We recently returned from a two week driving holiday of New Zealand’s south island. I was blessed to be offered a free camper van from Apollo Campers NZ, so it was a no brainer to find the time to get over to the land of the long white cloud for a visit.
For some reason, New Zealand has always been a destination that I was leaving for later on in life. Some time down the track when I was older and the thought of travelling on the cheap in third world countries no longer held the same appeal. I’m still passionate about tripping around third world countries but the lure of free accommodation and transport for two weeks was too much to resist!
Being mid-September, the New Zealand nights and mornings were still quite cold so we certainly spent some nights asleep in the camper snuggled under layers of blankets. The chilly nights aside, there is no better way to see a country like New Zealand than driving around in a camper van. The country is set up to be explored by car or camper. The RV parks are well equipped and often centrally located but it’s the free-camping options that absolutely blew my mind!
The rules for free-camping in New Zealand are pretty simple: don’t camp within 5-10km of a town (distances vary and are clearly signposted), your vehicle must be certified self-contained and take all your rubbish and waste with you. Follow these rules and I guarantee that your road trip of New Zealand won’t disappoint.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting about certain parts of our road trip around New Zealand. We had some adventures along the way! We climbed mountains, crashed our van, had a near miss on a one-way bridge (yep, we were supposed to give-way) and saw some of the most beautiful national parks I’ve seen in all my years of travel.
Just to warm things up, here are a few of my favourite shots from our South Island road trip.