New Zealand is one of the most incredible destinations in the world. From Hobbit Holes to waterfalls, is can hardly be beat. One of the best ways to see it is by road tripping through the country! If you decide to conquer New Zealand by RV, make sure you stop at all the best places and do all the cool things. Here are some RV-friendly ideas to get you started!
Abel Tasman National Park
This is one of New Zealand’s most incredible natural areas. The park is along the coast, so you can enjoy both land and sea while you’re here. The park also offers a variety of things to do, like boating experiences and a variety of nature walks. Some of the coolest things are the Harwoods Hole Track, which takes you through the deepest vertical shaft in the country, and the Wainui Falls Track, which leads to the largest waterfall in Golden Bay. Kids will love the long swinging bridge. The best news of all: you can camp right in the National Park!
The Coromandel is filled with wonderful sights that you don’t want to miss during your New Zealand RV road trip. There are so many cool things to see that you won’t find anywhere else! Start with the views at Karangahake Gorge, where the river flows between sheer cliffs. Next, take a boat to Cathedral Cove, so named for its cave’s church-like vaulted interior. Don’t forget to take the Hauraki Rail Trail, where you’ll see lush green foliage and cascading waterfalls. Walk along New Chum Beach, hike The Pinnacles, and finally, enjoy the Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own naturally-heated hot tub in the sand.
The natural world of New Zealand is perfectly intoxicating, but don’t neglect the cities. It can be tough to find a place to stay in the metro area when you’re RVing through, but Auckland has a surprising number of nearby campsites. If you don’t opt to stay in a somewhat urbanized campground, make sure you stop for at least a day trip in Auckland. There is so much to see here! Visit Auckland Art Gallery, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, Albert Park, and the boats at Westhaven Marina before continuing on your way.
For a less-than-metro town experience, stay near Albert Town. The Albert Town Camping Area is a picturesque riverside campsite. The campsites are inexpensive, and they include restrooms, trash bins, and the like. Plus, you’ll be close enough to Albert Town to try out some of its activities (can you say “skiing?”) while still getting to stay in the great outdoors.
Go far, far out to sea (sort of) when you drive to the tip of Tawharanui Peninsula. A significant portion of the peninsula is reserved as a protected site for animals, so you’ll be able to see many species just going about their everyday business as you explore. You can camp at the All Modes Campground with your RV. The campground includes the basic facilities, plus some picnic tables. The crowning glory of the park is the white-sand beach that lines the coast. While you’re there, you can go see the farm animals, go on a nature walk to see the wildlife, or go fishing, kayaking, biking, or boating. If you’re a surfer, you’re in luck—Tawharanui Park is the perfect place to catch a wave or two.
Rotorua is a fantastic destination that allows you to see all aspects of life in New Zealand. This city offers a chance to experience the magic of New Zealand’s volcanoes, the wonder of geothermal activity, the beauty of the forests, and the flavor of Maori culture. You can also eat great Kiwi food, enjoy a spa after all that sitting and driving, or head to one of the family-friendly attractions. One of the coolest things to do is visit Whakerewarewa, the living Maori village.
Of course, no trip to New Zealand is complete without a visit to the Hobbiton set from the Lord of the Rings movies. You can take a tour to see all the Hobbit holes, plus stop and relax at both the inn and the café, which have been converted into actual canteens. It’s a perfectly magical experience, and it may just convince you that at one time, Middle Earth really did exist.
12 Mile Delta Campground
If you’re going to be visiting Queenstown, this is the place to camp. It has running water and bathrooms, plus plenty of spots for camping. Dark skies will give you the opportunity to stargaze, while daytime brings many lakeside adventures to enjoy. The views are lovely, and the walks you can take along the lake are even better. You’re also not too far from civilization, so this might be a good time to do your midway shopping trip.
This famous black-sand beach is the perfect place to break out your surf board. If you don’t have one, or if you know absolutely nothing about surfing, never fear! You can take lessons and rent equipment at the beach. Even if you’re not into crazy watersports, you can enjoy the beach and the hiking in the surrounding area. Those seeking relaxation can simply sit on the beach and enjoy a cool drink and a meal from the beachside café.
Mercer Bay Loop Walk
This is a stunningly gorgeous trek along the edge of cliffs dropping down to the ocean. It sounds risky, but of course, if you obey signs and guard rails, you’ll be just fine. You can choose one of three walks, each with a different length and difficulty level. The most difficult trek is the most fun, and it involves clambering up the sides of steep hills, walking on slippery ground, and ridiculously gorgeous photo ops. The other two are also wonderful, and you can enjoy good views from anywhere.
Of course, these are just a handful of the many incredible activities you can take part in when you rent an RV to road trip through New Zealand. As you can see, the beautiful views, fun activities, and bucket-list experiences are endless! So get out and enjoy nature in one of the most beautiful places in the world.