New Zealand campervan hire | call 0800 772 237 or +6495262130 | email us | FAQ

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

20 October, 2019 - Updated Last updated on
10 February, 2022

Posted by Spaceships Crew

For a lot of travellers, a trip to New Zealand is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We all want to see and experience it all, so it makes sense to go for a one-way road trip and explore both islands of New Zealand. But did you know you can save heaps on that one-way road trip in New Zealand? If you plan your trip well. This blog post will help you out.

Don’t follow the crowd and go your own way

The biggest mistake roadtrippers make is doing the exact same thing as other travellers have done. Yes, your friends or the travellers you've met may have done a New Zealand road trip before, but did they plan the best trip or did they just follow in the footsteps of other travellers as well? Travelling from Auckland to Christchurch may make sense at first, but there is a better way to truly experience New Zealand.

Back in the day, it made sense to start in Auckland as the majority of the international airlines arrived in Auckland, but that has changed. Christchurch airport has been improved massively and more and more international airlines fly to this awesome city on the South Island. Have a look at the current flight deals and see how easy and cheap it is to fly to Christchurch.

Even if you decide to arrive in Auckland, a local flight to Christchurch is super cheap, usually from as low as $50 per person. See all flight deals in New Zealand.

Why Christchurch is a great place to start your road trip

Starting in Christchurch means you’re starting in the centre of where the action is. Canterbury, the Christchurch region or province, is famous for being the best place to start an action-packed road trip. The Christchurch area (Canterbury) was recently named one of the best six adventure destinations by National Geographic.

1. Save money

The biggest advantage of starting your road trip In Christchurch and going for a one-way road trip to Auckland is the fact that it’s cheaper. As the majority of travellers still go for a one-way road trip from Auckland to Christchurch, prices are often (read: most of the time) lower if you travel the other way around. It’s all about supply & demand, basic math. Have a look at campervan prices.

2. Same amazing scenery

Wanna know a secret? The scenery is exactly the same, no matter which one-way road trip you select. New Zealand scenery is amazing, from North to South and from South to North. You’ll be seeing the exact same things, doing the exact same awesome activities but you’ll be paying less for the whole trip.

NZ South Island road trip

Travel from Christchurch to Auckland and see the same amazing scenery

Select the right campervan rental company

No one likes extra fees or hidden costs. Why go for a campervan rental company that offers you a good deal, but as soon as you read the fine-print you’ll see all these hidden costs. Extra costs for sheets/linen or for cooking gear. Even worse, a hefty one-way fee when you want to drop off your campervan at a different location.

You’re in luck, the super-heroes of Spaceships are here to rescue you from these extra fees. We like to keep things as simple as possible. The price you see online is the price you’ll pay. There are absolutely no hidden fees at Spaceships. It’s one of our promises to you.

  • One-way is included in our low prices. Just book your road trip as a one-way road trip and you’ll see there are no one-way fees.
  • Costs for extra kilometres or road user charges? We don’t have ‘em. You’ll get unlimited mileage with every Spaceships campervan and no road user charges. No worries.
  • All the things needed for a good night sleep? Included as well. Pillows, duvet, sheets and more, it's all included.
  • Everything needed to create yummy meals is also included, all cooking gear like pans, utensils, plates, forks, knives etc. It’s all there. Even items to clean up your cooking mess and to do the dishes. And of course, the gas cooker and some gas canisters. We use generic camping gas canisters that can be bought at almost any camping or outdoor store in New Zealand. Or at DIY stores like Mitre10 or Bunnings. At our depots, we also have recycle-tables where fellow travellers have dropped left-overs from their trip, for example, half-full/half-empty gas canisters. Take what you can use from these tables, it's free.
  • Want your travel partner to be able to drive as well? Additional drivers can be added free of charge via our Online Check-in Portal (accessible after your Spaceships booking has been confirmed).

The Online-Check-in Portal is where the magic happens. For you. You’ll have all the power. You control your booking and can add or remove accessories, add an extra driver and even change the insurance level. Follow all steps of the Online Check-in and you’ll speed up the process at pick-up enormously. Less time at the depot means more time on the road. Have a look at how our pick-up process goes.

The best part of the Online-Check-in is that you can always come back to update your booking. There’s no end level to finish. Check-in opens when your booking is confirmed and closes when you pick up your campervan. You can make lots of changes to your booking in the time between. Easy as.

The only thing that can’t be done via the Online-Check-in is changing your travel dates. That will be done by one of our friendly crew members. Just contact us and we’ll make it happen. Making changes to your booking before pick-up is free of charge, it’s just subject to availability. There’s no fee to make these changes.

Kumara Spaceships tadaaaa

That's a Spaceship, a compact yet versatile campervan for your one-way road trip in New Zealand

Pick the right season

Summertime – between December and February – is the busiest time to the year in New Zealand. Especially around the holiday season, Christmas and New Year’s. Lots of travellers from the Northern Hemisphere want to experience a sunny Christmas, while many Kiwis will be having a few weeks off to enjoy their summer holiday.

By travelling to New Zealand a couple of weeks or months later, it’ll be less crowded and prices will be lower. Especially if you plan your road trip in March or April. The weather will still be great, often better than early in the summer season. New Zealand is famous for that late summer feeling and its Indian Summer.

If a low price is your main goal, you might want to consider doing that one-way road trip in winter. New Zealand isn’t a snowy or icy as some might think. Have a look at what a typical winter in New Zealand looks like.

New Zealand road trip in March: looks & feels like summer but prices are lower

New Zealand road trip in March: looks & feels like summer but prices are lower and fewer travellers

Is summer too expensive? Hack the summer!

If summer is the most important reason to come to New Zealand, make sure to hack the summer. There are a few tricks to lower the price of your campervan, even in summer and even on a one-way road trip.

As the Auckland to Christchurch is the most popular route, a route that sells out year after year for most rental companies, there is a simple travel hack that will save you heaps of money: split your one-way road trip into two separate trips:

  • 1x South Island campervan booking, pick-up and dropping off in Christchurch;
  • 1x North Island road trip by picking up and dropping off your campervan in Auckland.

You will save massive with this travel hack:

  • There’s no need for a ferry crossing, so that’s at least $258 you can keep in your pocket.
  • The price you’ll be paying for your rental campervan will be lower as a same depot trip has in general lower prices than a one-way trip from Auckland to Christchurch.
  • At Spaceships, we'll give you an extra loyalty discount when you book these 2 separate trips. See for more info about this loyalty deal.

You’ll save big with this travel hack… But what about the flight between Auckland and Christchurch or vice versa? If you book it in advance and are flexible on your travel date, you can snap up a great deal as these flights are priced from $50 per person. Have a look at how cheap these internal flights in New Zealand are. You’ll save more than you will spend on the domestic flight. It’ll be win-win.

It’s your road trip, make it the best one

Your trip to New Zealand should be the most amazing experience ever. But why pay more if it can be done cheaper? If you have some flexibility in your travel plans, your one-way road trip in New Zealand will be lots cheaper than what other travellers are paying. Other travellers that don’t know about these money-saving road trip tips and haven’t met Spaceships yet.

It is our goal to make sure you will have a great time in New Zealand. Don’t just go for a one-way road trip, go for a #spaceshipsroadtrip.

Book your campervan

Compare all campervans