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The Ultimate Guide to Food on a Campervan Holiday

27th Feb 14
1 Comment

When on your campervan holiday in New Zealand, you may be stuck for ideas about what to do in terms of food. How much should you spend? Where do you find food? What can you do with the resources you have?

All of our campervans are equipped a two, three or four burner gas stove, refrigerator and all the cooking utensils you will need complimented with plenty of space to store food. The only thing you have to think about now is what you want to do with them.

Eating out can get expensive if you do it over and over again.

Here we have compiled a food and meal guide suitable for even the fussiest of eaters and those on a tight budget.

Your basic meal requirements 

There are five key food staples that are extremely versatile and will form the base of nearly every meal you create on your trip. The amount you need will depend on the length of your holiday.


-Olive oil


-Salt and/or pepper (these come with the campervan), plus any grains, seeds, lentils or nuts you like to add

-Rice and pasta

If you are venturing away from your campervan, remember you may need a cooler/chilly bin to carry any food you have prepared that needs to be kept cold, plus leak-proof containers or plastic bags to store food.

Sourcing more food

There are many different places to pick up any extra food you require on your holiday.

The South Island is a mecca of sheep and beef farms, and many towns and cities you will stop at have farmers markets and roadside stalls to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables at a cheap price. There are also award-winning wineries that offer great tours and wine tasting. Take the opportunity to pick a few fresh grapes if you are permitted to do so.

Think about picking up:

-Seasonal fruit and vegetables





Many markets and bakeries that close in the afternoon will often reduce prices on their goods to sell them faster before they close. This provides a good opportunity to grab a few more pieces of fruit or bread rolls for tomorrow's breakfast.

Simple and Tasty Meal Ideas
A smaller kitchen area may be daunting for someone looking to cook a meal for four or more people. Combining the pasta or rice with the vegetables you pick up is a quick and easy way to fill everyone's stomachs.

Asian Noodle Dish

Cook noodles in chicken, beef or fish stock. Add chopped vegetables and you have an easy fix with opportunity to save leftovers for following meals. Garnish as you please- try soy sauce or sesame seeds.

No-oven Pizza

For base: Pour flour 225g of self-raising flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then add 5-7 tablespoons of water or until it has the consistency of a soft dough.

Lightly flour a bench surface and roll out the dough until it is as thick or thin as you like.

Add a splash of oil to a frying pan and bake the base at a medium heat until it is golden brown.

Add any toppings and grill for a further while until any cheese has melted or the base has become golden at the edges.

Some other ideas

- Pasta and vegetables or pasta salad

- Cook beans and mince and serve with tortilla chips

- Stir-fry rice and vegetables

- Simple sandwiches

- Any favourite egg dishes

Snack Ideas for Day Trips

A good rule for New Zealand day trips, hiking especially, is to keep snacks and meals light. Not only will eating little often boost energy, but saves space and weight in your backpack.

- Carrot sticks

- Celery

- Cut fruit

- Frozen grapes/berries

- Nuts or trail mix

- Dark chocolate

Campfire Favourites

Cooking over a campfire is a satisfying experience, rewarded with tasty food that is fun to make

Click here for an informative site that will help you build a safe fire that's great for cooking.


This bready concoction is simple to make and tastes great with jam, cream or vegemite/marmite.

You'll need:

1 cup self-raising flour

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp butter 

1 cup of milk

A pinch of salt

Just like making scones, rub the butter through the flour thoroughly, then add the salt, sugar and milk and mix into a dough.

Wind it round a skewer and hold it over the fire until it is golden brown.

Baked Potatoes

Wash and/or peel large potatoes and poke a few holes in them with a fork or skewer to enable thorough cooking.

Rub them in oil and a pinch of salt.

Optional: Cut a cross out of the top and add things like cheese, spring onion, butter, onions or beans.

Wrap in two layers of tin foil and place them amongst the coals at the base of the fire. Bake for around 30 minutes, set them aside to cool a bit and enjoy.

Toast marshmallows over the fire

Or: take toasted marshmallow with a piece of chocolate and place between two graham crackers to make a delicious s'more.

Tell us about your tips!

What are you favourite things to cook on the road? Do you have any tips or suggestions for cooking while on a campervan holiday? We'd love to hear from you in the comments area below.

Photo credits

Farmer's Market by NatalieMaynor, CC-BY-2.0

Marshmallow Toasting by OakleyOriginals, CC-BY-2.0

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Filed under New Zealand Travel

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Add a comment1 Comment

Reply Magda | June 17th, 2014 at 6:27pm
My top tip is to bring an ipad. It's GPS, 3G internet and enenitartment all rolled in to one. I struggle to remember how we coped before tablet computing. It's so handy.David recently posted..

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