Quirky Campers reports boom in interest from New Zealanders post-lockdown

Quirky Campers reports boom in interest from New Zealanders post-lockdown.
View from inside the campervan 'Ivan'. Photo credit: Quirky Campers

With international travel off the cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Zealand tourism operators catering to the domestic market are enjoying a boom.

Quirky Campers is one of them - the campervan rental company is reporting a 1000 percent increase in visits to its website since January.

Earlier this year, Britz and Maui introduced heavily discounted rates to get New Zealanders exploring their own country with the convenience of a motorhome.

But many Kiwis are also apparently keen to get around Aotearoa in a "beautiful handcrafted bach on wheels", which is what Quirky Campers says it's offering.

The vehicles have their own names like 'Mahara', which is described as "a Scandi style log cabin on wheels" and even has a wood burning fireplace.

"There's nothing wrong with the factory-fitted vans, but they can lack those homely touches and the element of surprise and delight. The customised vans are a drawcard as they're so unlike anything else out there," says Leanne Edwards, co-owner of Quirky Campers.

Quirky Campers Mahara - the bach on wheels complete with a log burner.
Mahara. Photo credit: Quirky Campers

"Hand crafted vans boast features that you'd expect to find in a well-appointed bach. Think carved wooden cabinets, log burners, double beds and fully kitted out mini kitchens. It can certainly take your road trip up a notch or two."

The company hires out such vehicles but also allows others to use the website to hire out their own, as well as offering advice to people wanting to convert a humble van into a 'quirky camper'.

Quirky Campers is reporting a 1000 percent increase in visits to its website since January.
The Duke. Photo credit: Quirky Campers

"It looks like staycations are going to become an increasingly popular option in 2020 and beyond, so we're not surprised that 'vanlife' is attracting a lot of attention," says Edwards.

"Building or buying your own customised camper can be a really cost-effective way to create a holiday home for yourself. We have noticed a definite uptick in calls from people wanting advice on conversions, along with how to make money from their vans when they're not exploring New Zealand themselves."

Edwards says converting a basic van into a customised campervan will cost around $15,000 - $80,000, then recouping that money through rental income would take one - five years.

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