Campervaning New Zealand

We took a whirlwind, ten day, nine night tour of New Zealand by campervan.

Lois McKendrick

Here is our van. It has the boring name of "Delta 08", so we renamed it the Lois McKendrick, of Coffee Share fame. Lois seats four but only sleeps two. The interior space is cramped for sleeping and living, but not terribly so, and the goal was to spend time outside so that wasn't much of a problem. Lois comes with a refrigerator, propane stove, and a portable water tank. She does not have a sink or a toilet.


On day one we flew to Christchurch, picked up Lois, and headed out to a rugged campsite called Waihi Gorge.

The next day we saw Dunedin, its public art gallery, the otago penisula, and the royal-albatross centre. Albatross are enormous sea-gull like birds.


The following day we passed through Clinton and Gore on the way to Te Anau, where we saw rare birds. We spent the night at Kiosk Creek.

Millford Fjord mouth

The fourth day was the highlight of our trip. We went to Millford Fjord, which is beautiful. We took a cruise (NZ$90 each) which was totally worth it.


The next two days we drove hard and reached Wellington. The night before we took the ferry we stayed at a very nice campsite at Kerr Bay in the Nelson Lakes National Park.


In Wellington we went to Zealandia, a nature reserve, where we saw wild Tuatara, Glow worms, Kaka, and a Kiwi! We recommend their night tour at NZ$75 each. We also went to Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, which was quite good.

Boiling Mud

Our final stop was at Rotorua, where we saw the volcanic activity and enjoyed the hot baths.

Black Swans

We would have spent more time on our travels, but we got a good deal to "relocate" Lois from Christchurch to Auckland. So we did a whirlwind trip. We covered 2800 km in ten days. Lois is supposed to rent for NZ$65 a night. We spent on average another NZ$20 per night on campsites and holiday parks. Lois gets only a little better than 10 litres per 100 km, which at current rates (about NZ$2.17 per liter) was NZ$600. Spaceships paid for the ferry fee for the vehicle (NZ$115) but that still left us NZ$50 each to pay as passengers.

We recommend camper-vanning as a good way to see New Zealand. Spaceships were good to us and we recommend them.

4 thoughts on “Campervaning New Zealand

  1. dad ensslen says:

    good to hear from you again.

    fascinating pictures and stories.

    i would have thought you would have explored new zealand with your boat.

    any hint on what is next?

  2. katherine e says:

    thank you for the update!!

  3. borther bear says:

    Love the update and the pictures!

    [ Also you made me laugh while imagining an application for funding for a royal albatross;) ]

  4. teta m says:

    Land bound

    Sea legs abandoned
    raced 2800 km from christchurch to auckland
    rock and rolled @ Millford Fjord
    while Lois McKendrick
    burped ... most discretely
    And patiently waited

    Hugs from this prairie city

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