If you follow me on instagram you’d know that my hubby and I spent a couple of weeks in a campervan driving around the south island of New Zealand last month. It was the first time that I’d personally done this, and after two long weeks I definitely have some tips and thoughts to share!

Do Both Freedom Camping & Paid Sites

We found that the freedom camping or doc sites were the most picturesque and the best to experience, but we found it super handy and necessary to park up at a nice cheap paid campsite once every few days. It meant we could dump our waste water and trash easily, do our laundry easily, and charge up the power in the van to last us the next few days! It’s also nice to have decent shower facilities with a hair dryer (for the ladies with thick or long hair) at least every 3rd or 4th day.

Do All Your Driving During The Day

It’s so much easier to park up and suss out your spot for the night when it’s still daylight. Our biggest hassles were the two nights where we got to our next destination after dark, as it was hard to see where was the best place to park up. I’d recommend doing all driving during the day time if you can!

Keep Your Space Clean

When you’re living and sleeping and travelling all in one tiny space, it pays to keep it clean any tidy and organised! It makes for a smoother ‘pack up and go’ each morning.

Don’t Linger Too Long In Particular Towns, It’s Cooler To Cover More Ground

This one applies especially to a south island camper trip! Most of the towns are fairly small and easy to see within a couple of hours, we found it worth it to see more of the south island and only stop in each town briefly so as to cover more ground and experience more of the country. In the beginning we thought that approach would be too rushed and intense but it totally wasn’t.

I Guess It Actually Is About The Journey

A south island camper trip is less about activities and destinations, it’s more about enjoying the drive and seeing the scenery along the way. We realised that about a third of the way through the trip and just eased up on the activities and stopped lingering too long in some places so that we could ‘experience’ it. We had such a blast!

It was the trip of the lifetime and I’ll be sharing more information and pictures soon! And if you haven’t been to the south island OR on a campervan trip before, I recommend doing one or both ASAP!