Permanent residence in a motorhome can be an adventure in itself. From a much bigger house with many bedrooms, bathrooms, and probably a basement, you shift to a space of only a few hundred square feet.
It could be incredibly exciting but challenging as well, particularly if you are not used to such a lifestyle.
However, increasing inflation, hike in rental rates, and overall living expenses have compelled many individuals to consider this way of life. While many have taken the leap, others are still wondering whether it would be the right decision.
However, before deciding whether you want to live in a motorhome, it is important to find out if it is possible to move into a motorhome permanently in New Zealand and what aspects you need to consider in this regard.
If you have the same questions, continue reading to find out as we tackle the most pertinent questions about living permanently in a motorhome in New Zealand.
Is It Possible To Live In A Motorhome Permanently In New Zealand?
The most important consideration is the legal aspect of the situation and whether it is authorised to live in a motorhome permanently. The good news is that it is possible to maintain permanent residence in a motorhome. However, you cannot park your vehicle anywhere you want for an indeterminate amount of time.
While many NZ residents are under the impression that it is allowed to park the motorhome or put up a tent just about anywhere, that is certainly not the case.
There are two reasons why the permit is conditional. Firstly, numerous areas in the country are owned by individuals and are hence private property. Secondly, the State and respective municipalities have enforced regulations to prevent the mistreatment of tourist areas and maintain the important sites.
Therefore if you want to comply with the regulations and avoid being imposed with a penalty or fine, it is better to park your motorhome only in the authorised areas.
The general rule is that if you are looking for places to park your motorhome for the night, you can do so at designated camping areas, the campsites specified by the Department of Conservation, and privately paid campsites.
The great thing about all these authorised sites is that they are located in beautiful locations with fantastic views, and you will enjoy parking your motorhome there.
Authorised Motorhome Parking Areas In New Zealand
Here is a brief review of the options if you want to live in your motorhome in NZ:
Free Camping In New Zealand
The local municipalities and the State have designated specific areas where you can park your motorhome. You may find many options amidst nature in wooded areas, lakesides, or beaches. The good thing about these sites is that you can park there free of cost.
However, before you consider living in such a place, you must ensure that your motorhome is self-contained and you do not need to rely on your surroundings for toilet or water requirements.
If you want to park at such a place, ensure parking is authorised and that you are not violating the law.
Private Paid Motorhome Campsites
New Zealand has many small and big private campsites that offer quality services in exchange for a fee. You will find all the amenities and facilities like hot showers, a shared kitchen, electricity, and WIFI.
Department Of Conservation Campsites
The Department of Conservation has listed numerous campsites under different categories where residents can park their motorhomes. The DOC manages the camping areas that fall under the patronage of the State.
These sites vary in terms of services, and while some are free, others are paid sites depending on the nature of the services available.
The first kind of campsite is basic and can only be used if your vehicle is self-contained. Being free, you may not expect the site to have any necessary facilities for convenient living.
The next category, one grade up, is the standard campsites. You may find basic facilities at these sites, including a bathroom and cold showers. Some also have BBQ facilities and picnic tables.
Then we have scenic campsites located in the most beautiful places. These places have toilets, showers, and water facilities. Some also have kitchen areas, grills, and picnic tables.
The most equipped sites are the serviced campsites. These locations are equipped with garbage disposal points, kitchen areas, hot showers, and toilets. Many sites have picnic tables, BBQ and grill facilities, electricity, and laundry facilities.
As suggested earlier, the site’s price would depend on its nature and available facilities. If you are wondering how to find such sites, there is an easy solution.
If you are on the road and looking for a place to park your motorhome for the night, you can visit iSite (New Zealand’s tourist office) to get information on such locations in the vicinity.
You can also refer to applications like CampingNZ and Campermate to find a place last minute. These apps will guide you on which sites are free and which are privately paid sites.
If you are in the city and looking for a place to park, most cities in New Zealand allow both cars and motorhomes to park in public car parks. There are also places and private car parks, most supermarkets, where motorhomes are not allowed to park.
So, you may need to check before parking. Also, it is important to note that free parking is time-restricted in many places. In such an instance, you may prefer parking where you do not have to worry about paying by the hour.
That said, living in a motorhome can be a very gratifying experience once you get used to it. At the same time, it is important to adhere to the laws specified by the respective local council and State so you can live without any inconvenience.
How Much Does It Cost To Live On The Road In New Zealand?
The cost of living on the road in New Zealand widely depends on the travelling style and personal preferences. On average, it is estimated that the cost of living would vary anywhere between 10,000 and $$50,000 depending on the size of the family, spending preferences, and budget limitations.
How Much Is A Permanent Caravan Site In New Zealand?
The price for a permanent caravan site in New Zealand is variable and depends on the location and type of site, including the nature of facilities like toilets, bathrooms, communal kitchens, and laundry facilities, among others.
The average cost of an annually leased site can be anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. Caravan site holders can stay on these sites at any time they wish, for up to 12 to 13 weeks a year, depending on the agreement.