Being a values based family business, we put people first - that’s you, our customer. So when you travel with us, we treat you like you are part of our family. From your first contact with us, we are committed to ensuring you have a remarkable experience - just like we would want for our family.
Making every Wilderness experience a remarkable one is our guiding philosophy. We call it The Wilderness Way. It’s our shared commitment and our way of thinking and acting that makes each customer or guest experience uniquely memorable.
The Wilderness Way starts back at the beginning - with the founders. Our story is the story of a family business built on shared values, experiences, attitudes and aspirations. These elements formed the foundation of what we believe and how we do things.
Recreational vehicles, converted from buses and trucks, become a familiar sight on New Zealand roads from as early as the 1940s. Kiwi families, by the hundreds, enjoy exploring their own country in these homebuilt masterpieces after WWII.
It wasn’t until the 1970s, that the first motorhomes roll out of New Zealand factories. These handcrafted vehicles fast become the backbone of the local recreational vehicle industry. Caravan factories start producing vehicles to meet the growing demand for affordable motorhomes for locals and for a newly established motorhome rental industry servicing international visitors.
1980 - 1990
Motorhomes are imported from Australia, the US and Europe in small quantities - mostly by individuals who looking for something a little different from what was available from New Zealand manufacturers.
The founding of Smart Motorhome and Caravan Sales (later rebranded to Wilderness Motorhomes) by Michael Becker and Terry Tuohy and the arrival of the first motorhomes from Bürstner in Germany.
The first Bürstner motorhomes incorporated into the Wilderness rental fleet.
Motorhome rental pioneers, John Managh and Mary Hamilton, enter into a partnership with Michael Becker and the company relocates to the Wilderness premises in Airport Oaks, Auckland. A full range of integrated and semi-integrated motorhomes plus a small range of caravans go on sale at the new Smart sales yards in Auckland and Christchurch.
Smart Motorhome and Caravan Sales rebrands as SmartRV.
SmartRV hosts its first Oktoberfest at its premises in Auckland.
The first Carado motorhomes imported by SmartRV arrive in New Zealand.
Wilderness becomes the first NZ rental fleet with exclusively German motorhomes.
The first HYMER motorhomes imported by SmartRV arrive.
John and Mary buy out Michael Becker.
SmartRV rebrands to Wilderness Motorhome Sales.
We’ve created a culture of remarkability that’s centred around our core values.
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people! We act with integrity, honesty and transparency while treating others with dignity and respect. Getting our team and our guests home safely is a top priority for us.
Every day we strive to do better as people, in our individual roles, and as a company.
We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment and giving back to the communities we are a part of.
In life, there are people who make things happen, and there are people who let things happen to them. Living above the line is all about making things happen through accountability and responsibility. We take ownership of every detail in each guest experience to help create those remarkable moments.