Spaceship Story

The Spaceships story

Spaceships are custom designed, award winning people movers converted into the Swiss army knife of campers. Born in New Zealand in 2004 and operating in Australia since 2007 Spaceships campervan hire reshaped the market to provide a new and smarter way to travel.

With Spaceships you are not alone! We provide an after hire support service called Space Stations. These are located around the country for local advice and discounted activities.

You can pull over and exchange travel stories with like-minded travellers, meet up at camp-grounds and get the best info from others who have been there and done that.

Spaceships also operate in the United Kingdom and Europe. 

If you would like a longer version then read on:


Developing the Spaceship - the 'new' campervan

To put it simply, most travellers want a reliable New Zealand campervan rental that is easy to drive but still has the minimum features of a comfortable bed, a dual burner portable cooker, water supply, good storage space, fridge and a decent sound system with an iPod cord and at the best possible price. 

New Zealand campervan rentals are either really basic; offering little more than a mattress on the floor, are high-top or other big ungainly vehicles which are both poor to drive and have features that you don’t use; such as microwaves, which means you need to be staying in a camping ground and plugged into 240 volt mains power to use. This means you either pay too much for your vehicle plus the fuel and camp-ground costs or you get a very basic vehicle that is not designed to drive comfortably on the open roads. 

The solution: We looked at van options but most second-hand ones are often in poor condition; and they are all bad to drive as they are designed to be commercial vehicles (with heavy springs, gearboxes and steering etc.) and spend their lives driving around cities delivering mail. We then came up with ‘People Movers’ which while prohibitively expensive new, can be purchased at reasonable prices from Japan when only a few years old. They are ex-family vehicles, which makes it easy to get them in very good condition second-hand. They are always good to drive, and have useful extras such as air conditioning, electric windows and automatic gearboxes. We have chosen Toyota Previas for their reliability, fuel economy and size (as big as many vans). In fact, because of our extendable bed and awning you actually get more than one square metre of extra usable floor space than a Toyota Hiace van.

We build the interiors in our own factory to our own design, to ensure the optimal use of space and durability. We are particularly proud of the way the cooker works and the amount of storage that we fit underneath the bed. Other companies have now copied the vehicle type but do not have the unique ‘customised’ design features that make a Spaceship the Swiss army knife of Campers. 

So there you have it – a vehicle which is great to drive, with everything you want, which can be rented out at the best possible price.


Developing the Spaceships Service - much more than just a rental

There is currently no New Zealand campervan rental or motorhome rental operator in New Zealand who does much more than hire you a vehicle (sometimes with maps) and then say goodbye (if you are lucky). We found this amazing as we know from our years of developing backpacker bus networks and finding interesting places on and off the beaten track, that with a little bit of guidance and support you can get so much more of your adventure in our country. The great thing is that we are uniquely able to give such service with our experience and contacts around New Zealand.

This is how and why we have developed the key features of: the suggested itineraries here on the website; a guidebook; up-to-date discounts and deals on activities;  information on camp-grounds and looking after the environment; a guidebook; and our favourite – Space Stations. To ensure that you can get the most of your time, find great places on and off the beaten track, get the chance to meet locals and and get the best value for money.

We are sure that you will find these features as important as the vehicle themselves – it is amazing that no-one else provides them.  In 2006 we won the NZ tourism award for Innovation being credited with creating a new category of rental vehicle - in between a car and a campervan and providing unique after-hire service and guidance. 

In 2008 we launched Spaceships campervan rentals in Australia and we now have 4 depots and 14 Space Stations.  In 2009 we launched in the UK with 1 depot in London, we now have 12 Space Stations spreading from Ireland to the Netherlands and Italy! More countries and planets coming soon! 

We are proud of this piece of kiwi ingenuity that is now taking over the world!