size for parking, drivng, backing, hydroplaning thru water puddles on 2 wheels (we actually did this), gasoline/disel prices, wind whipping, etc
Up & Down #2 get the insurance and get close to zero deductible...accidents will happen..we scraped the awning in one town hurting the awning and the top of the campervan trying to parralel park
Up & Down #3 shift, and driver are on the RIGHT side of the campervan, driving on the LEFT side of the road. This will boggle your mind if you are from the US. Take a few test runs in a nonpopulated me it will be worth it before you get into traffic.
Up & Down #4 some of the National parks do not have electrical hook ups and so it was cold in the am a couple of times without the heater but so worth it terms of scenery..we had baby quails outside our door at breakfast
Up & Down #5 you will want to go to a grocery store and park a long way away from everyone else so you can get out..provisioning is fun but think carefully about what you want to prepare so that you aren't spending a long time in the kitchen and think too about the refridge which has to recharge via motor running..tempting to buy alot like your at home but not the best option. Lots of grocery stores
Up & Down #6 pls be aware that the campervan itself announces to the world and would be thieves that you are a TOURIST. Never leave valuables in the camper. Never leave bags in the open or near a window...and do not leave the campervan in the HUKA Falls Park parking lot unattended..we were robbed by a gang of roving auto thieves ..they smashed the window (insurance saved the day!)and grabbed my bag which was not visible but on a bench in the dinette under the window. I came face to face with thieves as when we returned they were still roaming the parking lot looking in car windows for goods...we reported to police who are very courteous and helpful but unfortunately well aware this is going on and said "lock your bags in the campervan closet". Do visit Huka Falls Lodge..the parking lot is safer and if you are polite the Lodge will let you see the river and grounds..
Up and Down #7 you can go pretty much anywhere you want anytime. We stayed on a beach on the east side of the South Island for several days..had a blast. The Holiday parks are easy to find via guide books and some are better than others but rated in the books we had. AAA in Auckland has some info as well.
Up & Down #8 be sure to call ahead to the ferry between North and South islands and tell them your size and make a reservation..showing up without a reservation is chancy when you are big.
Up & Down 9 the campervan travelers and holiday people weere very friendly and helpful...they would recommend other places and we felt like we connected with nature/people alot more than car/hotel which was the point of our trip.
Up & Down #10 We spent 30+ days in our campervan on both North & South islands and would recommend it to anyone as long as you plan alittle and are sure you can handle the driving. It was economical, fun, informal travel and the Kiwi people and country are really special.

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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 05:42 PM
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From my experience visiting NZ last October, I can only advise that the roads are sometimes very narrow, with sharp curves, and don't forget the one lane bridges. The cost of truely top-notch accommodation (cheap) and the manuverability of a car vs. a campervan leads me to conclude that a car and motel lodging is the way to go. I am so glad we chose renting a car and staying in motels.
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