Top 5 New Zealand Campervan Destinations
There’s nothing better than hiring a campervan and hitting New Zealand’s open roads. The freedom of being able to travel anywhere you please – whether it be beach, rainforest or mountains, and then stay the night – is simply magic. Many of the team at Milford Sound Lodge have travelled parts of New Zealand by campervan, discovering plenty of secret, stunning places along the way. So here are the top five campervan destinations in New Zealand, as decided by us!
- Tapotupotu Campsite, Far North
The Far North is a favourite holiday spot for kiwis. A region steeped in sunshine, history and golden, sheltered beaches, the fishing is top-notch, the locals are friendly and there’s hokey pokey ice cream (the national favourite) on offer at every corner dairy. We reckon Tapotupotu Campsite, five minutes from Cape Reinga, is a real winner. There’s a fun surf beach, awesome views, forest walks and a calm lagoon for swimming. It’s a wilderness camping area with minimal facilities, so use it as a chance to get back to nature for a few days.
- Hot Water Beach Holiday Park, Coromandel Peninsula
Hot Water Beach is famous. Voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the world by Lonely Planet, this is the place where you can dig and soak in your own natural hot tub, just meters from the Pacific Ocean. The holiday park is located about 700m from the beach, which includes a picturesque estuary that leads onto one of the top surf beaches on the Coromandel. The best location for your natural hot tub is just in front of the first set of rocks – take a spade, and dig up to two hours on either side of low tide. Then relax as hot water bubbles up from beneath the sand.
- Abel Tasman Marahau Beach Camp, Nelson
One of the sunniest places in the country, you can’t go past visiting Abel Tasman National Park in a campervan. A coastal paradise you can experience by boat, on foot or by sea kayak, Abel Tasman is an awesome place to mix exploration with relaxed beach life. At the Abel Tasman Marahau Beach Camp there’s all the facilities you need, and you’re only 100m from the beach. There’s also nearby departure points for water taxis and kayaking – it’s an awesome place to base yourself from to explore the national park and beyond.
- Okains Bay Camp Ground, Banks Peninsula
Okains Bay, an hour from Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula, is a place where time stands still. Calm, picturesque beaches make this an awesome place to explore by kayak – look out for the rare and endangered Hector’s Dolphin, the smallest in the world. Steeped in fascinating early Maori and New Zealand history, there are a number of day walks nearby, and the campground is perched right on the edge of the bay and the estuary. Modern facilities make this a very comfortable place to stay. You’ll love exploring the Banks Peninsula by campervan – soaring hills and beautiful beaches characterize this part of the country.
- Rainforest Campground, Milford Sound
We promise we’re not bias, but our Rainforest Campground here at Milford Sound Lodge is an absolute NZ Must-do! A World Heritage listed destination, Milford Sound is an incredible place to stay for a night or two. Campsites are nestled within lush Fiordland rainforest, and brand new facilities means you’ve got modern amenities on hand to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Wind down at sunset to the call of native birds, take a short stroll around the forest or the waterfront and soak up a very authentic, personal experience of Milford Sound. Here, the journey is just as magical as the destination – driving the world-famous Milford Road in a campervan to reach Milford Sound is pure magic.
Bookings for our Rainforest Campground are essential, and first in, first served will get a campsite amongst the rainforest. You can book online here. Happy travels!