Executive summary by darmansjah
With snow-capped mountains, rivers, glaciers, fjords and forests, New Zealand is the perfect place to drive around. A popular option is to hire a camper van – check your rear-view mirror on any far-flung road and you’ll likely see a shiny vehicle packed with travelers, bikes and portable barbecues behind you.
Most towns have a campsite or campervan park with powered sites for around US$30 per night (newzealand.com/camping). There are also over 200 vehicle-accessible Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites, ranging from free to US$13 per person per night (doc.govt.nz).
New Zealand is full of ecologically sensitive areas, so you should never camp off the beaten track before checking at the local DOC office and be sure to clean up when you leave. For tips on ‘freedom camping’ , visit camping.org.nz
Campervan hire is available throughout the country, starting at around US$95 per day for a simple two-berth cabin with cooker and refrigerator (autorentals.co.nz).