Living in a Spaceship for 9 weeks: 7000km, ultimate freedom and amazing New Zealand adventures

Spaceships - awesome!

Spaceships – awesome!

“That’s the longest anyone has hired a Spaceship for!” – is what we were told when we collected our Beta 2 Berth Spaceship (Mysteron) from the Queenstown Spaceships depot.

So we are trailblazers! Awesome! 9 weeks is a long time – but the only way to spend enough time exploring New Zealand fully and we wouldn’t have shortened our time in our Spaceship by even a day.

Spending a year in New Zealand my husband and I had been doing a mixture of work and travelling. We planned a well-deserved holiday as a break from work and decided to return to some of our favourite places as well as explore places we hadn’t yet seen.

Our awesome Spaceship

Our awesome Spaceship

For us, Spaceships was a pretty easy choice. We didn’t want a huge monster of a camper-van, but also wanted its freedom – being able to sleep in it and cook food. Having seen them driving around we looked Spaceships up on their brilliant website – and they were the perfect solution! We chose a Beta 2 Berth model Spaceship which are really unique and an amazing mix of a campervan and a rental car.

On the road to Milford Sound

On the road to Milford Sound

We really had the most incredible 9 weeks in our Spaceships Beta 2 Berth. We travelled all over New Zealand and saw such wonderful sights. Some real highlights on our Spaceships Adventure for us included: waking up at the stunning Moke Lake after our first night in our Spaceship, the amazing road to Milford and a brilliant boat trip out on Milford Sound; finding off-the-beaten-track hidden delights such as Gemstone beach in the Catlins and Clay Cliffs near Omarama; seeing yellow-eyed penguins come ashore and watching hector’s dolphins play in the surf in the Catlins area; being able to access Cathedral Caves at low-tide as dawn was breaking; seeing the morning mist drift across the Otago Peninsula; exploring the Otago Peninsula’s gravel windy roads to get to stunning Allan’s beach; seeing the majestic Mount Cook on the drive alongside Lake Pukaki; exploring the wonderful West Coast and walking to Franz Josef glacier and seeing Lake Mathieson’s incredible reflection; taking a helicopter trip over Queenstown with snow landing; relaxing in the thermal hot pools of Hanmer Springs; taking our Spaceship over on the Interislander from south to north island; travelling to Cape Palliser lighthouse along the scenic coastal roads; meeting Manukura the amazing white kiwi; spending time in sunny and picturesque Napier; having geothermal adventures in Taupo and Rotorua (including an awesome trip to Orakei Korako); walking where Frodo and Gandalf had exploring hobbit-holes at amazing Hobbiton and having a drink at The Green Dragon, and witnessing the beauty of the Coromandel peninsula’s beaches.

Being in the Spaceship also provided me with an amazing opportunity to do research for my own travel consultancy company – Blue Penguin Travel – helping people have their own amazing off-the-beaten track adventures in New Zealand! 🙂

Picnic near Cape Palliser

Picnic near Cape Palliser

As I am sure you can imagine, living in our Spaceship for 9 weeks was an incredibly long time – as you certainly have to know the person you are staying in it with well! 🙂 It is compact sleeping in there, but really designed so well, it is comfortable and just a genius design. For those of you that have followed my blog throughout our 63 days you will know we didn’t spend every single night sleeping in it – as needed a TV for the odd important football game when in Rotorua, or just a little more space. But that is another amazing thing about the Spaceship – it is the size of a car so can be parked anywhere.

We were also lucky enough to have a bond with two spaceships – as we swapped Mysteron halfway through (because he needed a well-deserved service) for the even more awesome Draco!

In summary, some of the main positives from our Spaceships adventure are:

  • Fantastic customer service: From pick up through to drop off (including the demonstration and customer service on the phone) the communication from Spaceships was amazing – they were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
  • Complete flexibility and freedom: Spaceships allow you to travel wherever you want and make up your own unique itinerary. You can picnic amongst nature and stunning scenery. We camped at beautifully scenic DOC sites – they are cheap and offer a convenient loo and fabulous scenery!
  • Small enough to drive comfortably: The spaceship really drives like a car and does not feel cumbersome. We covered 7000 kilometres and many of the roads were gravel, windy and narrow and our Beta 2 Berth Spaceship allowed us to travel on them comfortably and with ease (where large camper-vans would have struggled).
  • Innovative features: We loved the unique features – especially the fridge and DVD player. We spent many a night snuggled up in our Spaceship listening to waves or a nearby river outside watching a film.
  • Dual battery system: This was an incredibly useful feature – we could power our fridge, DVD player and internal lights off a second battery. 
  • Amazing value and a low cost option: The price we paid was comparable to hiring a car and they offer a huge amount more than a hire car so was exceptional value.
  • It is the ‘Swiss army knife’ of campervans: Spaceships really can do everything!

Spaceships offered us the freedom of a campervan with the advantages of a car – and it definitely suited to us! We will always think of Mysteron and Draco fondly. Spaceships really gave us some of the most memorable adventures of our whole lives and we would recommend Spaceships unreservedly to anyone considering hiring one! 🙂

Me and Mysteron

Me and Mysteron – our Spaceship

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Categories: Accommodation, Activities, Blue Penguin, New Zealand, North Island, Photographs, South Island, Spaceship | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Living in a Spaceship for 9 weeks: 7000km, ultimate freedom and amazing New Zealand adventures

  1. Yay for Spaceships! They are so incredibly well designed. We had the BEST time in ours as well and were sad to say farewell when our trip was over.

    So glad you two had an amazing 9 weeks in yours!

    Can’t wait to see what adventure you and John have planned next.

    • Yay indeed! 🙂 They really are so well designed. Thanks again for all your help prior to us renting one – your advice was invaluable. So glad you had a brilliant time too.

      Our next adventure is a trip to Oz – we are staying with my sister in Sydney (and visiting the Blue Mountains), driving the Great Ocean Road, going to Melbourne and spending 9 days in Tasmania – so can’t wait!

      Hope all is going well with you and your travels.

  2. I’ve often wondered what the ‘spaceships’ would be like to live in. You’ve given them a glowing reference. I’m really glad you have enjoyed your time here in New Zealand. If you’re coming further north you could look us up in Dargaville 🙂

    • Thank you. Yes we have loved almost every minute of our time over here – and our spaceship adventure was a real highlight. We only have about 4/5 weeks left in NZ now as will be spending some time in Oz and the Cook Islands (before heading back to the UK in Aug) – so are certainly feeling reflective. Unfortunately we aren’t heading any further north – as we already travelled up to Cape Reinga/Bay of Islands at New Year – a beautiful part of the country though! 🙂

  3. Hi
    I just found your blog, and so happy to see your spaceship recommendation! I just booked ours for 5 weeks in March, picking up form Christchurch and dropping in Auckland. My husband and I haven’t planned anything yet so I’m looking forward to reading through and finding some great places to travel to in our spaceship !

    • Hi Rebecca. Thanks so much for stopping by. That is amazing that you have just booked your spaceship – I am so jealous as would love to go back!! We loved our time in the spaceship and it was a real adventure. Moke Lake near Queenstown was probably our favourite place that we camped – we parked up right by the lake and woke up to the most incredible view! One tip would be to be very organised and not bring too much luggage – as space is at a premium in the spaceship! Good luck arranging your trip and I hope you have an amazing time. If you need any further help with your itinerary check out my travel business: http://www.bluepenguintravel.com/ or drop me an email at nicola (at) bluepenguintravel.com 🙂

  4. Danielle

    I ran across this page since my husband and I are debating taking a spaceship (or equivalent) campervan vs tent camping/ cheap hotel. I like the idea of the freedom and convenience of the spaceship but am a little worried about spending three weeks straight essentially living out of a large car. Your site got me excited about the idea again though. How many days would you say you ended up getting a hotel room vs sleeping in the van?

    • Thanks for stopping by. I can definitely help with advice regarding the spaceship. It might be easier if you send me a message via the ‘contact’ form on my blog and then I can reply to you directly? You have all the same concerns we had before renting one, but I’m glad my site got you excited about the idea, as it was an amazing time! Look forward to hearing from you x 🙂

  5. brendan waters

    yes I Like the Spaceship the best , have used them a couple of times recently on a trip around the East Coast . Like the fact that it can take four people and looks smart I noticed a great spirit between hirers , campers using the Spaceship brand which dosen’t seem to happen with the other camper brands . I am hooked for my next over seas adventure .Drives like a car and very well insulated .

    • I agree! They are definitely the best camper-car. And we always waved and beeped our horn at fellow Spaceshippers when we saw them and it was usually reciprocated! I love the fact it has the benefits of a larger camper but drives like a car like you say 🙂

  6. Pingback: Photo of the Day: Moke Lake | Our Amazing New Zealand Adventure

  7. Pingback: Unsere Camper | ju(lia) und ri(co) auf tour

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