The first time my family hired a campervan, I had no idea what to expect. I was twelve years old – my little sister was nine – and I had never even stepped inside a campervan before. I remember getting off the plane in Christchurch and being taken to the campervan hire depot. As hulking as some of the white vans were, it was hard to imagine there being enough room inside to keep myself, my sister, my mum, my dad and my nana comfortable for two whole weeks.
There was. I quickly learned that campervans are like TARDISes – they seem bigger on the inside. Even the most basic of models generally have a lounge area with couches and a dining table that fold into a sizable bed, a sink with running hot and cold water, a stove, a fridge, a heater, storage space and a small toilet and shower.
Of course, as the model of campervan becomes larger, so there becomes more room for additional conveniences, such as microwaves and wardrobes. As we had five people setting off on our first New Zealand campervan hire holiday, we acquired one of the largest models of campervan available, a six-berth. It had everything mentioned so far, plus a television, (not that we used it,) central heating, (not that we needed it,) fly screens, (not that they were much help against the sandflies of the West Coast, but that is a story for another time,) and a panoramic rear window.
I should also mention that most New Zealand campervan rentals come with free bedding, towels, pots and pans, eating utensils, kettle, toaster and cleaning equipment. Some companies will even throw in a camping table and chairs so you can enjoy meals outside, although others will charge you extra for those items.
Our six-berth campervan had three double beds: one above the driver’s cabin, one in the middle and one at the rear. The one at the rear, where I slept, could actually fit three people in it with each person having plenty of room. Unfortunately, all the room in the world could not mitigate my mother’s snoring. That was the only downside of living in a campervan for two weeks: the lack of privacy. That and the fact that the toilet and the shower shared the same space, but this did not seem to bother anyone else.
Hiring a campervan in New Zealand is the most convenient way to explore the country, making for an unforgettable and stress-free holiday. I am certainly looking forward to my next New Zealand campervan adventure.
Article by Abigail Simpson, author of POMS AWAY! A British Immigrant’s View of New Zealand