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Gear up for an unforgettable campervan adventure in New Zealand

EMBARKING on a campervan journey through the stunning landscapes of New Zealand is a dream for many adventurers. But before you hit the road, it is important to pack wisely. From navigating diverse terrains to enjoying spontaneous detours, having the right gear can make all the difference.

Here are the top seven tips to make your campervan trip in New Zealand as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Pack smarter, travel lighter

When packing for your campervan trip, opt for soft luggage bags instead of hard suitcases for easy storage in your campervan. These are more flexible and easier to store in your campervan, maximising space.

Keep your belongings such as clothing and toiletries organised and maximise space in your campervan with compression cubes. These handy organisers help streamline your packing process and make it simpler to find items as you go.

Campground essentials

Campers need lightweight, fast-drying microfibre towels to stay fresh in New Zealand’s diverse landscapes. Flip flops or jandals as they are known in Kiwi slang, are handy to have for trips to communal campground bathrooms.

Bring a torch if you use campground restrooms instead of your campervan toilet. Be sure to bring collapsible chairs to relax outdoors and enjoy New Zealand’s stunning scenery.

If you are planning on cooking on the go, a portable stove is a must-have item for preparing meals while enjoying your campervan adventure. You should include a fire blanket in your kit to put out small fires while cooking or camping. Additionally, first aid kits are necessary for travel emergencies to provide immediate care and protect everyone.

Lastly, keep your electronic devices charged with portable power banks or a solar charger, especially when you are away from electrical hookups. These essentials will prepare you for an unforgettable trip through New Zealand’s stunning scenery.

Dress for the season

Pack accordingly because New Zealand’s weather varies by season and region. In autumn, the north has 10°C to 20°C temperatures, while the south has 5°C to 15°C. Pack lightweight, breathable layers like long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and cardigans for versatile comfort. Other than that, wear comfy shoes. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat are essential even in cool weather to protect yourself from UV rays.

Sustainable waste management

Do not forget to pack reusable bags for more than just trash – they are great for managing dirty laundry and damp towels. Choose eco-friendly options for toiletries and cleaning products to reduce environmental impact.

Zip lock bags are also useful for storing leftover food, especially meat, keeping it fresh and preventing any odours or leakage. For sustainability and less plastic, use reusable utensils and containers. Recycle whenever possible, and responsibly dispose of campervan waste in designated bins to minimise environmental impact.

Important documents

Driver’s licence: Do not forget your driver’s licence, as a valid and full motor vehicle driver’s licence is required. Obtain an accredited English translation or International Driving Permit if your licence is not in English. It must be translated by a NZ Transport Agency-authorised translation service, a diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate, or your overseas licence issuer.

As always, get travel insurance. Maintain two copies of your policy – one at home and one with you.

$!Autumn walks on Queenstown Bay.

Apps to download

Rankers or CamperMate

These apps help you find self-contained campsites, holiday parks, and the Department of Conservation’s extensive campsite network in New Zealand. You can also find nearby activities, short walks, and wildlife areas to enhance your trip.


Never be caught off guard by the weather! This app provides you with detailed forecasts of any town or city in New Zealand. Plus, you can access forecasts offline – perfect for your offroad adventures.

Great Walks App

New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery and what better way than to embark on one of their iconic Great Walks? The Great Walks take hikers through lush forests, glacier lakes, mountains and fjords to see the country’s majestic wildlife.

Star Chart

Home to five Dark Sky Reserves, New Zealand is definitely a stargazer’s paradise. With the help of this app, you will be able to learn fascinating facts about the constellations. Simply point your device at the night sky and the App will show virtual stars and planets.

$!Pleasant Flat, Mount Aspiring National Park.

Final tips before conquering the open road

While New Zealand’s roads are scenic, driving at night can be challenging, especially in unfamiliar territory with winding roads. Plan your journeys for daylight hours whenever possible as sticking to daytime driving offers optimal visibility and allows more time to navigate roundabouts. Take some time learning local road rules and conditions to travel safely and comfortably.

$!Lake Wānaka, Otago.