Fast Facts: New Zealand

WHAT WE DID:

  • Rented a campervan (28 days, one-way rental) through Euro Campers (2 + 1 berth, self-contained with camping toilet)
  • Stayed at powered and non-powered camp sites
  • Made the majority of meals in the campervan to cut down on food costs (we did enjoy a couple of splurge ice cream treats & lunches in the cities)
  • Dedicated 2.5 weeks to seeing the South Island, 1.5 weeks to the North Island

 

WHAT WE LIKED:

  • FLEXIBILITY that came with having a house on wheels
  • Campervan size (smaller berth was convenient for narrow roads & confined parking areas)
  • Camping NZ – an app that shows all campsites (including cost/amenities/reviews) along your route of travel
  • Gas card (included w/ rental) allowed us to save $0.10-0.20/liter at two major fuel chains

 

WHAT WE’D CHANGE:

  • We’d stay longer! We saw a lot, but there were several places on the North Island we didn’t have time for. Additionally, we would love to have explored more of our favorite spots (Abel Tasman NP, Lake Wanaka/Mt. Aspiring area, Tongariro NP). Our guess is that 6-8 weeks would be the perfect stay.

 

WHAT WE LEARNED:

  • Tipping in NZ is not expected
  • Visiting geothermal sites in Rotorua is expensive (some of the main geysers/pools are $30-50 NZD per person per site). We learned this after we got there, and decided to pass (we personally were not interested enough to take such a hit to the budget).
  • Camping toilet was unnecessary since we stayed at sites (facilities were always in good order)
  • The extra $ for a camp site was worth the hot shower after a long day of hiking

 

WEIGHTS & MEASURES:

AVERAGE PETROL COST: $1.80/L NZD (range ~$1.65 – $1.95/L NZD, cheaper on North Island)

AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE: $1.00 NZD to $0.63 USD

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