If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and want to see what this country has to offer at your own pace, without the stress of buying your own car or joining tours, we can honestly say that hiring a camper van is the way to go… I know I know, we’ve always bought our own vehicle wherever possible but we wanted to mix things up a bit in New Zealand. So for the past five weeks, we’ve done just that, by road tripping in a Britz Campervan and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with just how hassle-free it has been. Here are 3 reasons you need to explore the North Island in a camper van.
While our experience was, in part, paid for by Britz, this is an honest review and all opinions stated in this post remain our own. We only work with companies we know and trust. This post may also contain affiliate links, you can read more about that here.
Freedom to explore the unexplored
If you’re new here there’s one thing you need to know about us – we hate being tied down, which is why we love road tripping. Now you know that, it should come as no surprise to you that having the freedom to explore the unexplored is our #1 reason to travel in a camper van! It’s been our main mode of travel for the past two years in Australia, and we weren’t about to let that change in New Zealand.
Having the freedom to explore the unexplored, to us, means you can take any which road you fancy and stay there if you want to. You’re not restricted to bus or tour times, you’re not tied down by someone else’s itinerary. You can go explore, or rest, whenever you choose to. Having a home on wheels is the only way we know that truly allows you that freedom completely. Especially in New Zealand where freedom camping is so readily accepted if you do it correctly.
With Britz you’re not restricted to returning the camper to the same place you collected it from either, meaning you have the freedom to plan a route that suits you and not the hire company. If you want to start in Auckland and end in Wellington or even Queenstown, you can, there’s even the option to get a discount on the ferry crossing if you want to explore both islands!
Budget conscious and eco-friendly
Britz Camper vans can be as budget-friendly, or as luxurious as you want when it comes to style and layout, but what really appealed to us was the way they handle the safety bond. Yep, I know, enough with the boring paperwork talk already but it’s really important to know how it works because, trust me, you don’t want to have big chunks of money on stand-by while you’re holidaying.
So while most companies require you put down an expensive refundable cash deposit before you drive away with your new home on wheels – usually around NZ$7,500! – Britz only requires a card print. This means they take a copy of your details and keep them on file for the unlikely event that you damage their vehicle. This makes hiring a Britz Camper a lot more budget-friendly and a lot less daunting, as you’re not cut off from a huge chunk of your money during the hire period.
The ability to freedom camp, as we mentioned before, also goes a long way to cut down the costs of your trip around New Zealand! Throughout our five weeks with Britz, we only used a paid campsite 8 times, and that was more because we wanted to than because we had to. If you choose a self-contained vehicle like our Britz Vista, it opens up so many more budget-friendly opportunities within New Zealand simply through the to camp for freely being able to camp for free.
So you’re probably wondering how hiring a camper van can be in anyway eco-friendly.
Britz has recently become New Zealand’s first company that offers a camper van that is 100% electric. While we didn’t choose this model for this particular trip, it’s one we would love to try in the future. It works exactly the same as the electronic cars, only it’s a green-eco-friendly camping machine. That means 0 fuel costs, 0 road-user charges and 0 reasons to worry about your carbon footprint. Win-win right?
Get lost in Nature
Another big part of life here at Officer Travels is nature. You’ll never find us in the big cities for very long without taking a trip to the nearest National Park or nature reserve. When it comes to life on the road there’s something to be gained from being able to wake up next to a lake or mountain and not be in a rush to leave.
Being able to get lost in nature is mainly thanks to New Zealand’s laws on freedom camping and how they make it so readily available for everyone who is respectful of their surroundings – like choosing to go self-contained for example.
Britz camper vans also help make this happen by coming equipped with everything you need for freedom camping and making your trip as stress-free as possible. Having an on-board toilet and shower means your options for camping are a lot less restricted, especially in towns that welcome campers! They also offer packages that include Wifi, pushbikes, camping table/chairs and even snow chains – so wherever you want to go, whatever your needs, there’s no reason you can’t get lost in nature with Britz!
We had an absolutely amazing time in our Britz Vista and after spending so many years in our own camper van, we were surprised by just how much we enjoyed being in a rental! You can read about what we got up to in our North Island guides here, or head over to the Britz website to read one of our posts there!