Tips and FAQs about campervan touring in New Zealand

What is the climate in New Zealand?

As a Southern Hemisphere country, New Zealand's seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere, so summer is December to February and winter June to August. Average summer temperatures are 20 - 24deg; Celsius, winter 9 - 14deg; Celsius. The South Island is slightly cooler than the North.

What customs and quarantine restrictions are there?

New Zealand is an island and zealously guards its borders from introduced pests and predators. All items of camping and hiking equipment need to be clean and are likely to be inspected. Please check with your airline for current regulations.

What are the drink/drive laws?

New Zealand has an aggressive breath testing regime and strict penalties for drinking and driving. The blood alcohol limit is 50mg per 100ml. For drivers under 20 the limit is zero.

What kind of electricity is supplied in New Zealand?

New Zealand runs on 230v/50Hz AC supply via slant pin outlets.

What medical and emergency facilities are there?

Dial 111 for Police/Fire/Ambulance emergency in NZ. Medical and emergency facilities are high quality and readily available, but not free to visitors. Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.

What are New Zealand road conditions like?

Very few New Zealand roads, except for major city motorways, are divided. Most roads are narrow two lane, with shingle or grass verges. Minor roads may not have surface markings and in some cases are unsealed. Allow plenty of time for local conditions when planning your journey. Be aware also that in New Zealand herds of farm stock are moved on the road.

What road rules apply in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, we drive on the left side of the road and give way to everything on our right. Police use camera and RADAR devices to catch speeders. Take your time and save your money for fun things. Obey the speed signs and watch your mirrors for traffic build-up behind you. Pull over and let others pass so you can enjoy the scenery.

Can we drink the tap water in New Zealand?

Yes. New Zealand's tap water is thoroughly treated and sterilized. The water from the canterbury region is touted as about the most pure in the world and is completely safe to drink without any chemical modification.

Is there a Sales Tax?

New Zealand operates a blanket 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all items except financial services. Prices are usually expressed as inclusive of GST unless stated. Some trade and wholesale outlets will express prices excluding GST.

What are the seatbelt laws?

All occupants (children included) are legally required to wear a seatbelt.

Where and when is the best skiing?

South Island ski fields in Canterbury and Queenstown have the most reliable snow coverage between May and September.

What are the speed limits?

New Zealand is a metric country so speeds are posted in kilometers per hour, distance in kilometers. New Zealand speed limits are posted in standard international format signs. In general, urban areas are 50kmh (30mph), open roads are 100khm (60mph). Other limits are signposted. Please do not speed in NZ as widespread use of SPEED CAMERAS by police will result in fines

What are standard opening hours?

Banking hours are 0930 - 1630, Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays. In larger centres, a full range of shops are open 0900 \ 1730 (and longer). Hours vary in smaller centres. Those catering to the tourist trade are generally open longer.

What about tipping?

New Zealanders do not depend on gratuities for their income.
 

How can we get an honest opinion on the best campervan companies to hire from in New Zealand? There seems to be so many of them.

This is a great question and one that is of great concern to visitors. Take a little while to visit New Zealand's only unbiased feedback website called "Rankers". This site publishes genuine, authentic reviews from thousands of customers who have rented campervans from agencies in New Zealand. They offer a "Ranking Table" which only shows reviews for companies who actually pay a commision to Rankers for direct bookings, however, they also publish reviews for the remaining companies who prefer not to use Rankers as a type of brokerage service. To see these reviews click on the "Rankers" link on any company website and you will see the comments for that company. You can try it here by going onto Campasouth's one. It's at: www.rankers.co.nz/experiences/1739-Campa_South_Rentals?affiliate_website_id=2953 . Okay...we're biased but you'll get the idea.