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Thread: Shipping car from USA to NZ and Australia

  1. #1
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    Default Shipping car from USA to NZ and Australia

    I am in the beginning stages of planning a possible 1-2 year trip to NZ and Australia.

    I have been researching importing cars into NZ but am finding it to be highly unlikely due to the regulations I am reading. I am not looking to move there but rather use my vehicle to travel through the country on a kind of overland trip. I am finding importing a LHD vehicle into NZ rather difficult but I assume there has to be a way for those simply traveling through the country. I have a mate looking into the Australian requirements so I guess this post would be geared more towards getting my vehicle into NZ more than anything. Does a valid Carnet allow me to travel to these countries without much issue?

    Any info would be awesome on this and first hand experience would be even better. Below are some pics of my rig.

    4inch

    AlabamaHills_04575_2016_topost

    ScoutOK1

    ScoutOK2

    OzTentAlabamaHills1
    Last edited by FozRoamer; 10-28-2016 at 11:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Checkout this site. The big thing is to make sure to include "temporary" in your search.

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/factsheets/35
    2007 Freightliner Dualcab Ambulance conversion. Check it out here
    FJ75 Landcruiser 6 wheeler (Converting to an AmboCamper)
    1963 BMW /2 with a Ural Sidecar.

  3. #3
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    Thank you! Im actually in the process of going down the rabbit hole and found this as well. But it still says nothing about LHD vehicles but I am sure they are permitted on a temporary basis. Thank goodness for the Carnet system it really provides overlanders a method to get in and out of countries without very much BS.

  4. #4
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    Northern Inland NSW, Australia
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    I'd be checking how long you can get a visa for as well; that may shape how long you are doing your trip for and if it's worth bringing the car over.

    Tourist visas over 3 months are possible, but are more bureaucratic to get hold of for Australia; check this website for more details. Here's the info on bringing the car into Australia, but it gets a bit of a mess with personal imports for permanent residents/citizens.

    You can bring in the car on a carnet, and that's not a problem being LHD. But you will have to pay quarantine inspections fees for both NZ and Australia, as well as shipping. No ideas of cost on that. I've seen quite a few LHDs on my travels (mainly German) and some Brits (so RHD on the whole). Worth putting a sticker on the back saying Left Hand Drive if you do bring it over so that people are aware.
    Last edited by Paddler Ed; 10-29-2016 at 06:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    Wairarapa NZ
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    Definitely doable. We've had two (different) Swiss families through here. Both in their own LHD's, both heading to the land of Oz. The above PDF pretty much spells it out for here (NZ). Quarantine is strict. Make sure it is spotless before loading. Will save time/money. Whatever time you think it will take to do quarantine/roadworthyness, double it. It will remove the stress component! Quarantine at the port, then to VTNZ for road worthy (in your case WOF). Last guys we had here were told they were going to have to change their headlights! Ended up putting a piece of race tape over the offending 'shining right' part. RORO to OZ isn't a viable option because you can't ship anything in the vehicle. Has to be removed and shipped seperate. So container it is. Because of the different rules state to state in Oz, the preferred landing point was Melbourne. Something to do with not having to do vehicle inspections? In both cases they shipped Auckland/Melbourne. Shortest/cheapest.

    If you could somehow sneak a porti potty in there you could get a 'self containment cert'. https://www.nzmca.org.nz/self-containment If you can swing it, the $55 fee massively increase's where you are allowed to camp overnight. NZ now has a huge problem with 'freedom campers' (read big 'pollution' problems!). Especially in the touristy areas. Having the cert will really open up your options to free camping spots. Unlike the big red planet to our left, we is just a couple little islands. Most land is either privately or .gov owned. Can't just disappear into the hills and pitch your tent. We just don't have the real estate for that.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the information it was very helpful. I am very familiar with NZ as we were down there just last year and we rented a camper van without a porti potty (bad mistake), but TBH we didnt run into many issues finding camp spots. We traveled through the entire country in that camper van but TBH most of the time we did stay a a proper established campsite, I agree it was somewhat difficult finding those free camping spots. I may take out my back seats and put a porti potty in it if need be, by doing this you really think I could get the "self containment" permit needed..in a Subaru?!?!?!?! I am also a bit worried about my aftermarket modifications, auxiliary lights, and 4" lift. I have a mate in Rotorua and he tells me I should be ok with all of my modifications in NZ. So by spotless, do you mean REALLY clean? NO soil, mud, or dirt anywhere?

    For Australia I am a bit worried because I know they are a lot more strict on aftermarket modifications. I will have to research Australia much more as I have never visited this country and am not 100% up to par with all of their laws.
    Last edited by FozRoamer; 11-01-2016 at 04:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    Southern California
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    I really appreciate all the insight it is VERY helpful! I plan on getting working tourist visas while in both countries...hopefully! I bookmarked the listed sites so I appreciate that! I am ok with the fees but its extremely vague how much I will really have to be paying. I plan on contacting an import company and also doing more research online. I do plan on contacting government entities in both countries to make sure all my ducks are in a row before venturing down. Great idea on the LHD sticker.
    Last edited by FozRoamer; 11-01-2016 at 05:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    PNW USA
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    I don't think they are as strict about modifications on a temporary import vehicle - just when you are doing an actual registration.

    Nice scooby - what lift did you use? Any build thread?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    PNW USA
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    Well, found the answer - ADF 4" lift for the SH model Forester.

    I like the way the original plastic bumper covers are cut to allow the new bumpers to fit with just a straight top edge - looks clean and makes it easier to build. Where are those from? Have a friend who is looking for some...
    Last edited by Haf-E; 11-01-2016 at 05:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks. Yeah I just had the 4" installed a few weeks ago. Bumpers are from Leadfoot Offroad in Southern California. Here is a complete list of all my mods: http://fozroamer.com/index.php/2015/...ications-list/

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