Campervan Tourism Facts

Here are a few campervan tourism facts for you. Ever wondered exactly how many campervans are roaming around New Zealand and who exactly is hiring them?

Campervans on a Secluded Camping Park in New Zealand
Campervan Tourism on a Camping Park in New Zealand

In 2011 there were 64,000 campervans hired in New Zealand, 54,000 by international tourists and just over 10,000 by residents of New Zealand.

These huge figures show just how much people love having holidays in campervans in New Zealand.

The average number of adult occupants of a campervan was 2.2, although adult NZ residents that was an average of 2.1... less Kiwi adult occupants than international travellers.

Campervan tourism facts show that on average the campervan trip length for tourists was almost 20 days whereas for New Zealanders it was around 9 days (I guess this is a whole week that covers two weekends for those workers who have to get back to work and only have one week off). Basically, this makes an average of 18 days for all camper hirers.

The number of nights spent in campervans in total was nearly 2.5 million! With 2.3 million of those being international visitors and almost 200,000 campervan nights spent by New Zealanders.

2-3 Berth Hitop Camper Van in Wai-O-Tapu Car Park New Zealand
2-3 Berth Hitop Camper Van in New Zealand

Campervan Spend

The total amount of money spent by campervan holidaymakers was 486 million NZD, with 447 million of that figure being international spend and 38 million being spent by NZ residents.

On average, an international tourist adult spends around 3,800 New Zealand dollars on their holiday, whereas a New Zealander only spends approximately 1,790 NZD. That’s basically because the New Zealander does not spend as many days in a campervan as the international travellers do.

My guess is that if you are an international tourist you have probably been saving up for this holiday for a long time and if you are going to travel across the world, one week just wouldn’t be enough!

The assessment of money spent caters for the period of campervan hire from start to finish, and money spent prior to the camper hire period.

In other words, if you are an international visitor you may have other accommodation, food, activities, before you pick up your campervan or after you drop it off. It also caters for money spent on fuel, activities, meals out, drinks etc. during the hire period.

Comparison by Country

Out of the total of just under 64,000 campervans hired, over 18,000 were from Australia, making Australia residents the largest number of campervan hirers in 2011. Next came the New Zealanders at around 10,200, United Kingdom at 9,000, Germany at 6,660, Netherlands at 2,000, and other European countries at approx. 9,500, Americas at 3,500, and a mix other countries worldwide at 4,500.

The Netherlands, Germany, and United Kingdom seem to tour for the most numbers of days with Australians and New Zealand residents travelling for the least number of days. So my theory about the distance away from New Zealand encouraging more days of travel must be correct! Tourists from Europe, the other side of the world, want to make their time spent in NZ as long as they can possibly get off work, whereas Australians can just pop over for an extended week.

Although Australians have shorter holidays in NZ they seem to spend the most money, even though they are there for fewer days. I would say that means they spend less on campervan hire and more on actual activities! United Kingdom tourists spend the next highest amount of dollars on their campervan holiday so my guess is that as UK tourists are hiring campervans for more days, they can’t then afford to spend as much on activities. Interesting stuff :-)


I read the survey produced by Cove Ltd, and thought some campervan tourism facts would be really interesting for my readers. Just to note that the data is not my own, I can’t be held responsible for its accuracy, and I have rounded up some of the figures above just to improve readability. If you are interested in the original data and the wealth of campervan tourism facts accumulated during the survey, I recommend you do some further reading of the report...


Covec Ltd, 2012. Understanding the Value Created by Campervan Tourists in New Zealand.

Campervan New Zealand main page.