A limited number of campervan hire companies offer vehicles in Dunedin. We recommend checking the availability of motorhomes in Christchurch.
Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.
Freedom camping, or the ability to sleep anywhere in a campervan in New Zealand, is allowed but heavily regulated by individual councils. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and guidelines of the region you're visiting before settling in for the night in your campervan. The Department of Conservation (DOC) maintains a comprehensive network of RV-friendly campsites across the country, offering an ideal place for responsible and self-sufficient camping.
These DOC campsites typically provide basic amenities, so campers need to be well-prepared and adhere to responsible camping practices. This includes properly disposing of waste, respecting the environment, and adhering to any local restrictions or requirements.
For a more comfortable camping experience, Camper Champ suggests staying overnight in campgrounds specifically designed for RVs. These campgrounds provide convenient amenities such as electrical and water hook-ups, which enable campers to use their vehicle's onboard facilities like refrigerators, lights, electrical appliances, and showers. Additionally, these campgrounds often feature dump stations for the proper disposal of wastewater and sewage.
Besides practical amenities, many campgrounds also offer a range of recreational activities and facilities to enhance your overall camping experience. These may include swimming pools, playgrounds, and dedicated recreation areas. Some campgrounds even feature on-site stores, cafes, and rental facilities, allowing campers to purchase supplies or rent equipment like bikes or kayaks.
When planning your campervan trip in New Zealand, make sure to research the specific regulations in the areas you'll be visiting and choose a campground or campsite that best suits your needs and preferences. By doing so, you'll contribute to responsible and sustainable tourism practices while enjoying the natural beauty and outdoor activities New Zealand has to offer.
If you are unsure of the rules that apply in a specific area, it is best to visit the nearest i-SITE (visitor information centre) and ask about any local regulations or bylaws.
If you wish to go freedom camping in New Zealand, your vehicle must be self-contained and certified.
This means you must be able to live in the vehicle for 3 days without needing additional water or needing to dump the waste.
In addition, the vehicle must have:
The vehicle must have been checked by a qualified officer to ensure that it meets these requirements. Self-contained motorhomes have a sticker displayed on the vehicle proving their certification.
All drivers must have a current and full driver’s licence to hire a vehicle. Foreign licences are acceptable if they are in English or are accompanied by an accredited English translation. Otherwise, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required.
A good idea is to plan for a minimum of 7 days. However, even a 2- or 3-week road trip around the South Island will easily be filled.
Popular attractions include Mount Cook, UNESCO-designated Fiordland National Park with Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, and the adventure capital of Queenstown.
New Zealand’s longest tourist rail ride, the Taieri Gorge Railway departs from historical Flemish Renaissance styled Dunedin Station, once the country’s busiest, with up to a hundred trains daily.
Today, this building with its distinctive 37-metre clocktower serves a variety of functions, including a departure point for a four-hour return journey on the rails, that combines compelling history with dramatic scenery. The route follows the Taieri River into a deep and narrow gorge, travelling through ten tunnels and over numerous bridges and viaducts, including the southern hemisphere’s largest wrought iron structure.
Built in the years 1904-06 as a family home for a local merchant and philanthropist David Theomin, this 35-room Jacobean-style mansion is home to fine art, furniture, and artefacts collected from David’s travels around the world. His daughter Dorothy lived in the ‘English country house in the city’ until 1966, when it was gifted, along with the family’s collected contents, to the city of Dunedin.
Initially equipped with the latest technology of the day: central heating, lift, and telephone system, the home is richly decorated with bronze statues, cloisonne, ivory and jade – a total of 240 artworks hang on the walls.
Rising 393 metres above Dunedin and just a few miles out of the city centre, Signal Hill contains a nature reserve and delivers panoramic views over the city and harbour.
A secondary summit at 329 metres houses a monument honouring the country’s centennial in 1940. It contains large stone from Edinburgh, Scotland – Dunedin’s sister city. 9.3 miles of walking tracks and mountain bike trails make the peak a popular and easily-accessed attraction.
Accessed through a hand-carved tunnel built in the 1970’s, this sheltered and secluded beach is located 4.6 miles from the Dunedin city centre. Today, the beach is a quieter alternative to nearby St Clair.
Upon the headland, at the end of the Otago Peninsula, lies an 1864 lighthouse and since 1919, a rare colony of 100 Northern Royal albatrosses – the only one on an inhabited mainland.
The headland was once the home of several whaling stations, while today the Royal Albatross Centre provides daily tours and a unique chance to observe the birds at close range. Due to their presence, the lighthouse is not open to the public.