Hey I would love some input on this from those who have done it - esp in peak season...
Renting a campervan out of Auckland in early Feb. I'm told they are toey with where you park them overnight.
If we plan where we head to at short notice (depending on swell conditions of course) will we have trouble finding a spot - or do we have to make an itenarary now and book in advance - which to me entirely defeats the purpose of having one.
Are they really gonna bang on your door in the middle of the night if you are in the 'wrong' spot?
Bucket list with the family (I've got a big bucket).
Good question mate.. I'm looking forward to finding more about this.
My experience is with the south island and we hired a camper van for 14 days. We didn't prebook any van parks but did get into one mid afternoon when travelling place to place because they seem to fill up to capacity each night. Pre booking in advance negates the advantage of a van in that if you find a spot you love you can pull over and stay a few days. For us that place was Wanaka.
RVs and camper vans were everywhere and the park kitchens (don't bother cooking in the van) are a sea of people from every corner of the globe each night. Parks in NZ are mostly very well equipped offering a level of service far greater than most parks here. We found local drivers and especially local truck drivers really relaxed and often pulled over to let us through on the very narrow roads (I'm talking south island, it might be different on the north).
The big issue for vans in NZ is they don't want you shitting in the bushes so if you have a RV with a toilet there are designated free camping sites (some still have basic toilets and showers). If you hire a van without a dunny you will be restricted to staying in full blown caravan/RV parks. I have no info on local reaction to staying in the parking lot of the local beach, don't think it would be good like here .... I'm thinking after you add all other costs up what's a couple of hundred more to the budget and staying in a local park. As I said they are very well equipped and you get to eat with some pretty cool people from around the world (and they provide drop stations to empty the RV's toilet cassette.
Enjoy, NZ is such a great place.
My wife and I did the North Island for a fortnight last December and had an absolute ball, there are waves everywhere but all swell dependant, Rags would have to be the best set up Ive ever seen but was flat when I was there.
Cant give too much away for fear of deportation upon return but seek and ye shall be fucken stoked.
We worked on a budget of $300 per day plus the camper and took half of it home with us, it is what you make of it.
2 weeks is nowhere near long enough but does give a taste, watch the swell maps and work it out.
Totally depends on where.
Each council/shire has different rules.
Basically the road most travelled will have the most restrictions re freedom camping ie the coromandel peninsula.
Where I live on the west coast freedom campers are fast pissing in their chips.
Clogging up surf break carparks with vans and shutting in the bushes.
Happy to answer questions.
NZ - did you write " shutting " in the bushes on purpose ?
Shouldn't it be people " pussing in their chups " ?
Yes blowin it was on purpiss
Didn't want to ruin it by over doing it.
Campervans and freedom camping is a contentious issue in NZ now.
If you know where to go you will be pleasantly surprised by how lax or non existent regulations are.
Was there in September, got one morning at Raglan that was very good, the rest was just touring with the family. Wasn't a surf trip.
Download the Campermate App - well worth it- and follow the rules, you wont have any troubles. Just be considerate of where you park.
Yeah agree with Inzider. I'm from Raglan and at the mo theres about 10 vans a night at manu bay carpark. Currently you're not meant to freedom camp but no ones checking right now. Maybe thats because it's holidays but normally there's a guy who checks. But there are heaps of places to freedom camp though but just be courteous and use the toilet. Those small Wicked campers with no dunny have been a huge problem and just about every rest area on the side of the road anywhere has crap and paper all through the bushes. So yes most councils are cracking down on it. And it might be a bit of a generalisation but the standard of competency coming out of camper surfers is pretty low. Some dangerous board throwaways etc in the last couple of days and a few been ordered into the beach. So stay in camp grounds to recharge batteries etc and get good cooking but a few days off the beaten track is good too. Btw i own one myself and pretty much don't stay in camp grounds but then I'm only away for 2 or 3 days at a time.
I'm south of rags and most freedom campers are not surfers
Just young euros on their OE
None the less try getting a park at some points and your hard pressed.
Probably more aggressive down here in terms of what craft you are allowed to ride at what spots.
Just this morning at a tiny rotary booksale I picked up a signed first edition copy of " Tales of the anglers El Dorado - New Zealand " by Zane Grey . Printed in 1926 . Good condition . Got it for $1 !
Look him up if you've never heard of him .
Anyway .....New Zealand looks amazing in the plate photographs. No one around. Incredible fishing. Old Zane loved the joint so there must be something in it.
Well the angling in the south is really good as the river systems are still Relatively clean as intensification of dairy is still behind that of the north where I would eat nothing from a river that has passed through farms
Most rivers in N island are too polluted to swim in. Sad but true
Get in quick as the south island is turning into a giant irrigated dairy farm and before too long the rivers will suffer the same fate as the north.
3 mates and I hired one of those Britz vans in 2005 so a fair while ago and spent two weeks chasing waves out of Auckland, Piha, Rags and and a few others and then over to the Coramandel and we scored BIG TIME! It was around mid-March and the water was warm enough for boardies or a springy if the wind got up. The only time we got moved on was when we parked up in some side street in Rags and the ranger off the record suggested we find this little beach down some bush road and camp at the beach there. Incidentally, we scored really nice waves there and the setting was lovely. So cool to grab food or cook something up, crack a few coldies from the fridge. Awesome way to travel.
We had no probs with the locals, the crew were super friendly everywhere and the lineups were all pretty chilled. Some red-hot surfers around too.
We did stay in a van park I think for maybe 2 nights just to fill up with water and charge the batteries from the mains supply but the rest was mostly free camping. Met some really nice people just by setting up a fire on the beach and other travellers would come and have beers and share food and chat. We always made sure we left the place pristine when we packed up though and we didn't get too raucous. We spent the longest time at a place called hotwater beach and after surfing you can dig in the sand and make a bath and fresh hot water would come bubbling up and you could have a warm bath. You could also swim out and get mussels from the rocks and cook them up with some butter, herbs and wine and have them with some bread- smashing!
NZ is fucking awesome- nicest people and such beautiful scenery. Surf is wicked too. Some quirky things too, they have this lemon and something soft drink that is really nice, chocolate covered pineapple lollies and the best fish and chips. Abalone fritters or pauwa or something like that and the nicest fish. Fuck, i could go on.
I could happily retire in NZ, just show a little respect and clean up after yourself and you'll be sweet.
Sadly, i never did find my Maori princess. My mate said I might find her at KFC but we didn't bother with that.
The sting in the tail , Zen.
In the land of the long winding left, there's a right hand point on the north island that is absolutely MIND BLOWING. Takes a bit to get to it. But it's up there with any right hand point you care to name.
good luck hunting.
Lemon and Paeroa
Make sure you rent a diesel
Petty ain't cheap
Take your own spade and time your low tide for after dark.
Yeah, inzider, about $1.90 aus per L
At least a dozen piss won't break the bank. Cheap beer at the supermarket
Don't forget ya sunscreen, the sun in NZ is Fucking brutal, be warned. Take heed
It's next level UV
Cheers for the replies and info! Really looking forward to getting a taste of it.
Funny how NZ is right there but I don't hear that many crew heading there for waves and adventure but by the looks of it there are many rewards to be found.
@inzider - I noticed that and did request a diesel. They made no promises. Thankfully it's a Britz Pod and not a Wucked Kimper.
Franz Joseph south island last month paid $2.30 a litre.
I think I know which one you're talking about, Sheepdog, and fully agree. A few other gems in the very close vicinity.
We only like well mannered OZ surfers.
So probably the reason not many come here .haha
But honestly why spend thousands chasing maybes when you can fly to bintangville and score pits in boardies
We dont have any coastline here
Move along nothing to see here
"Just this morning at a tiny rotary booksale I picked up a signed first edition copy of " Tales of the anglers El Dorado - New Zealand " by Zane Grey . Printed in 1926 . Good condition . Got it for $1 !"
I got that book, it's epic.
Also got a hardbound 1926 pocket edition of "Typhoon " by Joseph Conrad for a dollar.
Both look epic and I'm keen to get through what I'm into to start them. Great photos in the Zane Grey.
Sorry this post ain't about New Zealand.
Kiwis are probably my favourite nationality to surf with though. So there's that I suppose.
Get your carcass to raglan Next Week
Went to NZ for a month in '02 ended up staying a year, love the place. Stayed in a van for a fair bit of that time, some sites but more often free campsites. It was a while ago but at the time I didn't encounter any problems, just use your noggin when you park up for the night, don't make a mess etc. Found kiwis to be very friendly generally.
Plenty of waves, id head for the quietest looking place on the map, sounds obvious but easy to get sucked into the go to places. Not sure how long you are there for but the South Island is made for a campervan if you have the time. Things are/were so pristine you can virtually live off the land. Fishing is incredible, get a feed of paua at low think it was 10 per person per day. Freshwater streams full of fat eels and koura, 1 trap and a dead rabbit will do you. Pigs aplenty if you bump into the right people. Amazing what grows in the hills as well.
Can't remember the name of the place but we drove west from Wanaka and stayed on the coast for about a month, a deserted beach, waves, seafood on the fire. Old guys on quads every few days fishing. Rarely slept in the van in summer, under the stars and felt very safe.
There was a festival in Wanaka actually, Rippon, worth a look if you are there. Got lifted for some reason but had the sense to tuck my stash into the back seat of the car. Police were very friendly and agreed to give me a lift to the after party after the station and I retrieved my belongings from their car on the way. Met a lot of cool people on that trip. Good times.
Island bay writes "I think I know which one you're talking about, Sheepdog, and fully agree. A few other gems in the very close vicinity."
Nope...... No other gems in VERY close proximity.
Does it rhyme with tight sock sheepy?
Sheepy, I'll have a stab without giving too much away.
We scored this awesome right hand point, pretty playful on the outside going inside-out at the end section. Long rides, probs 150-200+ metres? We got there and there was only one longboarder out and then he came in and it was just the three of us.
Anyway, does this place have like a tree lined/forested traverse above the break kinda what you might get on the south coast or Tassie on the way to the jump off spot? does the wave run into a small tidal creek area where you can come in? And on one side of the creek is there a small caravan park with a few permanent cabins? I think the Kiwis call them 'Batches'.
I have no idea what this place was called but we scored big time and there was this random bloke videoing us (not Gary-G) and we went back to his van and had a few beers a played the vid back. Got the footage on a disc in some draw back home. Couldn't tell you how to get there if I tried and it was just sheer blind luck that we found this place but it was certainly one of the highlights of our time of many highlights in NZ.
Hey Inzider it was interesting to hear you mention the damage done by dairying.
I had a long chat to this Kiwi environmental scientist the other day who said the environment, especially water quality is in really poor shape. Disgraceful is the word she used.
She said the whole clean and green image of NZ is basically a hoax and because urban development is low and the mountains and coastline are scenic, people can't see the damage being done to the environment from dairy.
She said you don't hear much about it outside the country because the Govt has so much invested in that image but within the country itself it's becoming a big issue.
Is that true?
Inzider and Zen.
Any clue I give will have you all scrambling for maps.
But I can assure you, It is up there with ANY right hand point you care to mention. And grunty. Open aspect , works on a myriad of swell directions, when big breaks forever... also a smaller noosa like right on an inside cove. I've never been to South Africa. But J bay meets lennox.
100 percent freeride
And the govt wants to ramp up dairying more. It so fucked it's sad.
Where I live there is a fair bit of riparian planting and fencing of water ways but the damage done of over a hundred years of bad farming practices is going to take a long time to repair.
Ive walked hundreds of kms over dairy farms doing seismic survey and some farms are a disgrace.
The greenies cry about oil rigs who are regulated heavily and ignore the dairy industry who have fucked nearly every river in the north island beyond safe swimming levels.
Clean green NZ has been a marketing scam for some time now.
Hey Freeride, Yep dairying has become a big issue for water quality but it is probably being over played by a few scientists with vested interests. The big dairying areas are the Waikato and Taranaki but now also Canterbury and Southland too. It's really disappointing to me to see so many streams and rivers unfenced in the Taranaki area and cattle standing in rivers and crapping everywhere. In the Raglan catchment the local harbour care crew has pretty much fenced every tributary of every stream that flows into it and over the last 15 years it's made a significant improvement to the harbour. You can catch good snapper and gurnard in the harbour again. I'm pretty sure the dairying issue is being over played a bit though. The Waikato river goes through many towns and cities on it's way to the sea and every one of them puts their sewage into it after treatment and the big pulp mill in Tokoroa changes the river colour from clear to dark. So yep dairying is having an impact but the humans are worse. Sheepy, I've got it......and yeah it's good but a mission to get to!
Over played by who pooman
My kids that can't swim in the river at the beach?
The native fish species dying off?
Over played my arse
How does your fencing in the Waikato stop nitrogen run off?
It's been estimated it takes 60 years or more for rainfall on the Alps to travel through the aquifers before it reaches the sea. The impact of dairying in the south is already a travesty and there is a time bomb slowly ticking
Fuck fonterra and their shareholders and the govt for letting them Fuck our water for generations to come
Inzider, I think it's grossly unfair to claim that 'The Greenies' are ignoring the dairy industry. It's the number 1 environmental and economic issue raised by The Green Party, Greenpeace etc. Offshore exploration only pops up every now and then.
And Poo-man, you're saying exactly what Federated Farmers, Fonterra, and the rest of the dairy lobby want people to hear and think, but it's not true. Have a look at what rivers are now deemed unswimmable and see how many cities or big towns they pass through. Yep, hardly any. Lots of dairy land, however. Heck, even Lake Taupo was off-limits to swimmers around Christmas!
There's a lot of great things about NZ and Kiwis; unfortunately we insist on being stubborn and stupid and not listening to foreign experts who've seen these issues decades ago and have readily implementable solutions.
Sheepdog, now you have me thoroughly intrigued! I can think of a spot that ticks many of those boxes except 'grunty' - unless you caught it on a very long-period swell.
Zenagain, which coast were you on, just quietly?
Never seen a protest outside a dairy farm
Seen plenty outside oil rigs
Maybe that's because there are thousands of dairy farms and only a few oil rigs, i.e. they are a more obvious target for protests. It's very hard to identify individual dairy farms to protest at, the issue being a more widespread and ongoing effect.
Dairy farming is, however, targeted in press and social media on a daily basis.
poo man..... Yeah..... Bit of a mission... Tassie, vicco, S.A and NW Wa hard nuts wouldn't whinge though.. A walk in the park for them. But ya average NSW or Qld dude used to checking the line up from the front seat of the car? Nahhhhhh.... Too much effort.... too many easier options.... And thats a great thing
Island Bay, in answer to your question above- East Coast but couldn't tell you where as I can't remember myself. We just lucked in on that trip, surfed a dying swell on the West Coast for three days and then got pumping waves on the east for ten straight days.
Hey Inzider, I'm not trying to defend dairying. It's just that some of the most polluted rivers are nowhere near dairy farms, think Tukituki in the Hawkes Bay etc. The faecal coliform count as a measure of pollution doesn't matter whether it's humans or sheep or cattle or dogs. And the Waikato river has apparently around 80% of it's pollution caused by humans. So yeah that other 20% is farming and that has to improve too but so do all the towns sewage systems that dump into the river as well. And that's a big cost as the ratepayers are all going to have to pay for upgrades and no one wants to pay higher rates.
But yeah I hear you on those Taranaki rivers. Every time I walk across one of those creeks or streams to Wiseys or Graveyards or Mangahume then they just seem so polluted and I wouldn't let my kids swim in them either. I know the Nitrogen leaching is a longer term issue but at least fence the streams and get the cattle out of them. So no I'm not defending the dairy industry.
Sheepy, yep I got it. Best Right in NZ I say!
NZ has been on my bucket list too. Would love to do a couple of weeks in a van touring the north island mainly. Not sure if I'm up to south island for the cold. Presumably any time from now into about April would be the best for weather, and options east and west coast depending on synoptics.
Would be worth it. Actually, would like to do a couple of months to really get around.
Perhaps another retirement option.
Have done a couple of NZ surf trips now, have had great waves around the north island but have been skunked on the south island twice. Sleeping in a van is fine if you keep a low profile.
Hoping for another north island trip this year.
poo man.... There is another right..... I'd class it almost a novelty wave. Tiny swell window. Not super well known, but well known enough that whenever it breaks, it's packed. During cyclone season, right starved naturals wait, chewing their nails, pacing around like mad men. even less consistent than Boiling pot.. But probably better.
Yep Sheepy I love those novelty waves. There's a few not far from the biggest city that only break few days a year but can be all time. Tiny swell window and with the right direction, they're very good. The one you're thinking of is east coast maybe 5 hours south of Auckland? I've had that pretty good too but just doesn't get above about 4 foot due to the window