They say that happiness is only real when shared. Luckily, we agree. What better experience to share than to rent a van to travel and explore the top things to do in New Zealand. A New Zealand campervan holiday is not only an opportunity to explore the beauty that this mountainous country has to offer, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with friends and make lifelong memories.
Jam-packed with festivals, adrenaline-fuelled adventures and insta-worthy natural attractions, New Zealand is the perfect stomping ground for a campervan trip with friends. And with cost-effective camping options for van travel thanks to the affordable campervans available at Mighty, New Zealand also offers a budget-friendly travel adventure.
Whether you are looking to jump in a big vehicle together or convoy with mates, there are plenty of reasons to plan a New Zealand campervan trip with friends.
New Zealand boasts a huge list of internationally acclaimed music festivals that attract international artists and an A-team lineup. A campervan hire is a perfect companion for these long weekends away. Heck, why not spend a few extra days exploring while you get there? When you rent a travel van, you can be among the action without sacrificing the luxuries of a kitchen, toilet, and a comfortable bed to return to after a long day of dancing.
Best of all, as some festivals are held in smaller New Zealand towns like Gisborne, a campervan can make the road trip from the city even more enjoyable. Sometimes the journey is more fun than the destination!
If you’re new to New Zealand’s festival scene, some of the top New Zealand festivals to check out include:
Ring in the New Year at this three-day music festival held in Gisborne on December 29-31. Rhythm and Vines is the first festival in the world to welcome the first sunrise of the new year and is a right of passage for Kiwis as well as the international visitors who flock here each year.
Pasifika takes place in March and is a celebration of the diversity of New Zealand’s Pacific Island heritage. Watch performances from representatives of over 11 nations as they demonstrate their unique strengths through song, dance, food and drink.
Rhythm and Alps is the perfect excuse to escape to the mountains in Wanaka and soak it all up as these hills come alive with the sound of music. Enjoy live performances and an immersive experience with a wristband pay system so you don’t have to worry about carrying around a wallet. Swap out the tents and sore backs with a self-contained campervan for your next festival.
When travelling, costs can add up quickly. Some of the biggest costs associated with a normal road trip are food, gas money and accommodation. A campervan trip solves all of these issues.
With a full apartment-style kitchen on-board our larger vehicles, you can cook up campervan friendly meals to save eating out every meal. There are also plenty of budget-friendly campsites and even free places to park your campervan for the night including:
Be sure to download the thl Roadtrip app for a full guide to these top places to stay. This is also a great tool to use as a trip planner, as you can save different campsites, attractions and more, helping you plan your trip. On top of that, a big perk of travelling in a group is that you’ll be able to split gas too. Just be sure to keep receipts! There are also great apps to help split up costs like Splitwise.
Travelling in a campervan offers up flexibility that other modes of travel don’t. Having your own vehicle on holiday means you can skip the hassle of flying or taking public transport and simply drive wherever and whenever the group wants to. If it’s raining, you can swap out your plans for a day at the beach with a quick detour to spend the day at thermal pools instead.
This kind of flexibility can be challenging when making decisions as part of a group. So it can be a good idea to vote when picking what to do for the day so that everyone is happy. Can’t decide? Choose an itinerary together and see where it takes you.
Although some people enjoy driving, it’s a bit different when you’re driving for long periods, day after day. Taking a campervan trip with your friends means that you can share the driving so everyone gets a turn. While one friend is driving, everyone else can relax and play road trip games - just be sure not to distract the driver!
Top tip: It is worth noting that drivers must have their full licence and must understand the road rules for safe driving in New Zealand.
Everyone in your friend group will have their own interests, and that’s ok! A campervan trip offers up something for everyone. In fact, trying things that are out of your comfort zone is what a road trip adventure is all about.
That being said, it can be a good idea to take turns picking activities and spots to visit. One day maybe opt for surfing, the next, visiting some of New Zealand’s best beaches. Who knows, you may even be introduced to new activities you love.
With so many bucket list New Zealand camper adventures to be had, why not start a group chat? Use that to plan your trip and integrate your must-do activities into a travel itinerary. See how many bucket list experiences you can tick off!
Take away the distractions of work or study and add a little adventure to your friendships with a New Zealand campervan holiday. A campervan trip with your pals is a fantastic chance to bond. Between the long drives, hikes, adventures and cosying up fireside, a campervan trip offers the chance to really connect and get to know each other in a whole new setting.
If you’re flying in New Zealand or taking public transport from city to city, you may not get the chance to experience some of the more remote and wild areas of the country. With some of the best destinations and things to do in New Zealand found off of the beaten path, this feels like an injustice to a holiday in this beautiful country. Luckily, in a campervan you can take full advantage of the untouched beauty. Some must-see New Zealand hidden gems include:
Taking the road less travelled also means that you can avoid the crowds. Just be wary to avoid unsealed roads and other road restrictions advised for the campers when picking up your Mighty camper.
While you may set out with friends, you may find that you have made some new ones after your campervan holiday around New Zealand. Campgrounds and free campervan parking spots are a great chance to meet other people on their own New Zealand campervan holiday.
Nights around a campfire sharing stories is great fun and a great way to meet people you may not usually meet. These other travellers are often like-minded
people with great stories and travel tips. Who knows, you may make lifelong friends in the process.
It’s no secret that New Zealand is truly stunning! We’ve touched on the benefits of taking the path less travelled, but secluded spots in New Zealand also offer up great photo opportunities that are perfect for your digital photo album. Some of the most insta-worthy spots in New Zealand include:
Whether you’re capturing it for yourself, to share with friends and family, or the world, on a road trip to the wild and wonderful parts of New Zealand, you’re bound to capture a moment to remember.
If you have that itching sense of adventure, a campervan trip with friends is bound to scratch the itch. Feel totally free being able to travel where you want, when you want, wherever the road may lead. Want more? There are plenty of fantastic activities for thrill-seekers to get their fix across New Zealand. Some of the top things to do in New Zealand for adventurous souls include:
There are plenty of ways to get your blood pumping on a road trip in New Zealand.
) New Zealand is overflowing with things to do in the South Island and things to do in the North Island, making it the perfect campervan-friendly destination. If you’re ready to rent a van to travel to explore these places with your favourite humans, then check out our travel deals and book your Mighty camper today. If you are looking for more travel tips, travel itinerary ideas and budget travel hacks, check out our blog.