Cruising New Zealand In A Campervan With Your Canine Cobber – Cool?

camping-with-your-dogYou’re a dog lover. Your dog is a major part of your family. You’re thinking of travelling NZ in a campervan with your dog. You may have recently purchased a motorhome or caravan, or you’re thinking of renting one. Fantastic. Loads of walks, playing on the beach, swimming……

The reality is that you can include your pet in your travel around New Zealand, as long as you’re prepared. Taking your dog with you can close doors and make life harder than it has to be, and quite honestly, you may find it easier to book your dog at a boarding kennel or at various boarding kennels on your trip and take shorter trips around the area. To ask about our boarding facilities call 09 299 7415 or book your dog in with us. But don’t give up completely yet ….


Camping and travelling NZ in a campervan with your dog can be done. The key is research, preparation and flexibility.

Renting a campervan

Firstly, renting a campervan with a dog. Based on some quick research, that is not so easy.

“Can we take our dog?” Maui – “No”, Mighty Campers – “No”, Kea – “No”, Britz – “No”, Wilderness -“Yes, but with a $500 ‘deep clean’ surcharge”. SHAREaCAMPER, an organisation the rents out privately owner campervans says they believe furry friends should come along for the adventure, but as their vehicles are privately owned, it us up to each owner to decide if pets are allowed in their vehicle. If you do find a company that will allow dogs, you may have difficulty in finding camping grounds that accept pets. Some do, but a lot don’t.

Camping options

Essentially, National Parks, along with other areas that have populations of endangered species, do not allow dogs. When travelling with your dog through a national park, you need to research if you can even stop there. That includes Egmont, Nelson Lakes, Franz Josef, and Mount Aspiring National Parks to name but a few. If you want to make the most of being able to see these places, you’re best to book your pet into a boarding kennel in advance.

There are other camping options: many private camping grounds will let you have your pet stay, but always on a leash. Although most of the camping grounds ran by the Department of Conservation will not allow you to bring pets, there are places where DOC will allow dogs on a leash. You can find out where via the DOC website. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/know-before-you-go/dog-access/where-can-i-take-my-dog/

If you can’t find a DOC campsite in the area you are exploring, some council campsites and holiday parks do allow dogs. We have put together a list of those that will welcome you and your four-legged friend with open arms. They welcome dogs, but clearly your dog can’t be left there alone.

Tips for camping or campervanning

campervan-travel-with-dogHere are a few tips to help make your holiday fun for you and your dog.

  • Just as you wouldn’t travel without wearing a seatbelt, neither should your dog. A well-fitted harness and seatbelt adaptor is a good idea, as is a secure carrier for smaller pooches.
  • Having you dog’s own bed with you is also a good idea. Every time you arrive at a new place, it will help you dog feel more familiar and safe.
  • If you’re lucky enough to own a motorhome or caravan, the great part of travelling with a pet means the hunt for dog-friendly places often leads to lesser-known spots you may never have taken the trouble to find otherwise.
  • Travelling around New Zealand with a dog may also mean tailoring your travels so you make the most of the more dog-friendly times in some areas and avoid the area in other times. For example, travelling round Coromandel in summer may be a brilliant time for people to make the most of the glorious beaches. Not so if you’re a dog. Most of the beaches are off limits to dogs between 9am and 6pm. The same applies to travelling in Northland; the beaches are unforgettable, but a huge majority of places do not allow dogs, largely because of the wildlife protection, the kiwi in particular. Be sure to check DOC’s website or the local council. Some areas are closed to dogs to protect wildlife or due to poison traps.

How to travel with a pet in New Zealand?

Many travellers are caught out when they arrive at a campsite and told their pooch isn’t welcome. If you’re staying at a campsite, it pays to assume dogs won’t be welcome, unless you’ve rung ahead and sought permission. Camping and travelling NZ in a campervan with your dog can be done, but remember, the key is research, preparation and flexibility.

Properly planning your trip with your dog is well worth the time and effort. Being prepared can mean the difference between a relaxed, enjoyable experience, and one filled with disappointment and stress.

Going to leave your dog with us in our boarding kennels? We can’t reinforce enough to our clients how important it is for them to organise summer and public holiday petcare plans well ahead of time. Call us on 09 299 7415 or book your dog in online.