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About New Zealand

What are supermarket opening hours?

Supermarket opening hours vary but most are open from 7Am in the morning until 9PM in the evening (some even 24 hours). You can even I buy groceries on most public holidays, except Xmas day.

How much time does travel takes in New Zealand?

Travel times and distances in New Zealand are often misjudged. Highways (except around a few cities) are comparable to 80Km roads in Europe, USA or Australia. Mountains, mostly two lane windy roads, prevent you a quick ride from A to B.

Use on average 60 kilometres per hour to calculate how long your trip will take you. Kiwi’s will always tell how long a trip takes in time, hardly ever the distance to travel.
To get an idea about travel times, we advise to use the Click here travel time calculator. Don’t be surprised to find the same distance taking you twice as long in remote areas!
How much time does travel takes in New Zealand?

Travel times and distances in New Zealand are often misjudged. Highways (except around a few cities) are comparable to 80Km roads in Europe, USA or Australia. Mountains, mostly two lane windy roads, prevent you a quick ride from A to B.

Use on average 60 kilometres per hour to calculate how long your trip will take you. Kiwi’s will always tell how long a trip takes in time, hardly ever the distance to travel.
To get an idea about travel times, we advise to use the Click here travel time calculator.
Don’t be surprised to find the same distance taking you twice as long in remote areas!
How to stay in touch with friends and family back home (WiFi, Phone)?

Holidaying is twice the fun when you can share it with your friends back home! SO, all our campervans are fitted with on-board WiFi, simply bring your mobile WiFi device and connect.

Internet data is included when you take out the Value Pack insurance, otherwise, you need to buy one of our pre-pay data packages See our extra charges page for more details. We provide a NZ mobile-phone so you can easily book camping-grounds or activities, contact Rob and Nick for any questions during your travels or in case of calamities.
Top-up credit available at most supermarkets.

What is different about driving, road rules in New Zealand?

There are a few things that you may not be used to when driving in New Zealand. We drive on the left side of the road, using a hand -held mobile while driving is illegal.
Please check the
New Zealand Transport Agency website before you start driving.

What is the cost of diesel fuel?

All Bay of Islands Campervans run on diesel and use between 9 litre/100 km and 11 litre/100 km depending on driving style and terrain. Diesel is cheaper than petrol in New Zealand. Keep in mind you might need to pay Road User Charges (RUC) unless you have taken out the Value Pack insurance

Do I need a Visa?

Most tourists do need a Visa to visit New Zealand. See here for more info.

Where do I find more information about New Zealand?

After you have booked with us we will send yo a list of sites you can use to plan your holiday.

Booking with us

What is the minimum hire, rental period?

Our standard minimum hire period is 10 days when departing and returning from our home base Paihia, 2 weeks from Auckland, Christchurch. Minimum hire periods may increase over peak season and are subject to change without notice based on the season and availability. To check exact minimum hire periods its best to make a request for your specific dates.

Do I need to bring a 230V power plug adapter?
New Zealand Powerpoint, PowerplugNew Zealand uses different power plugs to the rest of the world. New Zealand power outlets (230V) accept power plugs with 3 flat pins – 1 of which is an earthing pin (this is simply a safety measure). Some power plugs don’t have the earthing pin, but they still fit into the power outlets.
Most likely, if you are coming from overseas you will need an adapter.
Can we pick up and drop off at locations throughout New Zealand?

We offer the unique service to pick up or drop off at any domestic airport. Our ‘standard’ locations are Auckland, Christchurch and The Bay of Islands (Paihia), others might incur extra costs.

Please fire an email and we will quote to your needs.
What will it cost me if I have an accident?

You are liable up to NZ$5000 per incident, unless you have purchased our additional insurance coverage. Doing so will limit your excess or even waive it completely.

See here for available options.
Why take out the Value Pack insurance? When do I have to decide?

Windscreen and tyre damage is especially common in New Zealand due to loose gravel, even on main roads. On average, one in three vehicles returns from its hire with some sort of damage. Take out the Value Pack insurance and have peace of mind knowing that you are covered in the unfortunate event of damage to the vehicle. You can decide on the insurance excess at the time of booking till just before you leave by campervan. You can not change your mind once handover has taken place.

How do you calculate the diesel Road User Charges (RUC)?

We calculate Road User Charges on actual kilometres travelled in your campervan, so you only pay for what you use. You can find out more about Road User Charges here. One of the advantages of choosing for the Value Pack insurance is that Road User Charges are included, no matter how many miles you drive!

How to pay? Bank? Credit Card?

We think the best and most cost-effective way to pay is by (International) bank transfer. All information you need will be in your rental agreement which you receive upon booking. We do accept VISA and MasterCard credit cards, this will incur a 2.9% surcharge…

When will I need to pay for my campervan hire?

A 20% deposit is required to secure your booking. The remaining balance is due 35 days before your adventure commences.

We will send you a reminder when your final payment is due.
Do we pay extra for additional drivers?

No. Extra driver fees are included in our daily hire rate.

We advise to register all travellers that hold a full drivers license, even if they don’t be intent to drive. In case of an emergency you may need to take over the wheel, to be covered by our insurance policy, anyone who drives the camper needs to be recorded on the rental agreement.
What is the minimum driver age for hiring a Bay of Islands campervan?

Our insurance covers drivers over 25 years of age that hold a full (not a learners) drivers license. An inexperienced driver excess (NZ$1000) applies when the license is held less than 12 Months. You can not buy down this access.

Do I need a special drivers license?

NO. On pick up of the vehicle a full (non provisional) and valid driver’s license must be presented in person by all people wishing to drive the vehicle. If you plan to use a foreign license that is not in English, an International driver’s license or valid, certified translation is also required. The minimum age to drive a Bay of Islands Campervan vehicle is 25 years, and the maximum age is 75 years.

What is included in my rental?

Included is comprehensive insurance (excess/deductible applies), unlimited miles, extra drivers, transfers at start and end of hire to agreed handover location. Touring atlas, GPS, Tourism Radio, gas bottle fill, cleaning, 24-hour breakdown service, outdoor chairs, table, BBQ, linen, bedding, kitchen equipment including utensils, crockery, glasses, pots and pans. Even the first coffee, tea, sunscreen and sandflies-repellent are included!

Pretty much all you need is packed! Just bring your camera and clothes…
Is there a document Safety Box to secure my passport?

All our campervans come with a safety box.

I have never driven a campervan before. What do I need to know?

Our campervans are easy to drive, have high performing turbo diesel engines, and all the added features of a modern European vehicle including ABS and air bags. There are no restrictions to the 100 km/hr (60 mph) road speed limit and you only need the standard drivers license.

Just be aware of the height and wider than normal car-body and your sweet!
Does the pick up or drop off time affect the price?

Pick up day and drop off day are counted as full days regardless of the time you arrive or leave. This is an industry-standard for a motorhome rental.
The earliest hand over time (or transfer to Paihia) from Auckland airport is 10:00
The earliest hand over time from Christchurch is 9:00
the latest hand back time is 17:00
We do not offer an after-hours service.

I am a motorhome newby, how does it all works?

No worries! When you pick up the motorhome an instruction is given and there is plenty of time to answer any questions you might have. If you want to get prepaired beforhand, check out these instructions videos

Choose your campervan

What is the size of the bed?

Snuggle up after a day full of adventure! Your comfortable bed is made, ready to go the for the first night. A clean changeover set is waiting in the cupboard.

Explorer: 2.02m * 1.32m
Seeker:   2.05m * 1.35m
When not plugged in to a 230V power supply, what will work?

The best places in new Zealand are usually of the beaten track, so we made sure you can camp without using 230V power for a couple of days.

The fridge, lights in the living compartment as well as the water pump and TV/DVD player (Seeker only) will all work whilst not plugged in.
Mains power (230V) is required for anything that needs to be plugged into the power points such as a computer or phone charger.
You will be able to charge some devises using USB.
Is it allowed to smoke in the campervan?

Sorry, no smoking!

Is there heating / Air-con in the motorhomes?

Bay of Islands Campervans are all well insulated and central heated by a gas heater.

You never have to feel the cold in one of these vehicles, no matter what wild weather it may be out there!
Air-con is present is all front cabs when driving. The air-con can only be used when the motor-engine is running.
What about freedom and DOC camping?
Freedom camping permittedOur Our campervans are Certified Self Contained you can freedom camp in places where permitted. Please notice the difference between ‘free’ camping (at no cost) and ‘freedom’ camping (Certified Self Contained)…
Most DOC camping grounds are freedom camping charging a low fee to cover maintenance.
Please respect the camping policies of each community and minimize the impact of your stop over on our natural resources.
What is the vehicle equipped, packed with?

What is not? All vehicles are fully equipped with:

  • Pillows & Duvets, Sheets(2x)
  • Towels(4x)
  • Dish Cloth (2)
  • Tea Towels (2)
  • Cooking Utensils, Pots/Pans/Fry pan
  • Cutlery, Scissor
  • Plates & Bowls
  • Cups & Glasses
  • Tin Opener
  • Electric Toaster
  • Coffee Plunger
  • Chopping Board
  • Gas BBQ
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Clothes Line & Pegs,
  • Dustpan & Broom
  • Dish Brush
  • Waste & Fresh Water Hose
  • Full LPG Bottle
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cell-phone…


Something missing? Just email us, and we will advise if it packed is or not!

I am a motorhome newby, how does it all works?

No worries! When you pick up the motorhome an instruction is given and there is plenty of time to answer any questions you might have. If you want to get prepaired beforhand, check out these instructions videos

On the Road

Are there sandflies in NZ?

Unfortunately: Yes, particularly in wet areas such as Fiordland. Not to worry, we have an initial supply of insect repellent and flyscreens on all opening windows of your campervan.

Tourism Radio

You love it, or you hate it. Anyway, we have Tourism Radio installed as extra source of information. Using GPS coordinates it gives a signal when there is a point of interest in the vicinity.

How and where do I dump my toilet and waste water?

During your vehicle familiarization at pick up we will give you a ‘dry run’ how to empty waste water and toilet cassette. Dump stations in New ZealandSome town have dump stations (Most (paid) camp grounds have dumping facilities. The provided touring atlas has all dump places listed on the map. You can also find them on our online camping ground map

Do you have (AA) roadside assistance should I have a breakdown or accident?

No worries, help is on its way: We have registered all our Motorhomes with the Automobile Association (AA) for 24-hour roadside assistance. This gives you peace of mind in the odd case you have a breakdown.
All
Mechanical breakdowns are covered under AA relevant Roadside Assistance program and include the following:
✓ Engine faults
✓ Electrical Faults
✓ Cooling system
✓ Vehicle recovery
The following
Non-Mechanical ‘breakdowns’ are subject to the relevant call out fees charged by the AA; for example;
X Out of fuel / incorrect fuelling of the vehicle.
X Flat Tyre X Keys being lost, broken or locked inside the vehicle.
X Flat batteries.
X A breakdown as a result of damage caused in an accident, including salvage

The Value Pack insurance will cover you for:
✓ Windscreens and Tyres

Do we need to book the Ferry to cross Cook Strait in advance?

The ferries operate all year round but there are fewer sailings during the winter. If you are travelling in peak season (between December and February), you will definitely need to book your ferry crossing in advance Outside these periods you can usually make a reservation one day in advance or on the spot.

Are there any roads we are not allowed to travel on?

If you have not driven any gravel road, you have not seen New Zealand! SO, you are allowed on all named roads and DOC camp-site access roads.

You are not allowed to travel on a beach, through a river or salt water, or on a road that is in such poor condition that it damages the vehicle including:
  • Fire trails
  • Beaches, sand, tracks, fields or paddocks,
  • Ninety Mile Beach (Northland)
  • Ball Hutt Road (Mt Cook)
  • Skippers Road (Queenstown)
Should I pre-book camping, DOC sites?

Most camping grounds in New Zealand do not require reservations except for the two weeks after Christmas, Public Holiday weekends and the Easter holidays.
When you are going for one of the ‘Great Walks’ it does pay to book the (Department of Conservation) sites as they usually have limited availability. You can always use the on board cell phone to call ahead and if you want to. You can find all approved camping sites, including DOC-sites and their telephone numbers on 
our camping location map

How long will the gas bottle last?

Gas is used for cooking, heating, hot water supply and the refrigerator in both the Explorer and Seeker Motorhomes. 

The 9Kg gas bottle should provide up to three, four weeks of gas; subject to use. In general, you only need to fill the bottle at the end of your holiday.
You can swap or top up the gas bottle at most petrol stations.
When not plugged in to a 230V power supply, what will work?

The best places in new Zealand are usually of the beaten track, so we made sure you can camp without using 230V power for a couple of days.

The fridge, lights in the living compartment as well as the water pump and TV/DVD player (Seeker only) will all work whilst not plugged in.
Mains power (230V) is required for anything that needs to be plugged into the power points such as a computer or phone charger.
You will be able to charge some devises using USB.
How long will the batteries last?

In general, you will be able to use all facilities without being plugged into 230V for up to 3-4 days. It really comes down to what appliances you’re using and how often. When you drive a day for a longer period, you will recharge the batteries and won’t see the battery levels coming down much. <

We recommend staying overnight at a powered site now and then to fully recharge the batteries – just in case you don’t drive enough to fully recharge them. Here you can also dump your waste-water and rubbish to keep New Zealand Clean & Green!
The car is operated by it’s own battery, so even when the house battery is flat, the engine will start.
How will I find my way around, is there GPS or road-map?

No worries! A GPS unit is installed in all campervans.

Besides the GPS unit; a  touring atlas will be in the van. This detailed road map includes addresses for camp-sites, DOC-camp-sites, dump stations and points of interest.
I am a motorhome newby, how does it all works?

No worries! When you pick up the motorhome an instruction is given and there is plenty of time to answer any questions you might have. If you want to get prepaired beforhand, check out these instructions videos

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