Spaceships New Zealand is one of the most popular companies for campervan hire. New Zealand is also one of the best countries in the world to road trip and campervans are one of the best options for a budget journey around this incredible country. The Spaceships Beta is a perfect size for a couple, but a family with one small child will fit easily too and that’s what we did. We took our one-year-old with us for a one-month road trip. New Zealand with kids is an excellent idea. We live at the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, so it was a big trip for us. We planned to drive quite a lot visiting major sights on both islands and spend as much time in nature as possible, so finding a suitable car was essential. After all, we did not want to end up spending a fortune on accommodation.
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Guest Post By Katalin
Why We Chose Spaceships NZ?
The Spaceships turned out to be the best fit we found. Their rates were excellent, and the Spaceships Beta cars were a perfect match in terms of space for our family of three. The booking process online was smooth and so we were set to go on the road. A little minus of Spaceships NZ campervan hire was a location of their depot in Auckland, but there was a direct bus connection from downtown. We left our car in Christchurch where Spaceships campervan rental is right by the airport.
The staff was friendly and helpful in both depots. A big plus was no fee for returning our car in the South Island Spaceships location. That spared us from a rush to drive north and saved us a lot of money on fuel and ferry tickets. The flight from Christchurch to Auckland was a cheap and fast alternative. As the company has two depots, there might be a chance for you to get a campervan relocation deal where you take the car from the South Island to the north for a small fee and you can do some sightseeing on the way.
Interested in Availability & Rates?
How to Live in a Spaceship Beta?
Spaceships Beta campervans have more than enough space in the back for a car seat and one parent sitting next to the kid so that it is easy to occupy the baby while driving. When the baby falls asleep, you can enjoy the time in front seats. It feels almost as you travel on your own again.
For the night we had to take away the baby’s car seat to the front so that we could extend our bed. That was the only minus of the limited space of a campervan. New Zealand is great for solo travel or as a couple, and if you do travel this way you won’t need to worry about this at all.
Luckily, after the first few nights, the routine of preparing for sleep and arranging the place took only a few minutes and could be all done from inside the van without going out in case of dreadful weather. The same in the morning.
The vehicle has lots of luggage storage space as well. We managed to fit the box not only our huge suitcase but also our hiking backpacks. The back of the car can actually be arranged nicely for everyday life. We had there all the essentials we needed for the baby such as food, snacks, clothes change, and diapers, all at hand. We have even stored there our supply of soft drinks. Right next to the water tank and backseat there was a place where we kept baby carrier and stroller.
Our campervan came equipped with a large water tank, so there was no need to buy bottled water. We could simply refill the tank every now and then. In our case, we needed it maybe every fourth day on average and we always have found a campground with a free water refill place.
Interested in other ROAD TRIPS around the world? CHECK OUT:
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– SPAIN: Road Trip – 5 Days in Asturias
– UK Road Trip Tips
– AUSTRALIA – Adelaide to Melbourne Road Trip with Great Ocean Road Itinerary
– Comparing the Best Motorhome & Campervan Hire – NEW ZEALAND
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There was a fridge too! A crucial feature for warm days. It kept our fruits, meat, and veggies fresh when we ventured off the grid and did not go to any shop for several days in a row. Also, you will really need a working fridge on your trip as New Zealand has plenty of nice locally crafted beers and ciders.
Kitchen & Utensils?
Under the bed, there was enough space to store our fully equipped portable kitchen. Two gas stoves, cutlery and crockery (plates, mugs, chopping board, frying pan, pots) nicely hidden away for most of the time except when it was lunchtime. Every hot meal needed to be prepared outside, so if it is raining and the campground has no cooking shelter (very few of them do not), then you need to be really quick. But other times, you have everything you may ask for in the rental campervan from Spaceships NZ for preparing a warm meal. After all, you deserve it after a long day of sightseeing.
For the planning of our trip, we had our smartphones. Thus, it was important for us to have a possibility to charge them at any time. The Spaceships have USB ports for charging small devices. The ports are powered from the same battery that keeps the refrigerator running, so you can use them even when not on the move.
Why Smaller is Better with Spaceships New Zealand
Another, probably not so obvious at first, the advantage of the Spaceships campervan rental, New Zealand, is the size of their cars. Thanks to being smaller than other campers, they can reach many of the roads were bigger campers struggle. We have had several such places on our way across the islands. Mostly in the South Island though, but here is an example from the North Island too.
It was a road to Cape Palliser seal colony. We saw other campers stopped at the end of the asphalt road. They were not able (or willing) to pass on a narrow gravel road with one place where one needs to ford a stream. Another place where we could easily go, even though a road is described everywhere as difficult to pass, was a road to Oparara Basin Arches. The bigger vehicles are anyways forbidden to enter the road, so if you would choose a large camper, you would miss the great arches.
Interested in more information on NEW ZEALAND? Check out:
ROAD TRIP INFO:
– Comparing the BEST Motorhome & Campervan Hire – New Zealand
– REVIEW: Kiwi Campers and Happy Campers NZ
– REVIEW: Maui Campervan New Zealand
– REVIEW: Spaceship Beta Campervan
– REVIEW: Spaceships Rocket Campervan
– REVIEW: Wilderness NZ (motorhome company)
– How to Save Substantial Money Using Bookme NZ
– Work Abroad In New Zealand
Parking & Freedom Camping
Also, the size of the vehicle was a blessing on some of the parking spots in towns. There would be literally no place to park a bigger car. It would not fit in between the other vehicles. And in some places, the places were very limited. For instance, a parking place next to one of many waterfalls has space only for five vehicles to stay overnight, and the spots are not 6 meters long like some of the campers.
NOTE: Freedom Camping is ONLY allowed in New Zealand if the campervan your are travelling in is certified self contained. The Spaceships Beta is NOT certified self contained and therefore you can be fined if found freedom camping.
Travelling In Winter
We travelled across New Zealand in May, so the weather was rather pleasant and warm, but in the South Island, we got some days with snowfall and temperatures below freezing. All the Spaceships have bedding and linens included. Necessary items in case your luggage is limited when you fly in. The duvets were warm enough when the temperature outside was above zero. If it drops below, it might be worthy to carry your own sleeping bag. That’s what we did, and everyone had their own sleeping bag that proved to be useful for a couple of nights with wintry weather.
Campervans are substantially cheaper in winter. Check out rates and availability of Spaceships – HERE!
So, if you need a campervan hire in New Zealand, don’t hesitate to choose one from the Spaceships fleet. Solid and comfortable cars with all the little pieces of camping gear you may need during your trip to Aotearoa.