New Zealand offers some of the most spectacular and the most remarkable natural environments in the world, and travelling on a hired campervan would be one of the best options to explore this country up close. Nothing can quite compare to the feeling of freedom on the open road in a campervan. With so many places to explore in the North Island, it would be smart to do a little planning. This brief article recommends the five best places to explore in New Zealand’s North Island in your campervan vacation.
Bay of Islands
Considered as the country’s finest maritime park, the Bay of Islands in the Northland Region is the perfect place to explore New Zealand’s rich marine life. “The Bay”, as it is locally known, attracts many travellers from all over the world. It is known for its sub-tropical climate and offers some of the loveliest beaches New Zealand has to offer. You can choose among many different campsites that provide affordable accommodations for your campervan. Go on an eco-adventure in a high-speed catamaran and swim with the dolphins.
The Coromandel Peninsula
In just a two-hour smooth drive from the country’s largest city, Auckland, you’ll discover one of the best beaches New Zealand has to offer, Coromandel. Park your campervan in the historic town of Thames, the peninsula’s main shopping hub. You can take a guided tour at the Thames Gold Mine or the War Memorial Civic Centre to learn more about the town’s history. You can drive to the artistic Coromandel Town to try out local restaurants or drive to Mercury bay to explore the peninsula’s thermal beach called Hot Water Beach, famous for its warm sea water.
Considered as the heartland of the country’s Maori culture, the historic city of Rotorua is accessible from the country’s largest city, Auckland. The area prides itself for having one of the world’s best geothermal reserves such as Whakarewarewa, Waiotapu and Waimangu. You can park your campervan in one of the city’s many designated parking and camping areas, holiday parks, and reserves. Rotorua is famous for its hot springs, boiling pools and volcanic terraces. The lakes are perfect for fishing and swimming. This city is the best place to immerse yourself in the rich Maori culture.
Tongariro National Park
The Tongariro National Park, located near Lake Taupoin the North Island is regarded as among the world’s oldest national parks. The park receives regular snowfalls during wintertime and is home to Mt. Ruapehu the largest skiing area in the country. Park your campervan and stay in Whakapapa Holiday Park. From here, you can go on a one-day hike called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. You can also head up to the Whakapapa Ski Area for skiing and snowboarding. And after, you can head down to the park’s thermal hot pools to relax and unwind. From here, you can choose among different water sports or you can go mountain biking before going back to your campervan.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves
These world-renowned caves situated in the Waitomo region are one of the country’s most famous attractions that attract both local and international travellers. No vacation is complete in the North Island without visiting these caves, famous for the high concentration of glowworms (Arachnocampaluminosa). Campervans are welcome in different holiday parks in the Waitomo region.