Winter school holidays in a motorhome rental
Make special memories with a school holiday road trip
What can you do when school’s out? Take the family on a motorhome rental adventure. Winter holidays in New Zealand and Australia fall in late June or early to mid July, and there’s no need to stay cooped up in the house when you can hit the road and experience everything your very own part of the world has to offer.
The list of family holiday ideas is endless when you book a motorhome rental in Australia or New Zealand. Hire in your hometown and get up close and personal with your region, or head somewhere new for an exciting road trip - you could even go across the ditch if flights are in the budget. Motorhome Republic is your one-stop shop when planning a wintertime adventure!
In Australia, mid-year break-up dates vary from state to state. The earliest is the Northern Territory, where school finishes on June 20 and begins again on July 19 for a four-week holiday. All the other states have two-week breaks, the latest being Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and ACT which are between July 4 and July 19.
In New Zealand, the nationwide system means all the kids are off at the same time for two weeks of holidays. In 2015, the winter break also takes place between July 4 and July 19.
Holidays mean travel high season, but the winter holidays draw fewer crowds - so there will be a wider range of available vehicles and you can snag the perfect motorhome rental for you and your family.
Sure, it can get cold in June and July Down Under, but don’t let that restrict your school holiday ideas. Travelling in winter means not only less people on the roads, but a distinct lack of mosquitoes and sunburn and the advantage of unique scenery created by the seasonal movement.
Colder weather offers up some opportunities not available during summer - namely, snow sports. In New Zealand’s Central Plateau and the Otago region are a number of world-class ski fields perfect for a family holiday, or even just to introduce the kiddos to snow for the first time with a bit of tobogganing. In Australia, ski fields are few but not very far between, clustered in the south-east corner of the country with the majority in Victoria. Pick up a motorhome rental in Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne or Hobart and you can hit the slopes for a fantastic school holiday adventure.
Parts of Australia are in the tropics, meaning they are warm year-round. In fact, winter is a great time to visit as the heat is a little more bearable. Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory are the best destinations for soaking up winter sun and you can visit the Whitsundays, dive on the Great Barrier Reef, explore the amazing Kakadu National Park and so much more. Pick-up points in the tropical north include Darwin, Cairns and Townsville.
New Zealand is home to plenty of geothermal activity, and natural hot springs are a great way to warm up a little in wintertime. Rotorua is a literal hotspot, with plenty of natural heat harnessed for visitors to enjoy. International arrivals can also take advantage of the cooler weather to spend time indoors admiring Rotorua’s many cultural attractions. Hanmer Springs in the South Island is a lovely spot with an extensive thermal pools complex, especially beautiful in the snow.
When booking your campervan or motorhome for a winter school holiday, you’ll need to ensure you get one with heating capabilities (unless of course you are in the north of Australia). With a group of people in close quarters, it is surprisingly easy to get the interior warm and keep it that way, as long as you have a little help from the heater. Consider booking a powered site when possible to give the batteries a break. Additionally, make sure you have plenty of blankets. If you are renting locally, it is easy to bring your bedding with you - if not, ask the rental company about including the extras in your booking.
You also need to be cautious when driving in winter, especially if you are not used to being behind the wheel of a motorhome. Reduce speed in the wet, take care on corners and get a little practice in when you first pick it up to determine things like stopping lengths and maneuverability. Just find some open space (perhaps a deserted industrial car park!) and put the vehicle through its paces so you feel comfortable.
A family holiday in winter can only be enhanced with careful packing - especially for a motorhome rental road trip. Warm clothes are top of the list, including thermal leggings and shirts if you are heading south of Auckland in New Zealand, or to any ski fields. A raincoat is also essential and plenty of towels. We also recommend bringing a doormat to keep as much mud and damp outside as possible. Plenty of plastic bags keep wet things contained, and a torch will come in handy as it gets darker earlier in winter.
Another advantage of a winter motorhome road trip is that rental rates are often much reduced outside of the peak summer season. A sleepervan from Auckland can cost as little as $30 per day, a 4-berth campervan only $45 per day and a mighty 6-berth (great for the whole family) less than $50. These are great prices when compared to summer premiums, and Motorhome Republic is always looking for the best deals to pass on to customers.
It’s important that you get the right vehicle and we are the experts when it comes to booking a motorhome. Our search engine will track down a range of options from a variety of local and international hire brands when you enter your dates, location and a few more details. On the results page you can see pictures, vehicle details, prices, review ratings and inclusions to help you come to a decision - and if you still can’t choose, our friendly team of reservation consultants is waiting to take your call, with freephone numbers in Australia, New Zealand and other countries around the globe.
Get the family together, book your motorhome and hit the road for a wonderful winter family holiday!