Sometimes moving house in New Zealand involves relocating not only to a new suburb, town or city, but an entirely different island. A surge in construction related jobs as a result of the Christchurch Earthquakes and soaring property prices in Auckland has seen an increase in the number of people relocating south in search of employment and lifestyle opportunities.
Crossing the Cook Strait can substantially add to the logistics and costs involved in relocating, with many moving companies charging thousands of dollars just to move between the main cities of Auckland and Christchurch. Long distance moves can be a fairly daunting process, take a look below for some helpful tips and moving advice to ensure your Auckland to Christchurch relocation goes smoothly.
Hiring A Truck In New Zealand
There are generally two ways to go about moving between Auckland and Christchurch, the good old kiwi do-it-yourself method of hiring a rental truck, packing everything up and saving a bit of money along the way, or hiring a moving company.
Hiring a rental truck in New Zealand is a popular option for many New Zealanders as it allows freedom of choice, flexibility and a more personal approach. Moving your own belongings means extra special care can be taken when packing and in transit, particularly for precious items, family heirlooms and expensive furniture.
When hiring a truck in New Zealand, there will be age and licensing restrictions to be aware of. In general most small to medium sized trucks for hire can be driven on a regular New Zealand Class 1 drivers licence, however it pays to check with the hire company prior to booking. Most vehicle hire companies will set a minimum age limit (usually 20 years old) and some will require a refundable bond upon collection of the vehicle.
Packing Your Rental Truck
Moving home can be stressful enough so try and make life easy on yourself. Here are five tips that will help you plan when packing up your valuables, these things might just seem like common sense but just reading and thinking about them will help with planning for the big move!
Put Some Thought Into It. Pack your heavy items at the bottom of boxes and place the lighter items on top. This helps lifting and transporting as well as protecting the lighter more fragile items. If there are fragile items in your box, make sure you protect carefully using either bubble wrap or newspaper.
Label The Boxes Well. Make sure you note which room your box includes belongings from and the important items that are inside. This makes unpacking easier but if you ever need anything desperately, it will also help you locate things a lot quicker. Make a note on the box to indicate if it contains fragile items.
Consider Packing Order. Pack away things that are unlikely to be needed first and pack a separate box to include all the items for the first night in the new home. Things like towels, crockery, toiletries and fresh clothes will be most important.
Consider The Truck Size. Review how many boxes are going to need fit, furniture size, number of appliances and how it’s all going to fit in the hire truck. Try to plan for too big rather than too small, the last thing you want when travelling long distances is to not be able to fit everything in.
Seal And Tape The Boxes Well. To help with transportation, try to ensure boxes are sturdy, sealed and taped up well to avoid the possibility of damage in transit. Items can move about considerably while travelling particularly during the ferry crossing.
Inter-Island Moving Tips
Moving house can be a stressful time for all concerned, but when having to move between the North and South Islands there is the added pressure of navigating very long travelling distances as well as the complication of the inter-island ferry crossing. Here we’ve assembled our top tips for making the transition as easy as possible.
Sort It. The less you choose to bring with you, the easier it will be. Go through drawers and cupboards filled with objects that haven’t been cleared out in years, and be as ruthless as possible. If you haven’t used something in the past year or two, you probably won’t need it for the foreseeable future.
Book It. Always book tickets for the inter-island ferry well ahead of time, seasonal variances can mean availability is limited, particularly during the summer months. It also pays to book your rental truck at the same time. Always go for a larger truck than you think you will need just to be safe.
Plan It. It is possible to do the entire trip in one go, especially if you have multiple drivers, however it is a long journey and tired drivers are easily distracted and can be dangerous on the road. Palmerston North and Wellington are good places to plan for an overnight stop.
Insure It. It is very important to protect your belongings during the moving process. There always is an element of risk, no matter how careful you try to be. Regular household insurance does not usually cover the moving process, specialised Transit Insurance will provide cover if the unforeseen happens.
Driving Long Distance In A NZ Hire Truck
Moving long distances in New Zealand can be expensive, for this reason many New Zealanders opt to hire a moving truck and do it themselves. However, most drivers will have limited experience driving long distances in heavy trucks or larger vehicles, it is important to familiarise yourself with the vehicle and take extra care when driving long distance in a rental truck.
Plan to rotate driving duties, switching drivers every few hours if possible. Before setting out plan designated rest stops to exit the vehicle and get some fresh air, eat or take a toilet break. When driving remember to take it easy, driving a large truck will mean longer breaking distances, wider turning circles and heavier handling all round.
When driving an unfamiliar vehicle always choose the easy route, even if it takes a little longer. Highways and wider arterial routes are much easier to navigate than smaller back roads. Be patient if caught in large volumes of traffic, overtaking is not advised unless a designated passing lane is available.
For any road trip there is always the possibility the vehicle may let you down, it pays to consider truck rental companies that provide free roadside and breakdown assistance – nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road if a breakdown occurs.
Above all else it is important to drive safely, it’s better to arrive late than not at all. Safe driving in a hire truck is especially important due to the sheer size and handling ability of the vehicle – there is much more potential for damage if an accident occurs.
It can be tempting upon nearing your destination to keep pushing on even when tired, skip rest stops or increase speed. This greatly increases the danger you put yourself and other road users in. You’ll get there in the end and it’s much better for you and your worldly goods to arrive in one piece!