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Hire a campervan from Christchurch Airport for an unforgettable journey
With a motorhome rental from Christchurch, there is so much to see and do. The South Island is universally agreed to be the more scenic of New Zealand’s two big landmasses. And in a country that’s globally renowned for its natural beauty, that’s saying something! From the stunning peaks of the Southern Alps to the peaceful drowned valleys of Fiordland, wild west coast to laid-back, beachy Golden Bay, there are landscapes to capture anyone’s imagination.
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Campervan rental locations at Christchurch Airport
Motorhome rentals are available from Christchurch Airport and serviced by depots in the immediate vicinity of the terminals, in the Harewood area. Several suppliers with no depot nearby will arrange drop-off and pick-up service to the airport.
If you have booked a camper rental from Christchurch Airport, read your confirmation email carefully for pick-up instructions.
Essential information for your Christchurch Airport campervan hire
Christchurch International Airport (IATA: CHC) is the second-busiest airport in New Zealand and operates 24 hours a day, welcoming flights from around the country as well as select international flights. It has a single terminal and two perpendicular runways.
Inside the terminal, visitors will find a range of shops including duty-free stores. There are also plenty of places to eat, from sit-down restaurants to grab-and-go delis. In addition to the options inside the terminal, there are many more places to shop or dine in the retail precinct just a few minutes away. Services available include free WiFi, charging stations, ambassadors to help and guide travellers, ATMS and currency exchange, a prayer room, and a post box.
The airport has short-stay, long-stay, and express parking lots plus park-n-ride facilities.
A guide to driving your motorhome in and around Christchurch
For a fantastic trip in the scenic South Island, you’ll need to stay safe on the roads. The following tips and advice will help you do just that—but we recommend doing some of your own research on the road rules of New Zealand before hitting the highways.
- Always drive on the LEFT! If you need to, take some time to become accustomed to the road configuration.
- All distances will be posted in kilometres, and speeds in kilometres per hour.
- Christchurch is an urban area and can experience traffic congestion during the typical rush hours, particularly in the central suburbs. Avoid driving in your motorhome hire during commute times.
- Default speed limits in New Zealand are 50 kilometres per hour in built-up areas and 100 kilometres per hour on open roads. These are very subject to change, so always take note of and abide by the posted speed limit signs.
- Once you leave behind the long straights of Canterbury, you are likely to encounter some winding and steep roads. Drive carefully, particularly in bad weather. Brake before corners. Be aware of the size of your motorhome.
- Most of New Zealand’s highways go through small towns rather than bypassing them. Be prepared to slow down as speed limits change according to the setting.
- Mostly, many areas of Christchurch feel moderately cold during Autumn, from March to May.
- If you come across some particularly striking scenery (and you will), pull over to enjoy it. When driving, you should be concentrating on the road.
Perhaps our biggest pointer for anyone hiring a campervan in Christchurch is this: make the most of any orientation you are given when you pick up your vehicle! The depot staff will be the experts in driving and operating the motorhome. So pay attention to all of their instructions, ask any questions you have, and write things down to be fully prepared for that campervan journey.
Destination ideas for your road trip from Christchurch
Picking up a motorhome hire from Christchurch Airport is always the start of something amazing. Just going around near the airport, there is a holiday park or two which will catch your attention. Christchurch is the Garden City, and takes pride in national parks and natural wonders enhanced by its people resulting to a uniquely New Zealand setting.
And, there are plenty of other wonderful cities around the South Island to experience.
Head to pretty Picton in your campervan hire to explore the Marlborough Sounds and perhaps even cross Cook Strait to continue your adventures in the North Island. Cross the Alps to see Greymouth in a motorhome and the other beautiful locations along the remote but beautiful West Coast. Make your way south towards the world-famous Adventure Capital, Queenstown, or the bustling student city of Dunedin. Combine them all into one epic itinerary. Wherever you go, you’re in for an adventure.
Here are some of our favourite spots within half a day’s drive of Christchurch, to get you started.
Just an hour and a half from Christchurch is this charming french-influenced town with fascinating history and a beautiful setting on the shores of a sheltered harbour. Many visitors come here to swim with the Hector’s Dolphin pods and enjoy some fantastic food in the well-reviewed restaurants.
Less than two hours north of Christchurch you’ll find this lovely mountain resort blessed with a natural hot spring that forms the basis of its main attraction: a thermal pool and spa complex. There are also plenty of outdoor and adventure activities on offer here. Plus don't miss the performances of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra when they are around by the time you visit.
Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall
This stunning waterfall is a few hours from Christchurch, and the trip there is part of the attraction. State Highway 73 will take you through the Canterbury Plains and into foothills and then mountains, serving up some memorable vistas along the way. Stop by the rivers, catch some salmon and trout, and enjoy a campervan feast with family and friends.
Head north and hug the coast for a few hours to get to Kaikōura, a gorgeous seaside town known for its wildlife experiences—in particular, encounters with marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and seals. It’s also a great place to try some seafood. Kōura means crayfish in New Zealand’s native Māori language.
For some spectacular alpine lake scenery, travel three hours southwest to the lake (and town) called Tekapo. Fringed by lupins and backed by snowy peaks, it is one beautiful stretch of water. Come to the bumpy pump bike park for entertainment for the kids and kids at heart. And if you continue on State Highway 8 a little farther you’ll find an even bluer and more beautiful lake called Punakaiki. This area is also known as a Dark Sky reserve, with fantastic stargazing opportunities.
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How old do you have to be to rent a campervan at Christchurch Airport?
Some campervan hire Christchurch New Zealand suppliers will rent their vehicle to those aged 18 and over. Others require renters to be at least 21. Surcharges may apply for a driver under the age of 25.
How do I pick up my campervan from Christchurch Airport?
The information about how to pick up your campervan hire will be included in your rental confirmation, and it will differ between companies. Often, there will be a number to call upon arrival so you can arrange to be picked up and taken to the Christchurch branch, or have the vehicle dropped off to you. You may be required to find your own way to the depot.
If your rental supplier is operating with contactless pick-up, there will be alternative instructions. Campervan rentals picking up or even dropping off may incur extra charges on public holidays.
How do I drop off my campervan at Christchurch Airport?
Drop-off instructions should also be included in your rental confirmation, and you can double-check this when you pick up the vehicle. Generally, you will return the campervan hire to the Christchurch branch near the airport, or to the airport to be picked up by an employee.
What is included in my campervan rental rate?
New Zealand campervan rentals often have many inclusions with the standard daily rate. Common inclusions are bedding and linen, cutlery, unlimited mileage, and 24-hour assistance. These will, of course, vary between suppliers. Click into the search listing for campervan Christchurch Airport and look under “Included with standard rate” to see the inclusions for a particular vehicle.
Is there a minimum rental period?
Yes, some (but not all) vehicles have a minimum rental period—or more specifically, a minimum total price. This may mean that you get hire campervan Christchurch deals for three days but will still pay for five.
Is one-way rental available?
Yes, many campervan hire Christchurch Airport suppliers have depots or presence in other New Zealand cities and will allow a one-way rental. A fee may apply.
Does every driver have to be there on pick up of the campervan?
Yes, most suppliers require that all drivers, with their drivers’ licences, be there at the time of pick-up.
Do I have to return my campervan with a full gas bottle and fuel tank?
The campervan hire should be returned with a full fuel tank, but not gas bottle. A service fee may be applied at the time of booking to vehicles with gas cooking facilities.
How much is it to rent a campervan in NZ?
The cost of a campervan rental Christchurch NZ varies widely according to the supplier, vehicle, and time of year. The best campervan deals during winter can be as cheap as around NZD$25 per day for a small sleepervan, while luxury campervan rentals in the summer could cost NZD$450+ per day.
To see all of your motorhome hire Christchurch Airport options and find a rental that suits your budget, enter your details into the search panel above and use the filters to narrow the choices down.
What licence do I need to rent a campervan in NZ?
To rent a campervan in New Zealand you will need a full, valid driver’s licence from any country or International Driving Permit. No special classes of licence are needed.
An international licence can be used for up to one year.