If you are thinking of setting off on a New Zealand road trip, hiring a campervan is a great option for any type of traveler. Not only is it the most fun and adventurous way to travel, but it also enables you to camp amongst nature, and often completely for free.
A campervan is like a home on wheels. Depending on your setup, you can cook, sleep, store your essentials, and get around all in one convenient package.
The only problem is that it can be quite challenging to find the right campervan rental company in the Queenstown area. Since most campervan rental companies operate out of Auckland or Christchurch, many travelers find themselves paying hefty transfer or relocation fees if they want to explore Queenstown from the road.
To make the right campervan choice, it’s crucial to do your homework. Consider factors like cost, number of people in your party, campervan features, and the company’s relocation rules when selecting the most effective campervan option for you.
Which is why I’ve written this blog! Here, I’ve cherry-picked a list of the best campervan rental companies in Queenstown, complete with all the fine print details to help maximize your experience.
Without further ado, here are the 5 best campervan rentals in Queenstown!
Why Rent a Campervan in Queenstown?
Did you know that Queenstown is one of the best places to start a road trip on the South Island? From Queenstown, you can set off on an epic road trip hitting up the top destinations on the South Island along the way.
Freedom camping — a unique, cost-free style of accommodation that’s been available throughout New Zealand for decades — makes it incredibly easy to travel around the country on a budget. Keep in mind that most freedom camping grounds around New Zealand will require certified self-contained campervans or recreational vehicles in order to allow you to stay overnight. This may be an important consideration in your campervan selection (more on that below), since freedom camping is a convenient, no-cost option for campervan travel and accommodation.
Offering low cost and maximum flexibility, it’s no wonder campervanning is one of the most popular modes of travel among travelers who visit the stunning alpine scenery of Queenstown.
Conveniently situated near New Zealand’s most alluring hotspots like Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Christchurch, Wanaka, Dunedin, and the West Coast, Queenstown is the perfect place to begin a South Island road trip. As one of the country’s most drivable cities, it’s surrounded by scenic roads, sweeping vistas, and other gorgeous destinations that are only accessible by car.
Now, let’s find you the right set of wheels for your Queenstown adventure — without breaking the bank. Here are the top rental companies to consider when choosing a campervan in Queenstown.
Important Factors to Consider before Renting a Campervan in Queenstown
Is your campervan self-contained certified?
Self-contained campervans allow you to freedom camp (camp for free in certain areas.) Self-contained certified campervans are required to have their own enclosed plumbing systems. Most freedom camping sites will also require that you display a self-contained certification sticker in an easy-to-see spot outside the campervan.
The popularity of self-contained campervans means that most campervan rentals in Queenstown do have this feature, but not all. So, it is definitely something to look out for if you plan on camping for free at all.
How many people are you traveling with?
Every campervan is different when it comes to how many people it will sleep. The cheapest campervans will comfortably sleep two people (as long as you don’t mind sharing a double bed), whereas the larger and more expensive campervans can sleep up to four. You need to ensure that the campervan rental you choose in Queenstown can sleep the number of people you plan on traveling with.
If you need space for more people, then you should consider renting a motorhome instead. Read my blog about renting a motorhome in New Zealand for all of the details.
What is your drop-off location?
Not every campervan rental company has drop-off locations everywhere in New Zealand. So, be sure to plan your starting and end point carefully and ensure the company you chose can accommodate this. If not, you can face hefty relocation fees!
Also, make sure to drop off your campervan in the same place you picked it up to save a little cash. The cheapest campervan rental deals in Queenstown almost always include both picking up and dropping off your campervan in Queenstown.
Hot Tip: Compare all campervans available for rent in Queenstown on Motorhome Republic! Their booking system lets you easily compare various models, companies, prices, and features all in one easy place.
5 Best Campervan Rental Companies in Queenstown
- Price: Starting from around $30 NZD per night (during low season when renting for over a week)
- Pick-up/Drop-off Locations: Queenstown Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport, Auckland City, Auckland Airport
- Types of Campervans on offer: 2-person, 3-person- and 4-person campervans. Most are self-contained certified.
JUCY Rentals is a large campervan rental supplier in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Since 2001, JUCY has become the hallmark of Queenstown’s vibrant campervan culture. These hard-to-miss vehicles can be found traversing the South Island in all their green and purple glory.
JUCY’s easy-to-recognize color scheme is a feature of their entire campervan fleet, and it’s made for some of the best marketing in the industry. Even from a great distance (especially across Queenstown’s sweeping landscapes), it’s impossible not to see JUCY’s unmistakable green and purple insignia.
So, what types of campervans are on offer? With JUCY’s generous fleet, you’ve got a wide selection of campervans to suit your specific needs.
Choose from a range of 2-person Toyota Estima, 3-person Toyota Hiace, and 4-person Toyota Hiace campervans. Each model is spacious and reliable, and depending on the size of your group, you can select larger vans for extended travel. Most of JUCY’s campervan models are self-contained, which means that you’ll have running water and sanitation on board.
Some JUCY campervan models even include drinking water and cooking gear, so you’re all set for longer journeys into Queenstown’s more remote areas. Prices vary based on the type of campervan you select and the duration of your trip.
Start with easy pickup right at Queenstown Airport, just a 10-minute drive from Queenstown Central. And if you’re not sure where you might end up in your travels, don’t worry – you can drop the van off at a different destination once you’re done. JUCY receives campervan returns in Auckland, Christchurch, or right back where you started.
It’s no wonder JUCY is one of the most popular campervan rental companies in Queenstown and throughout New Zealand.
2. Travellers Autobarn
- Price: Starting from around $25 NZD per night (during low season when renting for over a week) + $100 location fee
- Pick-up/Drop-off Locations: Frankton near the Queenstown Airport, Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch
- Types of Campervans on offer: A range of campervans that sleep anywhere from 2-5 people. Most are self-contained with a few smaller and cheaper options that are not.
A Queenstown favorite since 1993, Travellers Autobarn is an Australian campervan company offering a fleet of well-equipped campervans to suit all shapes and sizes of travel around Aotearoa.
A great option for backpackers and budget travelers, planning a Queenstown self-drive trip with Travellers Autobarn has something for everyone. With portable toilet options, 24/7 roadside assistance, and unlimited kilometers, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a sensible option for you.
Daily rates range from $29 to $85 for Toyota Estima, Toyota Hiace, and signature KuGA campervans, which can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 5 people. They offer discounts on long-term rentals, even on their larger campervan models.
One of the things I love most is that Travellers Autobarn offers convenient self-containment options on most of their campervan models. And while self-contained options are pretty standard to most campervan companies throughout New Zealand, their importance can’t be understated. Self-contained campervans offer the most ease and flexibility, as they allow you to visit and stay at dozens of dedicated freedom camping sites around the country.
Pick up your campervan right from their Queenstown Airport location and you’re free to drop it off at any of their locations around New Zealand. Convenient Saturday hours (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) also make it easy to plan your weekend trip.
And if payment flexibility is your thing, you can even book now and pay later.
When you combine flexible payment options with already-reasonable daily dates, you’ve got what is arguably Queenstown’s most affordable campervan rental company: Travellers Autobarn.
Related Read: Heading to Christchurch? Check out the best campervan rentals in Christchurch before you go!
- Price: Starting from around $95 NZD per night (during low season when renting for over a week)
- Pick-up/Drop-off Locations: Frankton near the Queenstown Airport, Christchurch, Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park, and Auckland
- Types of Campervans on offer: Larger campervans and motorhomes suited for 2-6 people. All models are self-contained.
You’re likely to find more than a few Britz campervans cruising around Queenstown’s surrounding scenic roads during your South Island road trip.
Well known for its large, luxury campervans that can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people, Britz has become one of Queenstown’s most popular campervan rental companies. For over 30 years, they’ve offered an impressive fleet of vehicles to suit every style, manner, and length of road travel across 16 branches worldwide.
Britz is arguably the king of convenience among the Queenstown campervan market. Many of the company’s campervan models offer refrigeration, gas bottles, advanced batteries, fixed awnings, built-in barbecues, solar power, and other compelling amenities. You can even hire bicycles right from Britz and fit them into some models.
Not sure where your road trip will take you? No problem – Britz makes travelers’ whimsy easy with branches located in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown, and even pop-up branches in partnership with TOP 10 Holiday Parks. Pick up your campervan in Queenstown and drop it off elsewhere with ease.
When it comes to onboarding, Britz’s method is unique. Before you arrive to pick up your campervan, the company requires you to download the THL Roadtrip app and watch a short show-through video about your chosen campervan ahead of your arrival. The app also features handy tips for planning and preparation, what to expect at pick-up, and comprehensive on-the-road ‘how to’ videos. Britz also guides you through preparing your campervan for a drop-off right from the app.
And if you’re not sure when to begin or end your road trip, worry not — Britz’s Queenstown branch is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., even on the weekends. Stroll in anytime to speak with their friendly staff and kick off your Queenstown campervan rental.
- Price: Starting from around $100 NZD per night (during low season when renting for over a week)
- Pick-up/Drop-off Locations: Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland
- Types of Campervans on offer: Newer models of larger campervans and motorhomes suited for 2-6 people. All models are self-contained and include various luxuries such as GPS systems.
For nearly 25 years, Maui has been a favorite among the New Zealand campervan community. The company expanded into Australia in the early 1990s, enhancing its fleet with state-of-the-art European Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen chassis.
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury in your campervanning experience, Maui surely has something for you. Owned by Tourism Holdings Ltd. (THL), the same company as Britz, Maui is considered THL’s luxury campervan rental affiliate.
One major appeal to Maui is that its campervans — which the company calls ‘motorhomes’ — are all self-contained, automatic, and guaranteed to be less than two and a half years old at the time of rental. And Maui’s range of campervan models can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 6 people — so you’ll have the flexibility to invite even more friends along on your Queenstown road trip.
All of Maui’s campervans come well equipped and feature a fridge, a sink, a gas stove, and a microwave, as well as hot and cold pressurized water. And, as any seasoned campervanner knows, these amenities are priceless when you’re on the road.
For added comfort and versatility, some Maui campervan models even feature a toilet and shower, and even outdoor awning extenders to maximize the space around your van. Choose from a wide selection of luxurious and convenient amenities when you shop for your Queenstown campervan rental.
And if extras are your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that every Maui campervan is fitted with a GPS navigation system — so you’ll never get lost once you hit the road. Maui even recommends popular routes around New Zealand, complete with must-do activities and sights for every adventurer, thrill enthusiast, and wine connoisseur in your group.
Because Maui is owned by the same company as Britz, they’ll also recommend that you download the THL Roadtrip app (which the two campervan companies both use) to access videos, tutorials, tips, and more during your trip.
As far as price, daily rates range from about $100 to $300, depending on your chosen campervan model and the duration of your trip. And with conveniently situated branches in Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland, Maui allows you to roam free without a worry about where to drop off your campervan.
Open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and even offering a convenient 9-person max airport shuttle Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Maui has logistics covered.
5. Mighty Campers
- Price: Starting from around $80 NZD per night (during low season when renting for over a week)
- Pick-up/Drop-off Locations: Queenstown Airport, Christchurch Airport, Auckland Airport
- Types of Campervans on offer: Campervans and budget-friendly motorhomes that sleep 2-6 people. All models are self-contained.
Another subsidiary of THL, Mighty Campers is a budget-friendly, sensible alternative for Queenstown explorers.
Catering to parties of 2 to 6 people, Mighty’s campervans come in a host of configurations that can be adjusted for day and night use. Stowaway tables, fold-out beds, and lots of storage mean that you can convert your daytime living space into a comfortable and spacious bedroom, all in a few swift adjustments.
Mighty even offers pet-friendly and child-friendly options, so your fluffy friends and little ones can come along for the ride, too.
And for the budget-conscious, Mighty’s pricing scheme does not disappoint. Starting at around $100 per day, you can rent a 2-berth campervan complete with a few sweet extras. Its well-appointed campervans come chock full of features, with optional rental add-ons like fan heaters, pre-paid fuel, and camping equipment.
It’s easy to see why Mighty Campers has made it into our top 5 best campervan rental companies in Queenstown.
Where to Go in Your Campervan Rental from Queenstown
There are so many amazing road trips you can embark on from Queenstown! Honestly, you might have a hard time choosing just one. Below I’ve listed a few of my personal favorites with a little info and links to my detailed blogs about the routes so that you can easily choose a couple.
- Queenstown to Wanaka – This short hour-long drive takes you along NZ’s highest highway to the cute town of Wanaka. Be sure to check out the best hikes in Wanaka when you’re there including the famous Roy’s Peak.
- Queenstown to Glenorchy – This is just a quick day trip from Queenstown at only 45-minutes long. There are plenty of awesome things to do in Glenorchy to explore once you’ve arrived too.
- Queenstown to Mount Cook – This is probably my top choice for a campervan road trip from Queenstown. Just be sure to give yourself a few days to explore Mount Cook National Park – it’s beautiful!
- Queenstown to Franz Josef – Head on over to the wild West Coast. As you drive through Mt Aspiring National Park you can check out some of the best waterfalls in New Zealand and other popular attractions like the Blue Pools before reaching Glacier Country! Spend a couple of nights in Franz Josef town exploring all the fun things to do and see.
- Queenstown to Christchurch – this road trip continues on past Mount Cook through Canterbury ending at the South Island’s largest city.
- Queenstown to Dunedin – Southland has lots to offer visitors. Expect wildlife, waterfalls, and stunning ocean vistas along this road tip. There are also lots of freedom camping spots on this route which is perfect for your campervan!
- Queenstown to Milford Sound – I did save the best for last. There is no better route than the one to Milford Sound. Enjoy Te Anau along the way and then stop at the best places on Milford Road in Fiordland National Park.
Must-Do Activities While in Queenstown
While in Queenstown there are plenty of other activities that will keep you busy… Honestly, there are so many it’ll be hard to choose which ones to do! Below are some of my favorites.
- Central Otago Wine Tour and Tasting – This is our personal favorite wine tour in Queenstown! It is one of the best values for money, for $204 NZD your tour bus will stop at 4 different boutique wineries in the Otago region that include a wide range of wine samples and a provided gourmet lunch platter. As you hop between wineries you’ll gaze out the window at spectacular views.
- TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise – This scenic and relaxing cruise in Queenstown is an activity great for any afternoon. The ship you will be cruising on is the Historic TSS Earnslaw and you will get to watch crew members add coal to the flames that power the vessel. Take in the mountain ranges and lush green valleys of Otago. You can also upgrade this tour here to include dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm.
- Queenstown Canyoning Adventure – Climb and jump off waterfalls, rappel, swim, and trek your way down a part of a Queenstown canyon with a qualified guide. This thrilling full-day activity is perfect for those who love adventure and exploration! As long as you aren’t afraid of heights and have a basic swimming ability you won’t need any other skills.
- Day Trip to Milford Sound With Picnic Lunch – This tour will give you the ultimate ability to explore the beauty of Milford Sound in Fjordland National Park. Not only will your guide stop at several impressive viewpoints on the way from Queenstown but there is also a Milford Sound cruise included. This small-group tour goes for $249 NZD a person and I think it’s a really great value for a more personalized experience.
- Extreme Jet Boating – Looking for a thrill? Jet Boating is one of New Zealand’s most unique activities. On the tour out of Queenstown, you’ll be able to zoom up the Shotover River through narrow canyons at high speeds and make 360-degree spins. Trust, me it’s epic!
Thanks for reading!
Whether you’re a budget traveler or looking for something a little more luxurious for your Queenstown road trip, you’ll find the perfect campervan rental in Queenstown.
I hope this list of the best campervan rentals in Queenstown helps you to have your most adventurous New Zealand road trip experience! Be sure to browse around to check out my other blogs about Queenstown – I have tons of info to share! Or see the popular guides I’ve listed down below.