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6 Tips for a Great New Zealand Camping Holiday

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New Zealand has numerous camping grounds, not to mention the breathtaking scenery of the place. These are among the reasons why people choose it for their holiday camping. All year round, tourists all over the world mingle with the locals to experience the simplicity yet unforgettable camping that New Zealand has to offer. Given below is a camping checklist that you may find useful when planning for your New Zealand holiday.

Things to Bring

If you are heading to the countryside in New Zealand and look for exotic locations, always come prepared. If you have not gone camping before, this list can make your New Zealand camping holiday less stressful and more comfortable.

Camping Essentials:

  • Bug repellent
  • Torch/Flashlight
  • Toilet paper
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Matches/Cigarette lighter
  • Hammer

Personal Belongings:

  • Hats
  • Knife
  • Food – chilly bin
  • Water and Refillable water bottles
  • Drinks
  • Beach towel and swimsuit
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Sleeping bags/pillow
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Pack of cards
  • Earplugs
  • Beach sunshade/shelter
  • Decent tent, camp table and folding chairs
  • Lilo (air mattress and pump) or foam bedrolls

Other Things to Bring:

  • Compass
  • Emergency whistles
  • Emergency light sticks or glow sticks
  • Energy bars/snacks
  • Tarpaulin or groundsheet
  • Rubbish bags
  • Bowl for washing up dishes
  • Clothesline (rope) and pegs
  • Large water container with tap
  • Multi-purpose liquid soap
  • Pots, cooking utensils, plates, bowls and cutlery


  • First aid kit
  • Spare batteries
  • citronella candles
  • Fishing gear and a fishing licence
  • Wet wipes
rv camping motorhome
Photo by Pixabay

Camping Tips When Driving with Motorhomes and Cars

For many travelers, going camping in a motorhome or campervan is a first-time experience. While this mode of travel comes with a lot of flexibility, there are some rules to follow and factors to consider.

  • Not all RVs have the same layout and features. Select the one that is suitable for your needs.
  • If driving in remote areas in New Zealand, your petrol tank and gas canister must be full.
  • Be extra careful when you are cornering your RV, as this type of vehicle is prone to windage.
  • 100kph is the speed limit for open roads. For residential areas, it is 50kph.
  • There are about 200 to 300 km of comfortable driving distances on a regular day. Certain factors will slow your trip such as bad weather conditions, winding and difficult roads.
  • Driving is on the left in New Zealand.
  • Apply good behavior when disposing your toilet and wastewater. There are wastewater treatment stations (WWTP) provided for this purpose. Find a WWTP near you. On the road, there are also signs that indicate where the next station is.

Check Your Insurance

Review your insurance if it covers going to gravel roads, since you can find a lot of roads in New Zealand that are made of gravel. This applies whether you will drive your own car or rent a vehicle. Your motorhome insurance typically has comprehensive, contents, and liability coverage. Each of them has coverage limits depending on your policy.

For rental cars, choose the right insurance when renting a motorhome. You may opt for insurance via your credit card, additional coverage to your travel insurance, or you could go for the rental motorhome insurance from the rental company.

Help Protect the New Zealand Ecosystem

Before and after your camping trip, make sure you have cleaned your equipment thoroughly. It is your way of preventing the spreading of weeds and diseases to the surroundings. The ecosystem of New Zealand is highly susceptible to diseases. In fact, the airport authorities will ask you to clean your gear and equipment before they allow you to enter New Zealand.

Campsites are generally designed to have less negative effects on the environment, while increasing your comfort and convenience. On your part, take your rubbish with you when you leave your campsite. The trash you leave can attract bacteria, cause animals to choke, or trap some wildlife. Also, your litter can ruin the overall appearance of the environment.

Observe Camping Etiquette

You love camping because it gives you a break from your daily routine, see the outdoors again, and sleep peacefully with nature. But, these relaxing experiences can be spoiled if campers are loud and thoughtless. In a campground, people are in close proximity of each other. Lights and noise can easily reach the other group of campers, which can break the essence of camping.

If you arrive at the campsite late at night, try to minimize your voices, lights, and excitement. You may be ecstatic about finally reaching your dream destination, but the other campers may be looking forward for a quiet sleeping time. When the daylight comes, it the best time to greet other campers. Help other people who need assistance such as putting up tents or collecting clothes when it begins to rain.

Having said that, make sure you do not get too close for comfort; give other campers the privacy they long for.

new zealand camping
Photo by Pixabay

What’s Your Plan B?

While it is no question that if you are looking for a majestic location with picturesque landscape for every turn New Zealand is the place for you, but it also has one of the most unpredictable weather patterns in the world. It pays to have a backup plan in case things go from good to bad.

Before heading to your destination, check to see if there are other accommodation options near your campsite. Some campsites also offer accommodation with cabins but you can find affordable hostels all over the country. Treat yourself to a night in a hostel every now and again to get a good nights sleep, a shower and maybe watch a bit of TV!

Make sure you know the weather forecast of where you are headed to prevent being stuck in an area that may have limited food supplies and a risk of flooding. While this may not always be the case, you still want to ensure the safety of everybody while having a great time outdoors.

On the whole, it is important to know and understand the camping system in New Zealand. The country will not fail you if you are looking for beautiful panorama and a different kind of remoteness. The other parts depend on your choice of vehicle, your behaviour, your budget, and your preparedness.

Author: Paul Watson is a blogger who likes to share information about camping and the outdoors. He expresses his passion for camping and other outdoors no only by embarking on several outdoor adventures but also writing about them.


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