/ New Zealand campervan hire
Hiya - there's lots - here's a few company names to get you starter. The backpacker type vans you see around most often are from Jucy, Wicked and Escape. They're mostly for 2 people tho. Not sure if you'd fit 4 people in them tho. Jucy do bigger vans, as do pacific horizon and maui.
Be aware of the freedom camping act, that came in to place late 2011, which means local councils can decide if freedom camping (i.e. sleeping in a tent or vehicle without a self-contained toilet within 200 meters of a road) is allowed, allowed only in certain areas, or banned completely. They have fines and penalties in place. The campervan places are not very quick to point this out, and emphasise the freedom aspect instead.
Some smaller DOC sites have long drop toilets, but that's still better than that patch of woodland out the back of the Kingshouse :-)
We've hired larger cars (for 6) from Jucy and they were very helpful.
Have a fine trip. Any firm plans?
We are off to NZ in 1 month.
I agree with a previous poster, we looked into campervans but instead opted for a car and a tent as we would be staying in campsites anyway (showers, toilets etc).
This worked out to be much cheaper (Apex rentals) and fitted with our plans as we are going to be doing a couple of great walks that require a tent.
If you can afford a nice van, by all means! Some of them look awesome!
I've just done six weeks over there with no vehicle, using the various bus companies which worked well for me, but if there are more of you the hire car probably makes sense.
What I found was that a lot of the campsites over there were holiday parks and actually worked out more pricey per night than the hostel accommodation did. With a vehicle you'll be able to get to some of the cheaper more basic DOC sites which I couldn't always manage with the bus route restrictions. Just don't discount the possibility that hostel stays will be more economical in some areas.
I would go with pacific rentals then Juice rentals. I didnt work for either but trust me every Tom,Dick and Harry started going into the camper renal business during the world cup.
My experience - if you are thinking of vans. Britz - boring and prolly expensive but good, nice vehicle and nice equipment. Juicy - not so good - the only vehicle I have ever driven that lost speed on a steep down hill if you didn't keep the accelerator on. Apex car rentals were ace and very understanding when we got delayed in the Tararuas and had to give a vehicle back a day overdue.
Also - do look into the hire of DOC huts while you are out there. My particular favourite which I'll plug right night is Boar Inn in the Orongaronga Valley not far from Wellington. An hour's drive and three hours walk in. Awesome. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/backcountry-huts-by-region/wellington-kap... I should add that I only stayed in a few huts over there and there are hundreds to pick from!
Glad to hear that Apex have a nice service.
When using DOC huts, what is the parking like? Safe enough places to leave car? (or van in the OP's case)
We left various vehicles in remote car parks and never had a problem. Having said that in one there were big police signs up saying "Every car in this car-park was broken into a week ago - leave your car here at your own risk". That was odd as it was down about 50km or dirt road so not exactly somewhere for 'opportunistic' theft, slightly off-putting as well as you set off for a 3 day walk. Same applied as here though I guess - make it obvious you have nothing of value in the vehicle if possible (hard with a camper van eh?!).
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