Most campervans available for hire in New Zealand come with a range of equipment such as bedding, towels, cooking implements and crockery, but you will need to supplement this with your own gear and a trip to the supermarket. Here's a helpful checklist of things you should take on a campervan holiday in New Zealand:
There's nothing worse than having to use a wet towel! Although most campervan rentals come with towels, there will probably not be enough for spares. It's nice to have a separate towel for going to the beach, leaving your showering towel behind to dry.
Torches (and spare batteries for them)
These are essential. Not only are they useful if one member of the party needs something in the middle night and doesn't want to disturb the others sleeping in the campervan by turning on the light, they are needed for finding your way to toilet blocks in the darkness. Not all the toilets you encounter on your campervan trip will have electric lights, either. (Head torches are great in this situation.) Torches are also good if the battery of your campervan is running low and you want to conserve it by not using the lights.
Unless you are one of those rare people whom bugs never seem to bite, you will probably want to sleep with insect repellent on. Most campervan rentals do come with fly screens, but the determined sandfly, for example, can get through them and, especially in summer, you will not want to have the windows closed at night.
Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses
Relative to population, New Zealand has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. Trust us, you'll need these.
The very nature of a campervan holiday means driving long distances, an experience always improved by accompanying music. Most campervan rentals come with stereos.
Reading a book is a great compliment to a campervan holiday, either reading it by torchlight at night, or while sitting in the passenger seat on a long drive. There may come a time, when it is raining too heavily to leave the campervan; when you need to conserve the power supply and are therefore unable to charge your electronic devices, when you will be grateful for a good book.
This one seems obvious. Make sure you have enough memory space for all the photos and don't forget the charger.
I'm not saying you can't survive without the Internet, but it is good for uploading your photos as you go, keeping a blog of your adventures, researching where you are and places to go, booking campgrounds, and finding campervan dump stations and places where you can freedom camp.
Now a mobile phone is essential for safety reasons, but is also useful if you need to call the campervan company's breakdown line or book a campsite. Remember to bring its charger and to keep it topped up.
Method of travel sickness prevention
Even people who do not usually suffer from travel sickness can occasionally feel ill over long distances, or on particularly windy roads. Ask your pharmacist for some travel sickness tablets or acupressure bands.
Driver's licence and insurance information
Keep this with your credit card and emergency money. You should be able to use your normal driver's licence when driving a campervan, as long as the campervan isn't especially heavy and, if you are in a foreign country, your licence complies with that country's standards.
You'll always need them and they're good for cleaning up spills within the campervan.
Most campervan rentals come with televisions and, if not DVD players, you may be able hire or buy a portable player from the company.
You will want to buy the basic foods for making no-fuss, one-pot meals. Packet pastas and pot noodles are the easiest, if not the most healthy. Muesli bars are great for taking with you on long walks. Many campsites you stay at will have barbecues you can use, so you could even buy some steak, but keep in mind that storage and fridge space are very limited.
Plenty of clothes
You will want to make sure you pack plenty of clothes, as not every campground has laundry facilities. Also make sure you have some warm clothes and thick socks to put on at night, if the weather happens to turn, and some good, sturdy walking shoes. One of the points of campervanning is enjoying the great outdoors.
It is a good idea to take a lot of spare plastic bags with you. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a laundry bag for keeping your dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes while on the move, for putting any wet clothes in and for lining the campervan bin with.
Laundry powder and coins
When you do reach a campground with laundry facilities, make sure you have your own laundry powder and coins with which to operate the machines.
When packing your holiday gear, it is best not to use a hard-cased suitcase, as your bags will have to be squeezed into the campervan's limited storage space. Nothing can be left loose while the campervan is on the move. The best thing is to use a large rucksack for your clothes.
Day pack and water bottle
You will also need a smaller rucksack for taking with you on day trips. It's best to put your valuables in this and don't forget your water bottle.