One advantage of living in Christchurch is that many people start their campervan journey in Auckland and fly out from Christchurch, leaving their campervan here. Many of the campervan companies will offer relocation incentives, such as free petrol and a free ferry to get the campervan back to Auckland.
A while back I used the website www.transfercar.co.nz to relocate a campervan from Christchurch to Auckland. I drove north on State Highway 1, aside from a detour to Whanganui and around the Bay of Plenty.
These trips allow me to capture new GPS coordinates which to add to the CamperMate database.
Signing up to relocate the campervan
I’ve been a little dubious in the past about going on these campervan relocation websites. Quite often there’s a long registration process that quite often makes you feel as though you’re applying for a home loan! I was quite surprised about how it all works with Transfercar.
Yes, you have to sign up and give some details, but the process works. Once you sign up and select your vehicle, you have to pay a deposit with your credit card. The vehicle rental company gets a message from the booking system. They can then confirm the trip via email with details for the pick-up time and location.
The vehicle I was relocating was a Lucky Rentals campervan, which I picked up from near the Christchurch airport. They treat you as a paying customer, which is nice!
On the road
Within 5 minutes, I was on the road, cruising past Belfast (a northern suburb of Christchurch) and heading toward Kaikoura in a Toyota Estima.
With the ferry booked out for that evening, I took it easy getting to Picton. I rolled through Kaikoura and saw the best dive conditions I had seen in a while. Sadly, I hadn’t packed my diving gear!
Not all was lost, since the flat conditions made for a wonderful ferry crossing between Picton and Wellington. The photo below is the last bit of the South Island you sail past before heading into the open seas.
Arriving into Wellington around 9 am, it was off toward Whanganui on the West Coast. The great thing about owning (or relocating) a campervan is that you have the freedom to cruise wherever you want. When you have the knowledge of where you can camp, you’ll be okay!
For the journey, I used the CamperMate app to find the campsites along the way. I took the Kaurangaroa Road toward Hunterville, because it doesn’t get much traffic, and stopped off for lunch along the way.
Once you’re past Hunterville, you’re in the Waikato region. I have to say this was one of the highlights of the trip! The lakes, like Arapuni and Karapiro, were just amazing. There are also lots of designated freedom campsites available for self-contained vehicles.
Bay of Plenty to Auckland
After the Waikato region, it was a side-step over to Bay of Plenty. It is nice to be cruising past golden sand beaches, driving north under the hot sun. Relocating a campervan is a breeze!
As I was now close enough to Auckland to plan my last stint, it was time to look at the CamperMate road alerts. Sure enough, a concrete truck had overturned on the southern motorway. This was blocking off all three lanes into Auckland.
So, not being a fan of being stuck in traffic, I decided to stay put for an hour out of Auckland at Orere. I would complete the relocation journey by dropping off the campervan the following day.
At 9 am I started my journey in on the final day of the vehicle relocation. I drove to the Lucky Rentals depot near Auckland Airport. That’s where you need to clean up the vehicle, and I used their skip on-site to get rid of any rubbish.
I signed the return form, handed the keys over and they dropped me to the airport. That whole process took me about 10 minutes. The entire process of relocating the vehicle was pretty seamless and a thoroughly enjoyable journey which benefits both the company and the user. It gets my thumbs up.