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Campsites in South Island

Greenock, United...
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Campsites in South Island

We are touring NZ in December and have hired a campervan for the South Island. We are looking for recommendations for campsites in the following areas:-

Blenheim

Kaikoura

Greymouth/Hokitika

Franz Josef

Wanaka

Queenstown

Te Anau

Dunedin

Have checked out the usual websites but if anyone has doen this route and used any of the sites along the route we would appreciate any tips. We have never used a campervan before and are not used to campsites but thought this was the best way to see the South Island.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Campsites in South Island

There is at least three to four camping grounds in each of the above towns, so there is quite a choice.

From Christmas until the end of February, camp grounds are fairly full in New Zealand, and can be quite hard to get into. Before Christmas you should be fine. If you are travelling in a campervan, you can usually turn up on the day, or ring ahead the day before.

Top Ten Holiday Parks are good (www.topparks.co.nz), and are in most towns. Jasons also have a good guide which you can pick up in the airport when you arrive in NZ.

Greenock, United...
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2. Re: Campsites in South Island

Thanks for the advice. We were originally only going to stay in Wananka for 1 night but are thinking of now staying for 2 nights and just 1 in Queenstown. By that stage in our trip we reckoned we would need some time to relax and Wanaka seemed a good place to crash for a day. Do you have any tips for our day or so in wanaka we aren't really bungee jumping types ...any help you can give woulod be appreciated , thanks...

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: Campsites in South Island

Yes Wanaka is an overlooked destination, it is beautiful, quiet and very relaxed (but getting very busy in December). Most people when visiting Wanaka like to take in a walk, either a flat walk either side of the lake, or something with a view, Mt Iron. Look at our website www.lakewanaka.co.nz

If you are looking for an activity, a cruise on the lake is a relaxing way to spend the day, with Lakeland Adventures on their luxury cataraman. A few unique attractions for Wanaka is the Puzzling World and the Warbirds Museum.

If you want to go tot Milford Sound and you are running out of time, you can fly from Wanaka, take in a cruise and be home in 4 hours, saving yourself two days. Cost approx $NZD380.

Queenstown is a popular destination, but probably a bit busy to be relaxing. December is the start of our busy season, so travelling in a campervan is great way to travel around New Zealand. Just remember that freedom camping is not permitted and you should always stay in a camping ground.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Campsites in South Island

Hi wanagirl- can you clarify that- are you talking about freedom camping not permitted in Wanaka? We have FC all over New Zealand (including Wanaka), obviously choosing out spots with care as to not upset the locals and have never had a problem. Also, obviously there are areas where there are signs not permitting it but there are many places one call pull up for the night.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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5. Re: Campsites in South Island

Sorry I did get this a bit wrong, I was referring to campervans, not tent campers.

Maybe you are a bit more flexible in the North Island, but we have a terrible problem with campervans and their waste in the Wanaka Queenstown Lakes District area and so our local Council does not allow any freedom camping. You must stay in a local camping ground.

If they find you parked in your campervan in the town area, the parking warden from the Council will ask you to move.

I think the problem is with the campervan firms not informing overseas tourists of the location of dumping areas, there should be a booklet of all sites in New Zealand.

New Zealand
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6. Re: Campsites in South Island

Thanks for that Wanagirl, we were actually in a campervan but it was a few years ago and I know what you mean about emptying their holding tanks....euuw!

It's a pity the rental companies weren't more pro-active, they're pooping in their own nest , so to speak , if they don't educate their clients. Clean, green NZ it won't be!

Greenock, United...
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7. Re: Campsites in South Island

Wanaka for 2 nights it is and don't worry we will be booking campsites for all our stops. We might try the golf course while we're there.

PS Zappers, it must be warm in north Island , you don't need an over radiator hummock as we do in scotland

New Zealand
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8. Re: Campsites in South Island

Aye? what's a hummock? and I thought a radiator lived in a car! :)

I have visions of a hammock hung between two tall trees with the campervan running and it's nose carefully parked beneath the hammock so your b*m is just above the radiator keeping warm! :)

Greenock, United...
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9. Re: Campsites in South Island

A hummock is an indoor version of a hammock uniquely for feline use over the central heating system - I would highly recommend one. I also have a fur lined igloo but have yet to have my photo taken in that.

New Zealand
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10. Re: Campsites in South Island

miramol... missed your reply, you are one spoilt pussy cat, room for one more in there?!