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Enjoy a South Island Holiday on a Nelson campervan hire

Nelson is the perfect starting point for campervan hire in New Zealand, blessed with its location near a number of stunning landscapes and national parks. With the small but busy domestic Nelson Airport, it is easily reachable and has an adventurous, outdoorsy spirit that will get your road trip off to a great start. Begin an unforgettable campervan adventure with a motorhome hire in Nelson, New Zealand.


Tucked away at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, Nelson’s claims to fame include wonderful weather and beautiful natural assets. If the city’s proximity to the marvelous rolling hills and sandy beaches of Marlborough Sounds and amazing Abel Tasman National Park isn’t enough, it is an intimate and artsy urban centre which enjoys the most sunshine of any location in the country.


The Nelson Airport is just a short drive to the city centre. And from here, amazing road trips await, not just going to the Abel Tasman National Park, but also include Kahurangi National Park, and Rabbit Island. Canterbury and its capital, Christchurch is another popular spot to visit whether you be finishing or beginning a road trip. Drive down the West Coast to pay each of these beauties a visit with your Nelson NZ motorhome hire and see for yourself.


Roam around the city with your campervan hire Nelson.


A visit to the Nelson region is incomplete without a trip to the incredible Abel Tasman National Park.

Nelson City, Natural Playground


Facing the Tasman Bay, Central Nelson is neatly laid out on the banks of the Maitai River and is the second-oldest settled city in the country with a long history dating back to European settlement in 1841. With many Victorian-style houses and plentiful green areas, it is a good-looking place and home to boutiques, galleries, wonderful seafood restaurants and buzzing cafe culture. These are best experienced with a Nelson campervan rental as the flexibility and ease of transportation it offers allows tourists to better handle their schedules. Many Kiwis aspire to retire there, and it is the perfect location to begin an adventurous New Zealand campervan holiday.

Social Calendar


Despite its relatively small size, Nelson city festivals and events are a major attraction. They include a vast array of music and arts festivals, outdoor sporting events such as golf, harness racing and skydiving and even beach yoga. The climate obviously helps dictate the goodies on offer. If you love getting out there on a great location and friendly locals, Nelson is the place for you, so prepare your campervan hire to halt.

Eat Local


Fresh, local produce is a major selling point for Nelson’s dining scene! The city’s best restaurants make full use of the produce and meat from surrounding farmland, as well as the seafood which passes through the ports. These can also be hunted down at farmers’ markets – one of the top ten things to do. Fine dining is available, but casual, fresh and hearty fare is what Nelson does best - try the Beach Cafe and Bar, Gianni Pizza, the Playhouse Cafe and Paula’s Plate by New Zealand Masterchef contestant Paula Saengthian-Ngam. Be sure to park up your Nelson campervan hire and have a taste of these treats.


Nelson city and the surrounding areas are home to a number of boutique wineries, well known for their aromatic varieties. A bit further afield is the world-renowned Marlborough wine region - a leader in Sauvignon Blanc production. The city also has perfect conditions for growing hops, and craft breweries abound. In fact, Nelson has more of these per head of population than anywhere else in the country. Spend a day visiting these in your campervan for an unforgettable holiday experience- just make sure you have a sober driver before continuing on your campervan adventure!

What to Do In Nelson


There is a lot of art on offer in Nelson. A highlight is the World of Wearable Art Museum, which showcases the weird and wacky garments of this fashion festival now held in Wellington. The Sute Art Gallery is another famous place and one of the best places to visit. Wandering around the shops will also reveal many creations by local artisans and show you exactly ‘what to wear’. Escape your camper van Nelson and drop by this museum with your family and friends to witness this one-of-a-kind art.


A visit to the Nelson region is incomplete without a trip to the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. With inland forested mountains giving way to a coastline dotted with golden-sand coves, it is an area of great beauty and offers extensive recreation opportunities. Visitors enjoy kayaking tours, picnics, bushwalks and the much-loved Abel Tasman Coastal Track which takes 3-5 days to complete. Make your motorhome Nelson tour more memorable by coming here.


There are plenty of things to do in Nelson for a family with kids. Steer your rental campervan to see some zoo animals for the kids to learn and enjoy. Natureland is a small but charming zoo with low fences and a compact layout, perfect for the little ones. Tahunanui Beach near the Nelson Airport is excellent for safe swimming and is home to the Nelson Fun Park with hydroslides, bumper boats and mini golf. Older kids will likely enjoy horse trekking, paintball and quad bike tours offered by Happy Valley Adventures just out of town.

Recommended Holiday Parks and Campgrounds around Nelson


Aside from the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson's popular and highly recommended parks and recreation venues include:

  • Mapua Leisure Park

  • Golden Bay / Takaka Holiday Park

  • Nelson Lakes National Park

  • Queen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui

  • Kahurangi National Park

  • Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve

  • Abel Tasman Marahau Beach Camp

  • Bethany Park

  • Collingwood Holiday Park

Get Around


Downtown Nelson is easily walkable, and also easily driveable for those who have a car or motorhome rental. If you don’t have one yet, there are a lot of private campervan hire in Nelson from reputable rental companies so no need to worry where to get one. City buses are called NBuses, and they run services to Richmond, an outlying town considered part of Nelson - as well as four routes around the city itself. Local routes operate on a “Hail and Ride” system, where the bus will stop when hailed when it is safe to do so. Taxis are another option for transport, and if you are heading out of Nelson, intercity buses can take you almost anywhere - these include Abel Tasman Coachlines, Golden Bay Coachlines, Intercity and Naked Bus. Of course, campers for hire or a rental car provides the most freedom of movement.

Nelson, Sunshine Capital of New Zealand


Nelson’s temperate oceanic climate means cool winters and warm summers, and in practice, Nelson has one of the best climates in NZ, with an annual average of over 2400 hours of sunshine. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, so winter has plenty of beautiful sunny days as well - perfect for those who like the cold. Get on your Nelson campervans and experience the cool great weather.

Finding the perfect Nelson Campervan For You

There are a lot of suppliers for a campervan hire in the South Island. Rather than trawling through a dozen different websites, discover NZ motorhome rentals and see all your options in one place with Motorhome Republic. It is the easiest way to track down the best campervan rental for your road trip, offering great prices on a range of different rental companies on one simple site. There are many types of rental vehicles and motorhome hire brands available in Nelson - small sleeper vans to big RVs from companies including Maui New Zealand, Discover NZ Motorhomes, Freedom Campers, Go Wild Campervan Rentals, Kahurangi Motorhomes, Sleepavanz, Jucy New Zealand and Tui Campers.


Tips for the best Nelson Camper NZ holiday

Book and drive away in style and ease with these tips for campervanning in Nelson and surrounds.

  • Book your Nelson motorhomes well in advance to make sure you get the right camper rental for the right dates- they can sell out fast!

  • Keep in mind where you want to go. Some of the most spectacular spots in New Zealand are quite remote, so make sure your hire motorhomes Nelson company allows travel on gravel roads if you want to get off the beaten track.

  • Do some research on DOC campsites in the region- these simple campsites are inexpensive and often in some beautiful spots.

  • A GPS is a good add-on to your motorhome rental Nelson, especially for rural Southern Island roads.


Check out the city skyline and nearby forest in your motorhome hire Nelson.

Useful FAQs for Campervan Hire Nelson New Zealand


How old do you have to be to rent a campervan at Nelson Airport?

21 years old is the minimum age to rent motorhomes at Nelson Airport. There are a few rental companies which allow drivers 18 to 20 years of age, but may need additional documentation and even extra charges.


How do I pick up my campervan from Nelson Airport?

Many campervan Nelson rental companies offer free transfers from the airport to their pick up locations or depots. However, please bear in mind that such service is generally only available during regular business hours in the daytime, so make sure to coordinate with the rental company since they are sometimes closed on weekends and holidays.


Where is the nearest petrol station to refuel the campervan at Nelson Airport?

Mobil Tahunanui is the nearest petrol station from Nelson Airport, which is about five minutes away when driving. The gas stations Z Stoke Service Station and Caltex Bishopdale are also nearby.


Do I need a special driver's licence to drive in New Zealand?

No. You just need an updated driver's licence to book and drive NZ camper hire.


Can we bring our own child seat or booster seat when we hire a campervan in New Zealand?

Yes. You can bring your own child seat for your camper van hire Nelson road trip. Just make sure that the child/ booster seat has standard rating or approval as follows:

  • AU Standard

  • NZ Standard

  • European Standard

  • American Standard


What is included in my New Zealand campervan rental rate?

For majority of the campervan rental Nelson deals, the daily vehicle hire rates include unlimited mileage. All rental motorhomes / campervans are fully equipped with facilities and equipment for kitchen and general living, which form the industry standards.


How do I return the campervan rented from Nelson Airport?

If it's time to return your campervan, you just need to drop it off to the same location where you picked it up. Please make sure to abide by the agreed date and time which is usually during business hours of the depot.


Is one-way rentals allowed?

Yes, one way rentals are allowed. Most companies allow this with an additional fee. Please check the available drop off points for your campervan hire Nelson on our website.


What is the minimum rental period?

The minimum length when hiring a motorhome depends on the brand. There are exceptions to this depending on time of year and availability. Some restrictions to minimum rental periods over peak season travel may apply too. One-way rentals are usually restricted to a minimum of 14 days. Check out the various suppliers as these terms may vary.


How are the rental (hire) days charged?

Most campervan rental companies charge per calendar days. This means that the pick up date and drop off date are both counted as rental days. Take note that some suppliers in Nelson may have a minimum rental period. This means that you have to pay for the specified minimum number of days even if you only hire it overnight.