We’re big fans of campervans and the campervanning experience here at STA Travel. They so perfectly represent exactly what we’re about; flexible travel, finding your own way, getting an authentic and fulfilling travel experience, travelling with – and making new – friends.
There’s no freer and more satisfying feeling than packing your world belongings into a campervan and taking off on the long open road, with nothing but some good tunes, good mates and the winding road for company – stopping off where you want, when you want.
Australia and New Zealand are the best places in the world to travel in a campervan, with amazing and diverse scenery, and unlimited adventures to be discovered, this is time will probably prove to be some of the best in your life.
Our Travel Agents’ Tips for a Campervan Adventure
To help you on your way, I asked Thomas, Hugh and Dawn, 3 of our Travel Experts and big campervan enthusiasts, for their top tips for making sure your campervan trip is amazing. Here’s what they suggested…
Thomas Garrett – STA Travel Brighton
1. In New Zealand there are quite a few campsites on native Maori Land which just require a donation to stay on (usually about NZD$5 – or around £2.50) so you can often find amazing campsites for really good value that are really authentic.
2. At the Nomads hostel in Airlie Beach, they have places to park campervans and you can not only hook them up to the power, but also use the bar, swimming pool and the other facilities so you get the best of both worlds!
3. Stock up with snacks, water and other drinks from supermarkets instead of getting them from the service stations on route. You will save lots of money.
4. The best thing about campervans is the freedom to go wherever you want so you don’t have to plan too much before you go. You will meet lots of people and also with Traveller’s Autobarn campervans you get a free map with campsites marked and examples of things to do.
5. Oh and If you book with us here at STA Travel for Australia, you get a free extra driver, camping equipment, and no one way fees. For New Zealand it’s no one way fees and free beach chairs and tables!
Hugh Hoffman – STA Travel Call Centre
6. Hiring a campervan can be cheaper than the getting the local or hop-on hop-off bus. For example, if you and four friends took a campervan in April next year, travelling for a month from Sydney to Cairns, with full protection plus cover, the rate comes in at only £8.69 day – not bad for travel and accommodation in Australia!
Dawn Wigley – STA Travel Birmingham University
7. If you’re short on time and want to make the most of your trip, a campervan is a great way to get around, as you are not tied to the schedule of the buses or tour.
8. Sometimes it works out better to pay slightly more money and go for a campervan with a gas hob and a fridge. You’re far more likely to cook this way rather than on a camping stove, saving you money overall.
9. If you go for a campervan with a shower and a toilet be aware that you will be responsible for cleaning that toilet – so consider if you really want to know each other that well!
10. If you’re a tall person, I’d recommend hiring a ‘high top’ van so you can actually stand up inside!
11. Be aware of the temperatures in New Zealand during their winter time. You can hire heaters from the campervan companies, and you can always buy extra duvets when you arrive, they are cheap and definitely worth it. As the vans are so cheap at that time so the slight extra expense is worth it.
12. Petrol costs are much cheaper in Australia and New Zealand than they are here, so don’t worry that this will bankrupt you. The small vans only use slightly more petrol than a normal car.
13. Don’t be put off by the size of the vans – some of the smallest ones aren’t much bigger than your average size car (although they are taller!). If you’re going to hire a large campervan, maybe practice with a normal sized van here before you go if you aren’t confident driving – you’ll see how easy it is.
14. If you can, try and leave a couple of days between when you land in the country and when you pick up your van. You will probably be jet-lagged and that is probably not the best time to be trying to drive a campervan that you’re not used to. Also, you will no doubt want to have a few days in the city you have flown into, so you don’t want to be paying for the van when you don’t need it.