There is something so innately Kiwi about family motorhome holiday. Packing up the camper with the chilly bin, portable BBQ and on-the-go sporting equipment that screams the ultimate New Zealand vacation.
A motorhome is one of the most versatile ways to travel in the way that is portable accommodation. Whether you are heading to one or multiple destinations, the motorhome is the ideal travel companion. It also has the added luxury of being wind and rain proof which enables it to rise above the humble tent on the overnight points scale.
Beach and lake holidays have been the New Zealand getaway staple for decades, and for good reason. There are glorious spots all over the country which have ample room to park up and enjoy. If you have children, using a motorhome is probably one of the most cost effective ways to see the country while keeping the little ones entertained.
While a motorhome holiday gives one the freedom to stop whenever and wherever they may want, travelers should be aware they are not trespassing on private land. Some spots around New Zealand permitted freedom camping but you should always check before you go.
Top motorhome holiday spots
Bay of Islands
Long know for boasting some of the most beautiful views in the country, the Bay of Islands, located at the northeast tip of New Zealand, is the perfect place to start you motorhome vacation. With several quality camp grounds to park up at night, the Bay of Islands features white sand beaches along the coastline, Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri, and the country's oldest church, Christ Church, in Russell. History buffs may also enjoy checking out Waitangi, the location of where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840.
The peninsula is largely covered in rain forest and its rugged nature makes much of the peninsula isolated. Driving along the coast displays views of the many small islands that lie offshore, including the Motukawao Islands, Alderman Islands, Slipper Island, and the Mercury Islands. The volcanic history of the area is apparent in the geothermal hot springs which are tucked away in several places. While lush forests captures much of the peninsula, the coasts are dominated with beaches and striking views. Places worth a look are Cathedral Cove, the Moehau Ranges with its mysterious monster, The Hairy Moehau and Mercury Bay.
The beautiful Lake Taupo, the largest surface lake in New Zealand, has been a mecca for tourists from all over the work for decades. The large volcanic crater- lake is popular for its stunning background and copious amounts of water sports. Hugely popular in the summer, the lake area has plenty of activities and sights to keep everyone, young or old, entertained. Highlights include Huka Falls, Maori Rock Carving, Craters of the Moon and Tongariro National Park. Despite being dormant for thousands of years the lake has continued underwater hydrothermal activity, with several vents and geothermal fields and hot springs nearby.
The hidden paradise of Golden Bay lies southwest of Cook Strait and west of Tasman Bay. The bay is separated from the sea by the Farewell Spit. This is without a doubt one of the top areas in the South Island to visit. A peaceful community, Golden Bay is the perfect place for people who want to relax, meet the laid-back locals and check out the spectacular scenery. For a leisurely jaunt, check out the Wharariki Beach, Pupu Springs, and Farewell Spit.
The Otago of Wanaka sits at the southern end of Lake Wanaka, and is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. Principally a resort town, Wanaka boasts amazing scenery activities during both summer and winter seasons and is known for a plethora of outdoor adventure opportunities. Top activities in Wanaka include the biennial Warbirds over Wanaka, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, paragliding, kayaking, rafting, and jet boating. Mount Aspiring National Park is popular for mountaineering and hiking, while Lake Wanaka boasts waterskiing, wakeboarding and sailing. For multi-seasonal fun the ski resorts are open for mountain biking and hiking in the summer and snowboarding and skiing in the winter.
The Kaikoura Peninsula is known for its lavish amounts of marine life, with an abundance of crayfish, whale watching , dolphins and Southern Fur Seals. The town sits on the Kaikoura Mountains, a branch of the Southern Alps and is accessible to several walking tracks up and through the mountains, the best being the Mt. Fyffe track, which rolls up the mountain, and provides panoramic views of the peninsula from the summit. Visitors can also take a local fishing tour, scuba dive the reefs or kayak through the waters of the peninsula.
Travelling by motorhome is an increasing trend all over the world and for good reason. Generally the biggest cost of a vacation is food and accommodation but a motorhome can cut the costs down and enable you to see far more of the countryside than you might have if you had flown to a destination and relied on public transport to get around. Its cheaper accommodation, you can cook and carry your own food, and if you wish you have the option of waking up to a beach or lake view without the hefty hotel price tag. Motorhome vacations provide an idyllic freedom, that properly planned, can show holiday makers the real New Zealand.