While the world is reduced to localised travel, it’s a welcome opportunity for New Zealanders (and those stuck here) to explore the slice of heaven that is Aotearoa. One of the best ways to see the country is by jumping in a caravan and hitting the road. Here is your ultimate inspiration guide for exploring New Zealand in a campervan:
When to go
Summer (Dec – Feb)
The weather in New Zealand is usually great during the summer – but be wary, great weather makes for big crowds and higher prices. There is a silver lining though – COVID restrictions will likely mean there’s less people to share the view with.
Autumn (Mar – May)
As the summer heat begins to drop, so do the prices and the crowds. Autumn is one of the best times to explore Aotearoa – the flora comes out to play and you can even take a dip in the fresh springs and creeks until around April.
Winter (June – Aug)
Winter in New Zealand, especially the South Island, can be extremely cold. In contrast, there’ll be less crowds and lower prices to boot. As one of the most humbling times to explore the country, winter in New Zealand is like no other. If you’re a fan of winter sports or cozying up with a hot chocolate, it might be the perfect time of year for you to visit.
Spring (Sep – Nov)
The weather can vary greatly in spring: from nice and steamy to chilly and rainy, there’s no telling what you’ll get. One of the benefits of travelling in the springtime is the abundance of incredible and colorful flora and fauna. Prices and crowds are usually average in spring.
Where to go
Renowned for its gorgeous sunsets and killer surf, Piha is known all over for being one of the North Island’s best beaches. As it’s just a 45 minute drive from Auckland, it makes the perfect pit stop on your way to delving deeper into the North Island.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Route
It’s not for everyone, but if you fancy pulling out your walking shoes, this hike is for you. Featuring Mars-like scenery and craters galore, there’s a few different trails to choose from depending on your time and fitness levels.
Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest
If you drive five minute from Rotorua, you’ll find a whimsical and luscious forest, known to locals as The Redwoods. Filled with both native and exotic trees, the forest is perfect for hikers, bikers, walkers and nature-lovers.
Only 30 minutes from the more popular Lake Tekapo is the pristine and less-crowded Lake Pukaki. The glistening aqua waters are lined by Aoraki/Mount Cook, making it a postcard perfect scene.
Wanaka is a gorgeous lakeside town that lures in visitors from all over. While it’s a small town, there’s an incredible range of natural gems to explore in the region, meaning you’ll be spoiled for choice.
It’s one of the country’s best short walks, crossing the mighty and aqua Makarora River. Lined with gorgeous forests and featuring suspension bridges with incredible views, this is a walk that shouldn’t be missed.