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Explore with a Dunedin campervan rental
Dunedin is dynamic and varied: both a young and brash student town thanks to the major university located there, and a stately southern city with strong Scottish heritage. At the centre of that particular Venn diagram is, of course, a strong bar and pub scene—but there’s plenty to see and do during the day, too. Dunedin is also home to the world’s steepest street, a Royal Albatross Colony, New Zealand’s only castle, and several interesting museums.
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What you should know for your Dunedin campervan rental adventure
Dunedin is well-located to serve as a starting point for a road trip in the southern part of the South Island. Within half a day’s drive, you can discover the heights of Aoraki/Mount Cook, the jaw-dropping drowned valleys of Fiordland, the adrenaline-inducing activities of Queenstown, the remote prettiness of the Catlins Coast, and much more.
A guide to driving a motorhome from Dunedin
If you’re new to driving in Dunedin or to getting behind the wheel of a campervan, read on. These tips are intended to prepare you for a safe journey that’s memorable for all the right reasons!
- New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you are unused to this road layout, it pays to take an hour or two to practice on quiet roads before hitting the main highways.
- The South Island is spectacularly scenic, but it’s dangerous to drive while distracted! If you want to properly enjoy the views, pull over. There are plenty of lookouts and viewpoints from which you can safely marvel over the landscapes.
- You are likely to encounter some steep and winding sections of road, even on the main routes. Particularly in a big vehicle like a motorhome, it’s important to take extreme care and drive to the conditions. Vehicles travelling downhill should give way to those travelling uphill on narrow roads. Slow down before corners.
- Distances are posted in kilometres and speeds in kilometres per hour. The default speed limits are 50 kph in built-up areas and 100 kph on open roads, but these are very variable—you should always look for signs to tell you the correct limit in any given place.
Finally, we suggest that you always listen closely to any orientation provided when you pick up your Dunedin campervan hire. The depot staff can provide you with all the necessary information regarding the operation of the vehicle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when picking up or during your rental.
Planning your Dunedin motorhome road trip
In prime position towards the south of the South Island, Dunedin is a gateway to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful destinations. There is a multitude of places you could visit with your accommodation on wheels, each one as fabulous as the last.
The only problem with this many possibilities is deciding where to go first. We’ve listed a few regions within reach of Dunedin which could form the building blocks of an unforgettable road trip.
The Catlins and Invercargill
To the southwest of Dunedin is the Catlins, a coastal region with a wealth of natural assets to captivate visitors. Wild waves meet rugged cliffs interspersed with pretty bays and beaches, and inland you’ll find vast stretches of native forest sheltering waterfalls, lakes, and so much amazing flora and fauna. Spend a few days in the area to see the highlights which include the incredible views of Nugget Point, the Jurassic Forest at Curio Bay, the Waipapa Point Lighthouse, and pretty Pūrākaunui Falls. Beyond the Catlins is Invercargill, New Zealand’s most southerly city.
Central Otago/Lakes District
Directly inland from Dunedin towards the soaring Southern Alps is an amazing region full of sparkling lakes, snowy peaks, and bustling resort towns. At its centre is Queenstown, known as the “Adventure Capital of the World”. And packed with restaurants, bars, and fun Over the Crown Range is Wanaka, an outdoorsy lakeside town from which you can enjoy numerous fantastic hiking trails. There are also plenty of wineries in the area, and smaller centres where you can enjoy a slower pace such as Glenorchy, Cromwell, and historic Arrowtown.
Te Anau and Milford
From Dunedin it’s a 300-kilometre mostly-flat drive to Te Anau, a picturesque lakeside town that’s often used as a springboard for visits to Milford Sound and the Fiordland region. The one-and-a-half-hour drive between Te Anau and the Milford Sound township means it can be done as a day trip—but there are a few campgrounds where motorhome travellers can park for a night or two to further enjoy the stunning fiords in the area.
Head north of Dunedin and inland towards the mountain range and you’ll be at Aoraki Mount Cook Village within half a day’s drive. This lovely tourist village in the shadow of New Zealand’s highest peak is a centre for outdoor recreation: follow hiking trails to see glaciers and alpine lakes, head out on a kayaking adventure, take a scenic flight, or just marvel at the views. The icy blue Lake Pukaki is a stunning spot.
What our customers say
How much is it to hire a campervan in Dunedin?
The cost of a campervan hire in Dunedin NZ can vary greatly depending on the supplier and the type of vehicle. A small van sleeping two adults might cost NZD$110 per day, while a larger motorhome could cost up to NZD$300 per day during busy times.
To find the Dunedin camper to suit your budget, use the GoSee search engine and filter the results to pinpoint your price range.
How old do you have to be to rent a campervan in Dunedin?
A small number of suppliers will rent to those aged 18-20, although there is likely to be limited availability for these in Dunedin. Most will allow renters aged 21 and over. Some may charge an extra fee for renters under 25.
Can I rent a campervan one way from Dunedin?
Yes, companies with depots in more than one location will allow one-way journeys. These may incur a relocation fee.
When searching, specify your preferred pick-up location and drop-off location to see only the vehicles available for that trip.
Is there a minimum rental period when hiring a campervan in New Zealand?
Some rental suppliers have minimum rental periods. This may vary according to the time of year.
What driver’s license do I need to drive a campervan in New Zealand?
You may use a regular licence, no heavy vehicle qualifications are required. International visitors can use their home licence for up to 12 months, but if it is not written in English it should be accompanied by an accredited translation.
How are the rental (hire) days charged?
Most commonly, rentals are based on calendar days. This means that the day you pick and the day you drop off the vehicle are both counted as rental days.
What is included in my New Zealand campervan rental rate?
The inclusions of a rental rate will vary widely depending on the supplier and the vehicle. You can be confident that it will include the vehicle as described in the listing and—usually—unlimited kilometres. Petrol costs are not included, nor are campsite costs. Extras such as GPS units, car seats, camping equipment, and excess cover can often be added.
What is the best time to hire a campervan in Dunedin?
Summer (December to February) is often considered the best time of year to rent a campervan in Dunedin, with warm temperatures and a drier climate. Shoulder seasons can also be pleasant, and winter is cold but pretty, offering travellers the opportunity to enjoy snow sports in the Queenstown area.
Do I have to wash the vehicle before I return it?
You can read the terms and conditions of your rental agreement to ascertain the expectations for that particular supplier and vehicle. Most companies do not require that you wash the vehicle before returning it.
What is the speed limit in New Zealand?
The default speed limits are 50 kph in built-up or residential areas and 100 kph on highways and open roads. These are very variable and you should always look for signs to tell you the correct limit in any given place.