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This is where I’ve been living for the last two weeks.
The campervan is a pretty economical way to travel in New Zealand. The van cost NZ$39 per day and was a diesel, which sold for about NZ$0.97-1.04 per liter (there was also a NZ$3 per 100 km tax I had to pay at the end). The van came with bedding and cooking gear so I didn’t need to provide anything. The campsites I stayed at ran between NZ$12-20 per night. They had showers, internet terminals and kitchens. The combined savings for having your rental car be your lodging is probably worth it.
What I would have done differently is not made the drive back to Auckland. I would have just dropped the camper off in Queenstown and flown back to Auckland. Not only would I have saved money driving (and ferry fees) but I would have had several more days to see stuff as well.
I don’t want to have to drive back across Australia however….