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Shipping to New Zealand - is it even possible?


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Well 1st off this is a very hypothetical question but I'm really curious about the answer(s)...

We're hoping, one day in the distant future when all the current nonsense has died down, to travel to New Zealand and do a little drive around in a rented camper.

Which of course then begs the question, how much would it cost (and how hard would it be) to ship our own already-made 127 camper out there instead so it can enjoy the scenery with us?

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The biggest question (AFAIK) is whether NZ will even let the vehicle into the country as I know they're paranoid about invasive species etc., I don't know if it's possible to get an old Land Rover clean enough and spider-free that they'd even consider letting it on the docks?

Very interested to hear from anyone who knows anything about doing this?

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rental companies don't like you going off tarmac so some of the more interesting stuff will be out of reach . 

When I was there many people bought a car/van to use for the travels and then sold it at the end - I had a Mitsi Mirage and did about 5k km on unsealed roads including 90 mile beach , the Coromandel and up to Treble cone Ski lift plateau . 

However you do it , it will be worth every penny ...work visa and go for a year ...

Steve  

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i don't know how arduous it is, but one thing to bear in mind with NZ is the need for a camper to be 'certified' for camping away from campsites. I forget the name, but its basically along the lines of having water/toilet of your own. 

Friend of mine was travelling and the just bought and converted a van themselves so it shouldn't be too difficult to do.

Sorry thats all a bit vague!

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Certified self contained/visible sticker on outside is what you need to be able to camp anywhere/wild camp.

The van we hired had a porta potti to satisfy this requirement but we never used it.

I can dig out what we paid for 6week hire in January-Feb if you like. That was South Island travelling to north island on a 1 way trip, for a comparison.

 

 

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 10:35 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

The biggest question (AFAIK) is whether NZ will even let the vehicle into the country as I know they're paranoid about invasive species etc.

I think they have similar rules (if not more extreme) than Australia. Steph and Leigh (Grizzly 'N' Bear) posted a video about the prep they had to do when they were thinking of shipping their camper back to Australia before COVID put a halt to it. If I remember correctly the entire vehicle and camper had to be empty so they had to fit what they could into luggage to fly out with them. Whole thing had to be cleaned and inspected, timber can also be a bit of an issue.

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I've shipped vehicles to Australia 3 times now. Twice I shipped my competition vehicle out for the OBC and more recently shipped our 90 out for a 6 month drive around Australia. For the OBC we shipped 3 vehicles in a 40ft container, for our drive around we shipped the single vehicle in a 20ft container. It takes a while to ship, if you can you'll want to allow 3 months.

I believe the requirements are similar to NZ in that you need to get the vehicle through customs and quarantine.

Customs is easy really, just need to have the numbers that match the documentation and away you go as it's a temporary import, you need a carnet though which you must get stamped when you ship the vehicle back or you'll get charged a huge import levy. Not sure what the state of play is with carnets now, you used to be able to get them from the RAC in the UK but they stopped doing them. The valuation you put on the carnet should be "realistic" but as low as you can get away with. The missing at sea insurance needs to be as high as you can reasonably justify.

Quarantine is the hard bit and I'd strongly advise you to talk to a shipping agent in New Zealand with experience of this. You don't want to spend the first part of your holiday cleaning your vehicle and dealing with red tape ! IME it's worth paying more for a reliable agent having experienced what it's like to have your UK agent screw up the paperwork, leaving your vehicles stranded in Amsterdam for weeks ! The vehicle needs to be VERY clean, any trace of dirt at all and you can end up having to take it to a cleaning depot where they will clean it over and over again until the inspector is happy with it. Worst case was one of the Ibex where they'd used split convoluted tubing for the wiring harness, the inspector decided that it ALL needed to be removed from the vehicle. I spent days cleaning the 90 before we shipped it, hours underneath it with a commercial jet wash, stripped everything out of it and every item was then inspected and cleaned as it went back in. They will even shine a torch into the rear floor support sections and into the bottom tank of the radiator, for example. If they find any trace of dirt or vegetation anywhere, the whole vehicle will have to be cleaned, often multiple times.

Vehicle regulations vary in Australia from state to state and I expect NZ will have it's own regulations and requirements. If you ship into NSW, for example, you can legally drive a vehicle registered and taxed in another country (or could in 2014) without any additional paperwork. The state will also cover your insurance (third party only), so you can literally drive out of the docks onto the road as soon as you clear customs/quarantine. In WA you need to get the vehicle tested and registered there. You really need someone to give you the precise info you need before you get there !

Every time we shipped we shipped in a container, this is by far the best way to do it because you can ship everything with the vehicle. Shipping on RoRo or deck cargo means every low life dock worker will strip your vehicle of everything that's not securely bolted down. No exaggeration there - we shipped a vehicle from the US to the UK as cargo and foolishly thought we'd be OK to put a spare set of wheels and tyres in the back (the rear was locked), the vehicle was completely empty when it arrived in the UK. Not only were the wheels and tyres gone but so was the radio, the spare wheel (and it's carrier) and the tool kit and jack.

Last time we shipped a single vehicle in a 20 foot container (our 90). We had to remove the roof tent to fit in a standard height container so that was on a pallet in the container. In the 90 were all our clothes, cooking gear, off road gear, vehicle spares, everything. We flew into Sydney arriving at around 6am with a holdall bag each, got a taxi to Botany Bay for 8am, the 90 had been cleared through customs and quarantine and once we'd re-fitted the roof tent (a 30 minute job thanks to the loan of a fork lift and driver). By 11 am we were camped on the other side of Sydney, sleeping off our jet lag and ready to go. It was a perfect transition and well worth the extra cost of a good shipping agent.

In 2008 we were supposed to have a week of prep prior to the competition, we arrived at the docks on Monday morning to find that our container had not arrived, we eventually employed a different agent to help sort out the mess and they did what they could but it still took nearly a week to get the vehicles and we ended up driving them out of the docks at 6pm on Friday night, 1500km from the start point of the event where we were due for scrutineering and briefings at 10am the following morning. The agent we used in 2014 was the agent who sorted the mess out in 2008 because, without their help we'd have probably missed the event.

There were a number of advantages to shipping our own vehicle for our meander around the continent and, especially for an extended stay, it's worth considering. The cost of shipping and a good agent to keep things moving isn't cheap but then neither is vehicle hire. For me the deciding factor was that we expected to (and indeed did) spend a lot of time driving in very remote areas on our own off tarmac. I wanted a vehicle that, not only did I trust because I'd built it, that I could repair if something went wrong because I know every nut and bolt of it.

The major issue I'd say you would face with the 127 is it's height but it may still fit in one of the tall containers. We did originally look at using one of those ourselves but the additional cost vs taking the roof tent off the roof meant we'd be able to spend a couple more weeks out there.

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Thanks @Dave W, very useful! I'd heard other horror stories about the RoRo shipping so would look to containers, I believe the 127 will fit in a tall container... I'm not above fitting solid dampers & a set of Ifor low-profile trailer wheels & tyres to get it in if that's what it takes, I suspect the added cost would still be a fart in a hurricane :lol:

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A high cube container is 9'6" tall, generally plenty high enough for a big vehicle.  No need to worry about solid shocks etc,  you can just ask to have the chassis lashed down to stop it being able to rock about, though once it's on an enormous container ship they don't move much anyway (but can get chucked about in the dock yards). Shipping charges consist of packing/unpacking, yard & handling fees, agent fees, cost of boat ride - probably looking around £1600 each way plus any customs fees or local regs like cleaning etc.  It's not much more for a 40' container, so gets cheaper if you can find someone to share with.

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Hi FF,

I imported my 110 back in 2006 (permanently). They are strict on the cleaning but there are companies specializing in it and the company I used (Jeffs Vehicle Deliveries) did it for a fixed fee including pick up from the port in an approved curtain sided vehicle, transporting to the approved cleaning facility (also owned by Jeff's) and delivery to my home.

Personally I would say if bringing your own Land Rover Camper is affordable for you, do it! There are so many places to go here that you would not be able to visit in a rented camper. Some due to lack of off road ability but also some due to them being off limits for rental vehicles (for insurance reasons). Skippers Canyon near Queenstown being one that springs to mind. Its a public gravel road but very narrow and cut into the side of a gorge with big drop offs. Its spectacular but no rentals allowed.

Also places like Macetown, Big River and Denniston Plateau (to name just a few) would not be accessible for you. There are many, many places here that your 127 would access easily and are genuine off road adventures.

The self contained sticker would be a good addition and give you additional freedom of not having to find a proper camp site each night.

Andy

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