Experience The Adventure Of A Lifetime With A Driving Tour Of New Zealand
A rugged and largely untouched land, New Zealand is home to about 4.3 million people and 30 million sheep. Its location in the Southern Hemisphere and its isolation from all other land masses has blessed New Zealand with some of a unique flora and fauna in the world. A mostly rural country but with 21st-century infrastructure, New Zealand is blessed with a superb road network that covers the length and breadth of the vast countryside. With such excellent road facilities, it is little wonder that one of the most popular ways to experience New Zealand is by driving through it in a camper van.
Traveling across New Zealand in a camper van gives you an opportunity to visit the many towns and cities that dot the land. Motor campsites are plentiful and offer visitors amenities such as grocery shopping and on-site cooking facilities. Since it does not involve any expensive hotel stays, a holiday on an excursion in a camper van often gives you the best bang for your buck.
Here are a few of the places you should visit while on a camper van tour of New Zealand:
Starting at the northernmost tip of the island and running down the west coast is the Northland Forest Park. This national park is home to the magnificent Kauri trees, one of the largest species of trees on Earth, second only to the Sequoia Redwoods of California. Once you’ve had your fill of the towering trees of Northland Forest, head on down to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and a towering metropolis in its own right. Auckland boasts great shopping and dining, museums, art galleries, parks, gardens, and theme parks.
South of Auckland is the geothermal vents and lakes near Rotorua. The traditional heartland of New Zealand’s native Maori people, Rotorua is a volcanically active area that is home to the largest boiling lakes in the world.
Other areas of interest in the North Island are the Waitomo Glowworm caves in the west, Mount Egmont National Park in the south with its towering snow-capped mountain, and New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington where there is no shortage of things to see and do.
Lord of the Rings fans will also want to check out the Putangiura Pinnacles, which is a three-hour drive from Wellington. This site was the shooting location for the Dimholt Road scenes in “Return of the King.”
Crossing the Cook Strait brings you to New Zealand’s South Island, which in many respects is actually more rugged and scenic than the north. A ferry service is available between Wellington in the North and Picton, a small town on the shores of the South Island. Ferries depart every 2 or 3 hours between 6 in the morning and 6 at night – camper vans are welcome. The 3-hour ferry ride between Wellington and Picton offers incredible views of the sea and of South Island’s rugged coastline.
The old mining town of Westport on the west coast of the South Island is a great place to visit. Attractions in Westport include a tour of underground coal mines as well as a nearby coastal walkway that offers magnificent views of West Coast sunsets. The landscape along the entire western coast is stunning, attractions like the Pancake Rocks and the Blowholes at Punakaiki. A drive further down south to the Westland National Park will bring your face to face with the 12 kilometer long Franz Josef Glacier, one of the few sea-level glaciers in the world.
One of the most popular attractions in the South Island is the resort town of Queenstown. Located in Central Otago, in the southwest region of the island, Queenstown is popularly known as the Adventure Capital of the World. This is a well-deserved title since Queenstown is the birthplace of bungee jumping and is the epicenter for wild and crazy extreme sports activities of all kinds. Bungy jumping, paragliding, jet boating, canyon swinging, skydiving, mountain biking and more are all available in Queenstown.
If visiting Queenstown and are looking for a place to stay, look no further than GoodStays Queenstown Holiday Homes. Providing a wide range of Queenstown holiday houses for rent, there will be a house that will suit your accommodation needs.
Driving northeast of Queenstown will bring you to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, and the road from there will take you to the city of Christchurch. Known as the Garden City thanks to its many parks and public gardens, Christchurch is the South Island’s cultural center with cultural heritage sites, sports facilities, and fine shopping and dining venues.
Other attractions in the South Island are the Hammer Springs, famous for its rejuvenating thermal pools and the town of Kaikoura, a great place for whale watching.