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Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

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england
posts: 1
Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

My wife and I are going to New Zealand in December for five weeks. We intend to travel around both islands but can't decide the best way to go about it. Do we hire a car and stay in bed and breakfast or hire a campervan? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

New Zealand
posts: 8,341
reviews: 8
1. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

Hi chorley, why don't you do a combination of both. Say 2 weeks NI B&B then fly to SI and hire campervan for 3 weeks (or visa-versa). The weather will be good for the campervan and there are alot of places you can freedom camp in the SI . That way you'll get to meet NZers and sample their hospitality yet still have some time to yourselves.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 2
2. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

My husband and I are spending three weeks in New Zealand in December and January. We opted for a motorcoach because we wanted someplace that could be our home away from home. I love adventure but I think I'll appreciate having somewhere familiar to sleep each evening -- plus not having to unpack and pack repeatedly.

We also had heard that it might be tricky to find rooms since December is New Zealand's summer and the month of the Christmas/New Year's holidays. It's the most bustling time to go and everyone will be trying to book the same rooms. We are planning on at least one night in a hotel, which we're going to book ahead of time, and will probably stay at hotels a few more nights if we need a little luxury in the middle of our vacation.

After a day of crazy adventures, though -- I'm especially looking forward to Zorbing and the Flying Fox -- I think I'll be happy to just be in one piece anywhere. ;) What adventures are you and your wife most looking forward to?

Germany
posts: 175
reviews: 23
3. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

Advantages of bed and breakfast, your hosts will have local knowledge to pass on, ie where to eat, ie good value for money, local walks etc. You will have a comfy bed to sleep in and have a hearty breakfast to start the day. We did a mixture of self-catering and B and B over 2 and a half months. Driving a car is cheaper on fuel and hiring cost so in fact by doing this option and including price of accommodation works out no different and perhaps cheaper than hiring a campervan. We booked up a lot of places in advance from Charming Bed and Breakfast New Zealand but there are plenty of cheaper options.

One to reccommend if you like sailing is a bed and breakfast in Auckland that includes sailing free of charge !!!! in the harbour and out to the islands on their 34 ft sailing boat --- for as little as 110 NZ dollars a double room including a great cooked breakfast. Check out their website if this appeals to you - Nautical Nook Auckland. Little gems like this are not found in the van.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 50,446
reviews: 42
4. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

Hi

About packing and unpacking.

We always leave the samsonites in the boot (never been broken into or robbed last 25 years in many countries in the world) and fill the lorries for 2 or 3 days. In fact, our trunks always stay in the boot (out of sight!) and only with a more than 3 days stay, they'll come out.

And about B&B's. With a couple of rooms the hosts can divide their marks of sympathy, but a non descript hotel gives you the chance to be on your own

and do the things that you want to do. Love B&B's though, but not all the time!

Tet

Seattle, Washington
posts: 2
5. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

I agree the bed and breakfast/hotel route sounds like a way to get more of the local flavor.

It definitely depends on your travel agent whether the motorcoach vs. bed and breakfast or hotel/rental car is the cheaper option. My travel agent found a deal that works out to $79U.S. a day for our motorcoach. I couldn't see finding accommodations and a rental car for that same price.

We were initially planning on doing one of those hostel/rental car packages but I wanted flexibility with our schedule. I don't like to schedule too much on vacations. That's what the real world of work is about. ;) If hubby and I wake up and spontaneously decide to travel to a different city than initially planned, we don't have to worry about finding last-minute hotel accommodations.

New Zealand
posts: 8,341
reviews: 8
6. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

A couple of things to keep in mind when travelling by campervan (although it does depend on the size of the van) and obviously where you are intending to travel .

You will need to visit supermarkets for supplies, it's a lot harder to visit the bigger cities centres, manouvering around tight city streets is stressful. Plan to grocery shop in the smaller towns. If you are going to a tourist attraction in the city schedule it outside rush hour traffic.

Shopping centres parking buildings are too low to allow vans to enter and car park spaces are normally too small to accomodate the van. Most times you need to park way off in a spare corner with no cars around, fine if the carpark isn't full.

Remember that if you are based in a place for a few days, everytime you have to go somewhere or meet up with a tour etc you have to up sticks, ready the whole van (unplug, put away breakables, do dishes (well some of you :) etc ) and move whereas if travelling by car you have only yourself to get ready, leave everything in the hotel room.

We have travelled by campervan many times and the positives far outway these small negatives.

UK
Destination Expert
for North Wales
posts: 3,874
reviews: 36
7. Re: Five weeks tour of new zealand, b/b or campervan

I have recently returned from three weeks in NZ and we stayed B& B for about half and a camper van for the other half of the time.

I can heartily recommend the campervan option.

the campsites in NZ are first rate-we found them all to be well equipped and very clean.

Its not such a bind making and breaking camp but the additional freedom that you get to go where you like and stay where you like for as long as you like is great.

we found that most sites had great kitchens and ablutions-so we didn't need to cook/wash in the van at all.

You get to meet lots of people and it adds a bit of variety to the whole experience.

If there are just two of you I would recommend the medium size camper -say based on the VW or Transit size van -the bigger boxier ones are surprisingly a bit claustrophobic

We never had any difficulty getting food-pulling into supermarket car parks wasn't a problem.

compared to the UK traffic congestion was light (apart from Auckland)

and the roads are empty and the van had no trouble skipping along at the max speed-about 100-110 kilometres/hour

run on diesel which is very economical

So my advuice would be to split it -say two weeks campervan and three weeks B&B

cost of van per day is probably just a shade cheaper than an average B&B/motel plus hire car.

There are some great B&Bs -try Cheltenham House at Hanmer Springs and the Lemon Tree Lodge at Kaikoura.

another option is to rent a bach- a NZ holiday/beach cottage.This can range from a little wooden shack to a well appointed villa.

It is self catering but you might have to book it for a week or so thus restricting your travelling.