Christchurch is known as the Garden City, and is currently undergoing a massive rebuild project after destructive earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
Hiring a motorhome in Christchurch
Christchurch is roughly in the middle of the east coast of the South Island, making it the perfect jumping point for any motorhome holiday. Motorhome Republic helps travellers choose from 34 fleets, with everything from budget and cheap campervan hire to luxurious RVs in the range. You can head away for a few days to closer areas such as Banks Peninsula and Hanmer Springs, or opt for a two, three, or four-week trip and visit areas as far south as Bluff or as far north as Nelson, or anywhere in between.
Where to go with your Campervan Hire from Christchurch
One of the closest spots is also one of the most quaint and picturesque in the country – Akaroa Harbour. Just one hour from the city over Banks Peninsula, Akaroa is a small seaside township with French origins that is perfect for a day or two of relaxed walks, boutique shopping and time spent on the water.
We can highly recommend a trip inland to Hanmer Springs, which less than two hours from Christchurch. This is where you’ll find glorious natural hot pools, beautiful walking tracks, and adventurous activities such as bungy jumping and jetboating.
On the coast two hours to the north of Christchurch lies Kaikoura, a place known for its exceptional seafood and whale watching opportunities. It’s a classic small-town New Zealand location and well-worth a visit if you’re driving through. For those looking for a campground within close proximity to Kaikoura's top attractions, Donegal House provides both powered and non-powered sites on beautiful facilities with a restaurant and bar.
To the west of Christchurch you can drive through the alps to Arthur’s Pass and on to the West Coast. These often-rainy locations will give you a glimpse of the wild south, and are dotted with scenic stops and walking tracks.
If you’re visiting during winter, Christchurch is close to plenty of fantastic ski fields for a few days on the slopes. Mt Hutt, Porter’s Pass and Mt Cheeseman are all within an hour or two of the city.
Head south of Christchurch in your campervan hire down the coast for 4.5 hours and you’ll reach Dunedin, a renowned university town with a famous Cadbury chocolate factory and a beautiful train station at its heart.
One of the most-visited and famous South Island attractions is the Fiordland National Park, which is an eight-hour drive from Christchurch in a motorhome rental. The area encompasses the fiords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, and is easily one of the most jaw-droppingly stunning places in New Zealand, if not the world.
Not far from Fiordland is Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Here you can hike, bungy jump, take a ride on a jetboat, sky dive, fish, go boating, zipline, and do just about any other adventure activity you can think of. In winter, the area becomes a snow bunny’s dream, as it’s surrounded by fantastic mountains such as Coronet Peak and Cardrona.
Best times to hire a campervan in Christchurch
Christchurch enjoys temperatures that make for a great campervan hire nz holiday year-round.
In summer, the city tends to be dry with temperatures reaching between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. In winter, temperatures can drop to as low as a handful of degrees, although snowfall to low levels is quite rare and doesn’t tend to stay on the ground for more than a day or two.
A city rebuilding… but with so much still to offer
Known as the ‘Garden City’ and located to the east of the South Island, a Campervan Hire from Christchurch is an ideal holiday for a number of reasons. Not only is it undergoing a rebirth after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but it is also the perfect launching point for a number of iconic New Zealand road trips.
On the banks of the Avon River, Christchurch is a region of parklands, galleries, historical buildings and a people with indomitable spirit. Despite the significant damage the earthquakes caused, the New York Times labelled it the ‘World’second-best place to visit’ in early 2014. Any journey to New Zealand would not be complete without a campervan rental in Christchurch.
Why should I travel to Christchurch?
Christchurch is special for a number of reasons. It has a uniquely European feel and there is a new energy and vibrancy about the region. The locals are determined not to let the natural tragedies of recent years keep them down. This means innovation is everywhere, with the Re:START outdoor retail precinct, new apartments and hotels completed, and of course all the outdoor activities and attractions still there for you if you want to try something different.
Top five things to do in Christchurch/Canterbury
Christchurch Gondola: Pretty self-explanatory, this special trip is just 15 minutes from the town centre at 10 Bridle Path Road. With a cafe and a ‘Shop at the Top’, there’s plenty more to do, as well as taking in the stunning sights of the Southern Alps.
Kaikoura: The whale-watching capital of the world, it’s only a couple of hours from Christchurch in your RV rental – and you can also get up close and personal with dolphins and fur seals. One of the most stunning, untouched natural havens on the planet.
Snow sports: One hour and 45 minutes west is Mt Hutt Ski Area on The Big Mountain. Whether you snowboard or ski, this family friendly mountain offers basic coaching, different terrain, advanced slopes and a fantastic welcome.
Golfing heaven: It’s not difficult to store your golf clubs in a motorhome hire, so if you want to hit the fairways, Canterbury has more than 40 courses in the region. Hagley Golf Club and Clearwater are just to options.
Boots made for walking: For those more active travellers, there are numerous walking routes in the local areas around Christchurch. Akaroa & Banks Peninsula is a particular highlight, just 90 mins away. From an ancient volcano to reserves and forest land, get planning and put your best foot forward. Or there’s Akaroa Jet Adventures, if you want to give your motorhome rental a rest and travel the ocean wave at high speed!
Taste sensations: Food and drink is a culture of its own in Canterbury, so if you fancy a change from the stove of your motorhome rental, indulge in a food and wine trail. They include North Canterbury, Selwyn and Mid Canterbury.
"Christchurch's culture is now one of creative regeneration, which makes it such an interesting place."
A Christchurch Overview
A truly remarkable city, Christchurch’s spirit is shining stronger than ever following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Innovation, combined with a typical Kiwi can-do attitude, has seen the Garden City blossom once more as it continues to regenerate. There are exciting new places to go, while things to do have sprung up in every neighbourhood.
Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the stunning South Island for those travelling by air. Punts glide down the Avon River, the rolling Port Hills guard the city to the south, and a short drive in your campervan hire will deliver some of the world’s best scenery.
Great Night's Sleep
Hotels in Christchurch are few, as the city centre was hardest hit by the earthquake. However, there are still options - a great one is the Pavilions Hotel in the new heart of the city, near Hagley Park. Backpackers, bed and breakfasts, motels and lodges are plentiful in the city suburbs. Travellers on a budget will love the Jailhouse accommodation - a funky and newly renovated hostel which was once Addington Prison. Although accommodation won't be such an issue once you've picked up your campervan rental.
The Arena for all Seasons
Christchurch hosts many events, covering a wide range of interests and communities. Canterbury Arena attracts big-name concerts and the arts scene is abuzz year-round with music, theatre and exhibitions, along with the city’s unique annual World Busker’s Festival. Sport highlights include cricket at the Hagley Oval, motorsport and the Christchurch Marathon. The biggest annual event is the Ellerslie Flower Show at North Hagley Park – one of the region’s top ten things to do.
A Variety of Tastes on the Menu
There are plenty of interesting eateries, with almost any kind of cuisine available. Meat and produce are usually fresh and delicious, courtesy of nearby farms and crops of the Canterbury Plains. Burmese restaurant Bodhi Tree can be found in Fendalton, with great vegetarian options available at the Lotus Heart on Saint Asaph Street. The Farmers’ Market is a Mecca for foodies. Parking may be limited if you are driving a campervan rental.
A Taste of Old England
Christchurch is at the heart of the Canterbury region, bounded by the beautiful braided Waimakariri River to the north, the Port Hills to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the east. Its central position in the South Island means that getting around is easy, and the city makes a great base for the exciting adventures on offer.
The people of Christchurch have shown to be resilient, and many have come from far afield to support the city. Those of European ancestry make up the majority of the city’s population and are mixed with a wide variety of Pacific peoples and ethnicities from all over the world.
The city has a stately, English feel to it, thanks partly to the Avon River and its elegant punts, but underneath that first impression lies a modern edge - a new shopping centre mall made entirely of shipping containers has been constructed, and you’ll find the iconic Court Theatre in a warehouse. An old refrigerator sits on a street corner containing books to be freely exchanged, a gap filler for the Christchurch library. The destroyed Cathedral, once the centrepoint of the CBD, has been replaced with a new house of worship constructed of sturdy cardboard tubes. Christchurch’s culture is now one of creative regeneration, which makes it such an interesting place.
The Great Outdoors
Hagley Park is 164 hectares of open space and gardens right in the central city. It is a Christchurch institution, and one of the best places to visit – not only for the lovely green space but also the golf course, botanic gardens and Canterbury Museum all located on the grounds. It also contains sports grounds and often hosts large-scale events.
The RE:START container mall provides a splash of colour and retail therapy on the edge of the CBD. The labyrinth of colourful refurbished containers showcases 30 retailers and cafés, both local and chains. There are also bars here for late-night entertainment. Other shipping container pop-ups can be seen in other parts of the city as a fun and temporary solution to the earthquake recovery process.
Day trips are a great option for those who have picked up their campervan hire. Where to visit? The lovely French-influenced town of Akaroa is an hour drive and is a pretty settlement in the natural Akaroa Harbour. Swimming with dolphins is a popular activity here. Woodend Beach also makes a good trip and a shorter one at only half an hour from the city. The ocean-facing beach is backed by a domain with a playground for the little ones and plenty of space for picnics, walks and general recreation.
A Wheely Good Deal
Bicycles are a popular transport option for locals in flat Christchurch, and there are operators who rent bikes so visitors can join in the fun and try a slightly different method of getting around. There is an extensive bus network through all suburbs. You will find Central Station on Lichfield Street, with an information kiosk and screens tracking bus movements. The iconic tramway is back on track and operates a small loop around the CBD. Long-distance coach companies, including Intercity and Naked Bus, can take you to other major South Island cities.
A Crisp Outlook for Christchurch
Christchurch’s climate is relatively temperate but can get very hot in summer. Winter sees snow falling on the city around once every two years. Some of the most spectacular days in the city are cold, clear winter mornings, when a frost on the ground generally indicates a beautifully crisp and sunny day.
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The best Christchurch options for hiring a camper
Christchurch Campervan Hire - Your gateway to a New Zealand adventure
There are so many choices for a campervan hire in Christchurch, with numerous companies offering special deals. The more in advance you can book, the more likely you are to get a great offer. Christchurch is a city in rebuild and is a fantastic location to base your South Island adventure from, whether you intend to head South and check out Queenstown, North via Kaikoura to the sunny locales of Nelson and Picton or straight across the Southern Alps to the West Coast to visit Glaciers and natural wonders, there really is no better location for your campervan rental to start than Christchurch. You may even wish to take a oneway campervan hire from Christchurch to Auckland, rest assured Motorhome Republic can get you a great deal.
Christchurch Campervan Rental Brands
Jucy Campervan Hire
Jucy Car Rentals and Campervan Hire is so close to Christchurch Airport that you could walk there in just twice the time it takes to drive the 1.6 kilometres. Located at 791 Wairakei Road in Harewood, this is the ideal location to get your off the plane and onto the road sooner. Plus, Jucy offers free transfers from the airport to make it that much easier. Your choice of campervan rentals from Jucy includes five options. The largest is the Jucy Casa, a fully equipped motorhome with on-board bathroom and space for four people to sleep. In the campervan category, there’s the two-berth Jucy Cabana that has the iconic Jucy brand colours. For something a little more spacious, check out the Jucy Condo or Chaser, both suited to four sleepers, and both with built-in bathrooms. Jucy’s Christchurch branch is open 8am to 6pm on weekdays and from 8am to 5pm during weekends.
Cheapa Campers, Real Value RV, Hippie Rentals, Apollo Campers, Star RV
All operating from the same location Cheapa, Real Value, Hippie, Apollo and Star RV are only 3.6 kilometres from Christchurch Airport at 24 Logistics Drive, Harewood. To get there, simply give your company a call once you’ve cleared customs and they will come and pick you up from the designated shuttle stop. Their hours of operation are 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday, and the city centre is only 10 kilometres. Star RV offers spacious and comfortable motorhomes, such as the six-berth Hercules RV, the four-berth Phoenix RV, and the two-berth Aquila RV, all fully equipped with kitchens and bathrooms and everything else you could need. At Apollo, you can pick up basic two-person campervans, hitops and tourers, or up-size and opt for a full RV with four or six berths for families and groups. Hippie Campers is different again, with three simple campervan options for those who enjoy funky graphic detailing and a good deal. Real Value RV also has two-, four-, and six-berth motorhomes, and Cheapa Campers has a little of everything with hitops and larger RVs as well. Note that pick ups or drop offs on public holidays will incur a $50 fee.
Spaceships Camper Hire
Spaceships Camper Hire has three campervans in its range, starting with an affordable Rocket 2 petrol camper with space for two and a basic set of cooking gear. The Beta 2 is Spaceships’ most popular camper hire, as it is very similar to the Rocket 2 but with a fridge/freezer, a side awning and dual slide door, and ABS brakes and airbags. The Beta 2S is the premium offering, as it doesn’t have the bright orange branding of the other two, but also has 40 per cent more space in the back when you remove the rear seat. For the Beta versions, you also get to pick two free DVDs to play during your trip, which you can swap with other Spaceship travellers! With all hires, you get specials on local activities and attractions, and plenty of information on campgrounds where you will be staying each night during your New Zealand adventure. The Spaceships depot is only 3.2 kilometres from Christchurch Airport at 28 Sheffield Crescent in Burnside, a trip you will make for free with your complimentary transfer service when you arrive. The office is open five days a week throughout May to the end of September from 9am to 4pm, and seven days a week throughout the warmer months from 9am to 5pm. Spaceships only closes on Christmas Day and January 1.
Britz, Maui Motorhomes, Mighty, United, Alpha, Kea
With so many awesome leading brands in one place, you’ve got the A-Z of campervans and motorhomes in New Zealand all under the one roof. Britz, Maui, Mighty, United, Alpha and Kea are located at 10 De Havilland Way, which is only 750 metres from the Christchurch’s international and domestic terminals (they are in the same building). You could walk it if you’re keen to stretch your legs after the flight, or you can take a free transfer to the depot. The office here is open every day of the week from 8am to 4.30pm, and is only closed on Christmas Day. The branch here has wifi, multilingual staff and bathrooms, and the closest supermarket is just 5 kilometres away on Memorial Ave in Fendalton. As for the motorhomes available, Britz sets the bar high with seven different options from two-person hitops to fully equipped six-berth motorhomes with two lounge areas and an on-board bathroom. Maui has a fleet of motorhomes all less than 2.5 years old, including two-, four-, and six-berth RVs. Mighty Campers comes to the party with several two-person campervans and a couple of four-berth RVs. United Campervans, Alpha Campervans and Kea Campers each add their own ranges of hitops, lowballs, RVs and everything in between for any traveller, any budget, any style, and any destination.
Kiwi Campers, Happy Campers, Pure Motorhomes
Happy Campers, Kiwi Campers and Pure Motorhomes are all situated just 3.6 kilometres from Christchurch Airport at 6 Export Ave in Harewood, which is a quick ride in your complimentary shuttle from Christchurch Airport. To organise, just give your rental company a call a week before the date and book the service. Note that this free transfer is only available from 10am to 3pm each day to coincide with the depot’s office hours. Kiwi Campers has a variety of vans and motorhomes to suit any number of travellers, from their two-berth campers (some with, some without bathrooms), to their Deluxe seven-berth Mitsubishi Canter with all the extras. Happy Campers will make you a happy camper with two-, three-, and four-berth campervans and motorhomes for a good price, and Pure Motorhomes adds another element to the mix with affordable two- and three-berth campers and RVs. Please note that all rentals must be returned on time in clean condition, with full fuel tanks and empty waste tanks.
Lucky Rentals keeps things affordable and simple with a basic range of campervans. You’ve got two-berth campers such as the Lucky Crib, which is the smallest and cheapest, as well as the Lucky Chaser, which is New Zealand’s smallest campervan that’s fitted with a toilet and shower. There are also a couples of three-person vans and a four-berth Cabana, which is a Jucy van just like the four-berth Jucy Condo. Lucky Rentals don’t have any age restrictions on their vehicles (so long as you have your licence), there’s no bond required and you get 24-hour roadside assistance throughout your trip. You’ll find Lucky in Christchurch at 104 Carmen Road, Russley, a depot that’s just 10 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from the city centre. To get there, you can grab a transfer for $10 each way for up to 3 people (just call 0800 808 881 on the day to book). The office is open 9am to 4.30pm every day of the week from October 1 to April 30.
Abuzzy is a campervan and motorhome rental company in Christchurch that thinks of the little extras for your comfort. For example, all the rentals come with flat-screen TVs with USB ports, and even the two-berth camper has a portable toilet and shower so you can enjoy the perks of a motorhome in their smallest of campervans. They also offer a two-berth Grand and an Ultimate, which are small motorhomes fitted with ovens, microwaves, hobs, bathrooms and fridges. Add to that two four-berth motorhomes and a six-berth luxury RV, and you have a huge range of comfortable homes on wheels. Continuing with the comfort theme, Abuzzy runs open hours from 8am to 6pm seven days a week, and offers a free drop off and pick up service from Christchurch Airport. Simply head to the international arrivals help desk once you’re through customs and give them a call for your trip to the depot at 582 Harewood Road just around the corner. If you don’t bring your rental back on time you will be charged $60 per hour, and remember to bring it back clean and tidy.
Backpacker sleepervans, Budget Campers, Freedom Campers and Tui Campers
All operating from 518 and 520 Wairakei Road in Burnside, these four leading campervan and motorhome rental companies have a smorgasbord of vehicles. They are only 3.4 kilometres - about 6 minutes by car - from Christchurch Airport, and offer a free shuttle service to pick you up and drop you off before and after your trip. In the busy summer season (October to end of April) the depot is open from 8am to 4.30pm every day, and in the low season they are open from 9am to 3.30pm, only closing on Christmas Day. Backpacker Sleepervans has a fleet of converted vans with bright adventure sport motifs on the sides, all ideal for two people to share and see some of New Zealand’s best on a budget. Budget Campers has the Finder (two-person van), the Seeker (two-person camper with bathroom), and the Escape (four-berth motorhome). Freedom Campers has everything from your basic campers to large five-berth motorhomes and 4WD bushcampers, and Tui runs the gamut with all of the above on the table.
Compass Campers and Wendekreisen Campervans and Motorhomes
Compass Campers has four awesome rental berth options to choose from. The largest are six-berth self-contained motorhomes with small kitchens and either auto or manual transmissions. Both four-berth options are also self-contained RVs and also have basic kitchen gear such as burners, microwaves and fridges. For travelling couples and pairs, there are plenty of two-berth options both with and without bathroom facilities. Wendekreisen adds a range of motorhomes and campervans, including a budget range of no-frill campers and RVs, and a deluxe range of stylish and spacious four- and six-berth homes on wheels. The depot for both Compass and Wendekreisen is at 240 Roydvale Ave in Burnside, a short seven-minute drive away from Christchurch Airport and 20 minutes from the city centre. Depot open hours run from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Sundays. You can pick up or drop off outside of these hours for an additional fee. As an added extra, these two brands offer free transfers from Christchurch Airport, and you can check-in online to save time when picking up your camper or RV rental.
Sleepavanz and Discover NZ Motorhome Rentals
For rentals from Sleepavanz and Discover NZ Motorhome Rentals you will need to organise a time with these companies to meet at either Christchurch Airport, or at your city hotel or motel. They will pick you up and give you a lift to their depot for a run-down on your camper or motorhome. They are open daily from 8am to 4.30pm, but also offer after-hours service from 6.30am to 10.30pm for an extra fee at the discretion of the company. Sleepavanz has a basic two-berth campervan for hire in Christchurch that can fit two adults, has auto transmission, airbags and a portable gas cooker, and it even comes with 24-hour roadside assistance and unlimited kilometres. Discover NZ Motorhome Rentals has a variety of berth sizes, from two person to seven person deluxe vehicles. Their standard rentals keep the price low with no added extras, while the deluxe versions have everything from DVD players to power steering.
Christchurch Motorhome Facts
Average rental length
Average 2 berth rental price
Top Christchurch Rentals Brands
Discover NZ Motorhomes
Superb, 91% 50+ reviews
Superb, 90% 50+ reviews
Kiwi Autohomes Motorhome Rental
Superb, 88% 20+ reviews
Pacific Horizon Travel Homes
Superb, 87% 10+ reviews
Maui Motorhomes NZ
Great, 87% 100+ reviews
Customer ratings for Discover NZ Motorhomes
Customer ratings for Spaceships NZ
Customer ratings for Kiwi Autohomes Motorhome Rental