One of the most exciting ways to travel and discover the magnificent natural beauty of New Zealand is by driving around in a campervan. Among the best advantages of travelling in a campervan is the fact that you can stop whenever and wherever you please and enjoy the place without any time pressure. But the question for most travellers is deciding to drive around in the North or the South Island. Of course, if your time and budget permits, you can travel around in both islands by crossing on one of the Interislander ferries across Cook Strait. But keep in mind that there are plenty of things to do and destinations to see in this country that you may need to limit your campervan holiday to just one island at a time.
The North Island
The North Island definitely boasts a good number of magnificent destinations and some breathtaking scenery. You can drive down the marvellous city of Rotorua, the country’s Maori heartland and geothermal capital. Park your campervan in one of the city’s many camping grounds and holiday parks and visit one of the city’s hot springs or Polynesian spas, or you can go trout fishing, white water rafting, or kayaking. Drive down Lake Taupo and indulge in wonderful water activities. You can drive your campervan to sunny Bay of Islands, regarded as New Zealand’s best maritime park. Relax in one of the area’s sub-tropical beaches or go on an eco-adventure tour to experience the Bay’s lush marine life. If you want to experience city life, you can always drive to Auckland or Wellington and visit the cities’ magnificent attractions like the Sky Tower and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
The South Island
The South Island features a wide array of amazing natural wonders – from spectacular coastal beaches to exciting raging rivers. In this island, you will discover fiords, turquoise lakes, glaciers, the Southern Alps, the breathtaking Marlborough Sounds and a wide range of flora and fauna. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the island’s historical places such as Christchurch and towns in the Otago region. If you plan to drive around the South Island in a campervan, start from bigger cities such as Christchurch, Picton or Nelson. The city of Nelson gets the most sunshine hours in the country. You’ll definitely enjoy walking in the city’s golden beaches and trekking in Abel Tasman National Park or Kahurangi National Park. From Nelson, you can drive your campervan down the scenic west coast. Stop by the fantastic town of Murchison for some white water kayaking, rafting, fishing, mountain biking or horse trekking. You can then drive down the fishing town of Greymouth for some cave rafting. This town is also famous for gold panning activities. Drop by then historic town of Hokitika, where you can visit the National Kiwi Centre.
When travelling in a hired campervan, you usually have the option of going back to your starting point to return the vehicle or dropping it off at another destination.