After spending two months back and forth on multiple camping adventures, I’ve become an expert on both road tripping around New Zealand and camping. The only hardship I’ve faced, ultimately, is spending my expenses wisely especially during my adventures. 

 Many people who come to New Zealand would’ve learnt that they must first get a working vehicle - a car or a campervan - to kickstart the journey. In order to be able to see the native forests, craggy volcanoes, gorgeous beaches, and for an adventure of a lifetime, this is the first step to take. 

 Making this happen at the most cost-effective rates is the challenge here. To help you out, we’ve gathered the best resources possible to create the best synergy for your camping adventure. These solutions proved to be helpful for my trip, it might vary for person-to-person, but we hope this guide can be useful for you.  

Buy a Car or Campervan 

Here are some of the websites I checked out when I was looking for options in terms of vehicle choices. There are many different options and functions available in each of the websites. Look through each of them thoroughly to see what fits you best.

Trademe.co.nz – One of the best sites to browse a range of different specs. 

Kiwiads.co.nz – Useful site with limited choices.

Turners.co.nz – An auction site which shows a report on the condition of all cars allowing you to make a more reliable and informed decision.

Backpackboards.co.nz – Backpackers try to sell their cars quick through this site (usually listed under Notices) but its difficult to determine the condition without car knowledge and a test run.

Gumtree.co.nz – Similar to backpacker boards.

Craigslist.org – Rarely used here in New Zealand, but you may get lucky.

Backpack-car.com – I didn’t use this one too much, but it’s worth a shot.

  In general, from the options that I was given, I noticed that the average prices would cost you around $5000 NZD for a decent option. There are of course slightly more inexpensive options available but might not have the best specs and functions if you’re looking for something that lasts. 

 


Apps for Finding a CampSites 

Looking for camp sites might be a Google search away, but there are so many options to choose from! The hardest thing about camping is not the weather, but finding the right trail. We all like to set high expectations and standards for ourselves, but you should always aim to start small and then increase your challenges as time passes. It is always good to familiarise yourself with some beginner hiking trails that meet your fitness level before you start attempting harder ones!  

To help you search more effectively, there are two most commonly used apps to help you locate a campsite. It is accessible online as well if you do not have a smartphone. The two apps are ‘Campermate’ and ‘Wikicamps’ as such. 

 For someone with an Apple device, I found it quite easy to browse through the apps above. Most of the time throughout the trip though, I utilised Campermate more than the latter, but Wikicamp can also be used on Windows devices so I downloaded both options. 

 Both apps function similarly and contain necessary information for finding the right campsite in just a click!

Pack well 

There are a few lists of essentials that are important for you to have a smooth hiking adventure when you visit the outdoors. Remember that it is always safety first. If you are traveling with a company, it is important that you ensure their safety too as it is always good to reassure the whole group at all given times. 

 Being able to navigate during the night is necessary especially during a hiking adventure. Imagine if your phone runs out of battery, the only way to help with navigation will be your headlamps. A headlamp is an ideal choice for most travelers since you do not have to carry anything with your bare hands. It keeps your hands free to do other chores if necessary and focus on more important tasks. An additional tip would be to always remember to carry additional batteries - pretty self-explanatory! 

 Remember to pack these essentials:  

  1. First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed).
  2. Knife: plus a gear repair kit.
  3. Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove.
  4. Shelter: carried at all times (can be a light emergency bivy).
  5. Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation.
    Pack what works for you. Some people like bars, some like sandwiches, there are no real rules. As long as it tastes good and does not take up much space in your bag, it is more than good to go! 



FAQ

1. What do you need for camping?

It ultimately depends on where you are going, for how long, whether you are hiking with anyone else(and if so, how experienced they are), how I’m getting there, what the weather forecast is, and other essential factors to keep in mind. 

 Despite the factors that come into play, there are critical materials that you have to bring. The general rule is to pack as light as you can, while bringing all the necessary requirements (some of which we’ve mentioned above). 

2. What are the best camping hacks?

  • Think about the wind. You want to be sheltered from it, if possible. 
  • Baby wipes. You’ll need them! 
  • Always bring extra tent stakes. Bad weather, unexpected consequences can come when you are deep in the New Zealand wilderness. If it rains, make sure to have enough shelter to protect yourself.  

3. Should you camp by yourself?

Only if it is absolutely necessary! Although there are a few benefits to camping by yourself, you should always camp with a partner for safety purposes.