3 May 2022
Hitting the road after COVID-19
If you are not quite ready to head overseas but itching for a holiday there’s never been a more appropriate time for planning a trip in our own backyard.
Auckland to Bay of Islands and Northland
Once you leave the city and head north, there is so much to explore. From the lapis-coloured sea and beautiful coves of the Bay of Islands to the ruggedly beautiful far north and Ninety Mile Beach, the top of our country has much to offer.
While there are some winding sections of road to deal with, the Coromandel is full of hidden gems and stunning scenery. Popular Hot Water Beach,
with its sub-sand geothermal springs, and the stunning Cathedral Cove are perhaps the most well-known, but there is plenty more to see and discover.
Rotorua, Taupō and the Central North Island
Dramatic geothermal areas, the country’s largest lake, mountains, volcanoes and a desert are all packed into this incredible part of New Zealand. You can choose to take on some of the most adventurous activities in the country, or simply relax and check out the incredible scenery. There is plenty of provision for motorhomes in many areas, with Taupō the main tourist drawcard.
Wellington and Wairarapa
The “coolest little capital” is known as the seat of culture and art as well as government and business. Motorhome parking is best outside of the city though, with good public transport options available. Wider Wellington has plenty to explore, including the Kāpiti Coast with access to Kāpiti Island nature sanctuary to the north west, and the temperate, green, agriculture and wine-growing region of Wairarapa over the hills to the north-east.
Nelson, Marlborough and the Top of the South
Famed for the highest average sunshine hours in New Zealand this region is a beautiful place to explore. From historic Nelson to Marlborough’s vineyards, the beautiful coastline and the gateway to the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, there is so much to see and do, any time of year.
Kaikōura to Hanmer Springs
Marine wildlife, including whales and dolphins, are a common sight at Kaikōura thanks to the unique submarine geography, while Hanmer Springs offers the largest thermal pools complex in the country, perfect for a soak after the winding drive to get there.
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Lauded as likely to be the most jaw dropping drive you’ll ever take, the scenery in this area is simply incredible. The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are some of the largest in the country and descend from the Southern Alps almost to sea level, slow-moving rivers of ice that pass through verdant native forest. The West Coast also boasts the incredible rock formations at Punakāiki, known as the ‘Pancake Rocks’, beautiful Mt Aspiring National Park and the picturesque towns of Hokitika and Greymouth.
Queenstown to Fiordland
Queenstown has wonderful shops and restaurants, but what really sets this region apart is the surrounding mountain scenery. Take the gondola behind the town to
the high hillside above and marvel at a backdrop that is so awe-inspiring it’s hard to believe what you are looking at is actually real. This feeling continues further south at World Heritage-listed Fiordland, where Milford and Doubtful Sounds are two of the fourteen spectacular fiords that span 215 kilometres of coastline.