Sunday, 12 August 2012

Two days in Queenstown....

By peter-moore  - Flickr
Two days in Queenstown is a far cry from enough time in the beautiful town but sometimes that might be all we can get.  If you're doing a motorhome trip and want to see other beautiful places in NZ, then you may be in and out quickly.

So what is there to do in this beautiful town on a quick trip? A lot, and I'll let you in on my favourites.

First of all a place to park your Camper and spend the night at.  Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park is a 500m walk from the shores of Lake Whakatipu and a 100m walk from the town centre.

The Remarkables Ski resort, Queenstown, New Zealand
By Sam Berry Photo - Flickr
If you want to spend the whole day up the mountain skiing or snowboarding, there are several ski fields in the area to tickle your fancy.  You could spend half a day or a full day up the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, travel a little further to Cardrona or do some jumps and shakas at Snow Park.

If you want to spend a little more time doing the activities in Queenstown, here are a few.

A hearty breakfast always begins the day well.  Halo is my favourite, located on the corner of Camp Street and Earl Street.  It doesn't have lake views but is nestled next to an old anglican church.

P1020051 SS Earnslaw, Queenstown
By ianw1951 - flickr
A walk down to the lakeside after this will do you well.  From here you can decide if you want to do a Parasail, take out a kayak or partake in some other water sport or take a ride on the Earnslaw, the Lake's famous ship.  She will paddle steam you across to the other side of the lake where you can see the farm animals, have an agriculture show, go for the Walter Peak Horse Trek or have some delicious tea and scones.

Whether you do it on your first day or your second, make sure you stop in at Patagonia Chocolates -  a delectable cafe with delicious chocolates and hot chocolates.

The shops are lovely to take a walk and browse through with so many NZ made items, beautiful clothes and The Remarkable sweetshop - where you can buy the perfect gifts to take home to loved ones.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy
By aaronKoo - Flickr
Take a drive over to the shotover river where you can be thrilled on the Shotover jet as it races around the river, or take the plunge and do a bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge - location of the world's first bungy!

Back in Queenstown, the gondola awaits to take you up those beautiful mountains that Queenstown strands in the shadow of.  Marvel at the stunning views of Queenstown and the distant mountains as you ascend 450 metres up the mountain.  At the top you can take a ride in the luge or explore the  terrain and hurdle through the trees on a mountain bike.

By peter-moore - flickr
If you like a bit of mini golf, at the foot of the Gondoloa is an outdoor mini golf course and a very exciting indoor mini golf.  Try beat the records!

If you've still got time, Arrowtown (about an hours drive away) is a pretty and quaint gold mining town that is definitely worth the visit.

Now that should be enough to fill in two days. My dinner recommendations to end the day with are Ferg's Burgers on Shotover street, Queenstown, Pog Mahone's on Rees street (for a pub meal) or Avanti Cafe in The Mall street.

Pick up a Campervan from Queenstown or drive in from somewhere else, but make sure you check out this beautiful and fun town.  Give campervan hire sale finder a visit to book your camper!!

Have a look on for more Queenstown ideas or other NZ destinations. 

Have a fun roadie and have fun in Queenstown!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Surf New Zealand's waves!

Piha Beach, New Zealand
Piha Beach
By Mr Photo NZ - Flickr 
New Zealand has some exceptional surf breaks and beautiful beaches and beach towns to match.  Pick up a Campervan and do a tour of the North Island's West Coast beaches with your buddy and your surfboards.

Begin the surfie's tiki tour (scenic tour) in Auckland with a campervan and readily waxed boards.  If there's only tow of you and you don't mind sharing a bed, you can get some cheap Backpacker campervans, or if there's more of you pick up a 4 berth or even 6 berth vehicle.

Surfer's 2 +1 berth
Surfer's 4 berth with toilet and shower 

Take your campervan north and more north (if you want the abridged version road trip skip this part) to Ahipara.   It's a 4 hour drive so you could break it up and have a surf at Te Arai (take Mangawhai road turnoff from state highway road about 1 1/2 hours from airport.

Te Arai Beach
By Ranger Gav - Flickr
Ahipara, now a three hour drive away, is at the southern end of 90 mile beach on the West coast. It is 14 km from the town of Kaitaia. At the southern end of Ahipara beach is Shipwrecks bay which has has a number of wrecks visible at low tide.  The Bay is very popular with surfers and a beautiful place to stay.

Park the Camper after a tiring surf and stay at :

Ahipara Viewpoint.
Ahipara Bay
By NZ Frenzy - Flickr
After you've spent some time at Ahipara go for an explore of Ninety mile beach and Cape Reinga.  If you've got a 4WD vehicle you'll be able to drive the length of the beach and cruise on to the sand dunes.  These are a lot of fun and it's always a highlight to slide down on a bodyboard, tabogan or piece of cardboard.

On the way back down to Auckland, stop for a shaka at Pakiri beach surf spot. There's a camping ground there too. If you get sick of surfing for a day you can take a leisurely horse ride. 

Pakiri Beach
By Piotr Zurek - Flickr Commons
Above Piha
Piha Beach
By Chris Gin - Flickr
Closer to Auckland is Piha Beach.  It's about a 40 minute drive west and don't be suprised (or burn you feet) on the black sands. They are the result  of a high iron content, of volcanic origin.   Piha is very popular with surfers and is a notorious beach for big waves.  The  beach has a couple of convenience shops, a delicious cafe with great coffee, and a camp ground.  

Awesome Piha
Piha Waves
By Glenn Reeves - Flickr

Spend a couple of days riding Piha's waves before jumping on the road south.  Today you can head to Raglan.  This surfie town has an awesome vibe. Jump off the bridge in town and do some bombs into the water, eat and drink at the great eateries in town , play a spot of tennis, hire paddle boards or kayaks and of course head to Manu  or Whale Bay.

Spend the night at:

Raglan, New Zealand
By crayon_pony_fish - Flickr

Campervan's are a great way to travel.  You can fit your surfboards and take you beds everywhere you go.  Stop beach side and pull out your camp stove or if you've got a bigger vehicle cook up a big breakfast in your campervan after the morning's surf . You don't need to have an agenda and can stay as lng or short as you like without having to book motels etc.  Campervans are the perfect way for a keen surfie to travel.  

Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen in Summer, the NZ sun is harsh if you're not prepared.

Find the perfect campervan for your surf trip at Campervan Hire Sale finder before they all get booked out for summer! 

Surf's up!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

East Coast Campervan Roadtrip.

Tokomaru Bat, Gisborne
By Brendon & Keryn - Flickr
It may be still rainy and cold in New Zealand but the summer holidays will come and the campervans will sell out quickly.  It pays to book early and be prepared for your New Zealand trip.  One of the great thing about New Zealand is that it doesn't become to crowded and unpleasant in summer. You can stiol find places where you'll have a lovely relaxed stay.

The East coast of the North Island is as beautiful as it is fun.  From one kiwi (New Zealander) to a non-kiwi, you can hewar the places to go that maybe you may not hear about otherwise.

Pick up your choice of Campervan in Auckland, stay a night there if you want, or head down south-east towards Tauranga/Mount Maunganui.  The drive takes you south on the Motorway before turning off on state highway 28 towards tauranga.  Drive through small NZ towns like Paeroa. Make sure you stop here for a look through the antique shops and opportunity shops and to sample some LnP - NZ's favourite fizzy drink.
Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui town from Mount Maunganui
By chrisangle - Flickr
Mount Maunganui is one of the country's best holiday spots.  Surrounded by sparkling waters, you can swim  almost anywhere, and dotted with mountains you can walk or climb and take in beautiful views.  Mount Maunganui itself is of course a beautiful walk around or up as is the Papmoa Hills.
The beach is popular with surfies so bring your board or take some surfing lessons, hire a kayak on the harbour side of the town or chill out in one of the many cafes or bars , Major Toms bar being my favourite bar and Tay Street Cafe being my preferred cafe.

Follow the local kids and jump off the wharf or eat some fish and chips on the beach.  You can park the camper and spend the night at Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, Cosy Corner Holiday Park or go a little further down the coast to Papamoa Top 10 holiday Park.

Once you've had your fill of Mount Maunganui or want something a bit quieter, jump on the road and head out to the East Cape.  You'll notice a change in scenery as you head out onto the cape.  The seas are rougher but still beautiful, the beaches that come so near the road are strewn with drift wood and rivers are opening up the whole drive around.  The houses are more humble as are the towns, don't be surprised if you see a bare back horse rider.

Raukokore Church
Raukokore church
By Dave NZ
As you head towards Gisborne, you'll want to break up the trip and stay somewhere along the way.
Stop for a break at Pacific Coast Macadamias and sit next to the trees with a bite from the cafe. Have a look at the beautiful church after Papatea Bay and stop for an ice cream at Waihau Bay.

New Zealand, East Cape (North Island)
East Cape
By __frequenter - Flickr
Hicks Bay is another beautiful bay to spend some time at. Te Araroa Bay has a pretty camp ground set among big old trees and along side the beach. It is also home to the oldest Pohutukawa tree and has a lighthouse that you can follow the track to. Take your fishing rod or a handline with you because the a bush walk around Haupara Point leads to some excellent rock fishing.

Tolaga Bay
Tolaga Bay Pier
By Dave NZ  - Flickr 
Tokomaru bay is before Gisborne and is a large stretch of white sand, washed with clear blue waters. A very picturesque place to stop.   At Tolaga bay as you keep following State Highway 35, you'll find the Tolaga Bay Pier, New Zealand's longest pier. It's old and there'll be lots of Fisherman at the end.  There's a campervan park there, Tolaga Bay Holiday Park,  where you could spend a dreamy night.  Lay on the beach and enjoy the views.

There would be many places along the journey where you can free camp, but to be safer try find a camp ground. They'll be dotted around the place frequently and would not usually be full.

Be sure to stop off at beautiful rivers for a dip in the fresh, clean waters, most that you can see from the road would be accessible.
Take your time on the journey, there's so much to see.

Gisborne is a surfers town, located on the curve of the east cape.  It's the first city in the world to see the sun each day and is home to many painters, poets, potters, attracted by the relaxed life style. Go for a surf, or learn how to surf, walk along the teal waterways,  discover the Maori culture at the historic sites and last but not least ride the Rere rock slide.

10 minutes from Gisborne, stay at Tatapouri By The Sea, or stay at Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.

rere rock slide h3
Rere Rock Slide
By NZ Frenzy - Flickr
Now, Rere Rock slide is a must do, but you'd reap the most benefits if you have a boogie board, inner tube or even a piece of cardboard.  50 kilometres from Gisborne on Wharekopae Road is this natural rock slide that forms part of the river.While you're there, walk around the Rere Falls, swim in the swimming hole and picnic in the picnic area.  It'll be a fun day, be sure of it.

No worries
Hawkes Bay winery bike tour
By Johan_Leiden
Continue the road trip 2 & 1/2 hours down the coast to Napier.  Napier has a huge stretch of pebbled beach and has a delicious blend of history, culture, wine and local cuisine.  This "art deco" city lets you take a guided walk around the city, has a fun aquarium to visit and the best yet, bike tour of the wineries. So much fun and pretty well priced.  If you can handle the smell (a bad one) located at the nearby Cape Kidnappers, you can see the biggest Mainland gannet colony in the world.  The scenery up there is worth it though if you don't think the birds are.

The East Coast journey for me comes to an end here. But on your way back to Auckland stay and explore Taupo and Rotorua. This geothermal area offers a lot for the tourist in terms of culture, sight seeing and fun activities.

Go where you want and do what you want but make sure you get a campervan for your journey.  They give so much freedom for where you can stay, you could end up in prime real estate beach locations for the night,  and they save you a lot of money on expensive accomodation.  You can cook or snooze where you want, just pull up aside a nice beach, crank the stove or brew a coffee and you're living the dream.

Hire a Campervan here and find some great deals on rates.  This trip will be unforgettable.

Rere Rock Slide, near Gisborne:

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ski Ruapehu New Zealand!

Mt Ruapehu.
By elastic design - Flickr Creative Commons
The glorious Mount Ruapehu, in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, will be a snowy, perfect picture soon and a wonderland for skiiers and snowboarders.  The double ski field mountain is scheduled to open soon (around July) when the snow covers enough ground to let you shred down the slopes.

Mount Ruapehu is situated near the middle of New Zealand's North Island in the Tongariro National Park area.  It has two skifields: Turoa, on the southern side and Whakapapa on the northern side.  Both are world class ski areas that boast fantastic views over the central plains.  On clear days, Mount Taranaki can be seen from  the Turoa side and the magnificent Ngaruahoe from the Whakapapa side. (Think Lord of the Rings' Mordor).  The ski fields are 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours drive from Auckland and about the same from Wellington.   The ski fields are accessible by cars and then chairlifts.   Both cater for the whole family to have a fun day.  Get the kids some ski lessons in Happy Valley and you can head further up the slopes to the fresher powder.  

Ohakune Mountain Road, Mount Ruapehu, through snow-covered bush
Ohakune to Turoa Ski Field
By Pseudopanax - Creative Commons
There are several campgrounds where you can happily stay in your Campervan in the Ohakune area (which is ideal for Turoa skifield) or in the Tongariro area (which is nearest to Whakapapa). 

If you're flying into Auckland or Wellington, pick up a Campervan, perhaps stay a night in the city somewhere to get refreshed and then drive the next morning up or down the country.  If you want to break up the trip a bit, stay a night in Palmerston North, if you're coming from Wellington, or Rotorua, if you're coming from Auckland.  

You'll see the majestic Mount Ruapehu from far off on your approach,  she'll be glistening in the sun.  Head straight on up the mountain if you can.  Campervans make a great changing room to get into your snow gear rather than the carpark...  If you need to hire all or some gear, you can do that in the villages at the foot of, or up the mountain.  If it's a cold day or bad weather day, get back in the campervan, brew up some coffee and snuggle up under some blankets.  Campervans sound like they are made for the mountain life.  
Ruapehu Summit
By Marcus Aurelius - Creative Commons

If you're more of a hiker and would rather hike to the summit than ski or snowboard, the walk has got to be one of the best in the world.  The reward at the end is incomparable.  Make sure you take water and lots of energy!!

Alright, places to stay in the beautiful snow villages:

By Digging for Fire - Flickr Creative Commons
Turoa side:

Whakapapa side:

A Campervan trip to the mountain, a perfect family holiday or couples get away!  Find a Campervan at many locations in New Zealand. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

South Island West Coast in a Campervan

New Zealand, South Island, west coast
Rugged Beauty of the West Coast
By suzanne Hallam - Flickr
The west coast of New Zealand, a rugged yet spectacularly beautiful stretch of coast.  In winter take a drive and see the mountains frosted with snow, the glaciers in full glory and the waves of the Tasman sea beating against the rocky shorelines.

Pick up a Campervan in Picton and begin your adventure of New Zealand's incredible scenery and landscapes. 

Campervans are the perfect way to explore New Zealand.  Stop and take in the scenery with a brew of coffee anywhere you like and stop when you feel tired to have a snooze.  Cosy up in the campervan and the large windows will let you see the amazing vistas as the sun goes down in the West.

After Picton, first up is Nelson. A seaside town featuring many things to do all seasons.  Take a mountain bike on the cycle tracks, go fly fishing or set sail on a sailing trip all year around. It may be cold in winter but the white sand beaches are still beautiful and worth a walk.  Vineyards grace the surrounding area and invite you to winery dining. Or pull up in a Campervan park and cook a gourmet meal in your Campervan's kitchenette.

Stay at:

Morning mist, west coast, New Zealand
Morning Mist - West coast
By dmmaus - Flickr
Head Southwest towards  Westport, the first taste of the South Island's West coast.  Pass through the Kahurangi National park and stop off by the Buller gorge overshadowed by the magnificent Southern alps. The Buller river flows through a deep canyon below State Highway 6.

Westport offers many places to dine on fresh seafood and try the local boutique beers while watching the sun set over the ocean. The area is also rich in history from the gold miners and early settlers, thus providing museums and even some gold panning in local streams. Try your luck!

Stay at:
 If you're game, head north up the coast to Karamea. This secluded haven is tucked between the mountains and the coast on the river plain. Plenty of prettiness to be seen as well as adventure to be had.  It caters for the tramper, mountain biker,  the caver, the birdwatcher, fisherman and the botanist.
Stay at:
Punakaiki 6
Pancake Rocks
By tixie21 - Flickr
Head down country following the coast road to Punakaiki.   The open road will show you the rugged coast for ten's of kilometres. Remember, the great thing about a Campervan is you can sit and relax in it alongside a beautiful scenic spot.

Punakaiki is home to the wonderous pancake rocks and exciting blowholes. Varied landscapes encompass lush native rainforest, mountain tops and the rugged beach. Take a walk or dine in the waterline restaurant.

Hokitika Gorge
Hokitika Gorge
By whoapower - Flickr
Continue the campervan chugging along the coast to Greymouth for an explore and then Hokitika. This small town New Zealand is home to some of the best seafood and cheese and plenty of festivals and fun activities.  See live Kiwi at The National Kiwi Centre, check out the artisans of Hokitika's working glass and sculptures, carve your own Maori treasure or enjoy an afternoon paddle boat cruise on tranquil waters.  Be sure to taste some white bait, a West Coast delicacy.

Park the Campervan and get some rest at:
Franz josef Glacier LC0250
Franz Josef Glacier
By Jorg Hempel - Wikimedia
Once you've had your fill of Hokitika, drive south past rivers, beautiful lakes and small West coast towns to New Zealand's spectacular glaciers. Lake Lanthe, Wahapo and Mapourika are perfect for a scenic stop, so brew the coffee and get out the camera and deck chairs. 
Franz and Fox Glacier are incredible landforms, that are receding, so not to be missed.  Over the bridge from Franz Josef town, you'll find the carpark.... but watch out for the intelligent and very curious native Kea birds.... they like to find food anywhere.

Check out this site for free camping parks in the area, or stay at:
By tobygrubb - Flickr
Head deeper south through Haast, Mount Aspiring national past beautiful scenic lake roads of Wanaka and Hawea and rest again in Hawea town or Wanaka town.  Both exceptionally beautiful lakeside spots.   Wanaka is situated in close proximity to Treble Cone or Cardrona mountains if you're game for a bit of skiing, Snowboarding or just checking out the mountain slopes.  

From Wanaka, the road is open to head south to Queenstown, or east to Dunedin,  Oamaru, Timaru or Christchurch on the East coast.  Pick your next destination!! or return the campervan to the many town options.

The journey takes in the spectacularly rugged but untouched West coast of New Zealand.  Have an incredible journey and make the most of the Campervan's faciulities for making the most of the scenery. 

All you need to do now is book a Campervan!  Find one to suit your budget and desired size at Campervan Hire Sale Finder New Zealand.  

Monday, 14 May 2012

Speaking the Kiwi Lingo

Kiwi signpost
Kiwis on the road
By Virtualmv - Wikimedia Commons
For most people traveling to New Zealand it means you don't need to learn a whole new language.  Along with the spectacular scenery, friendly people and clean green environment, this is  a bonus.  English is pretty universal and even if it's not the native language, many Europeans, Asians and Americans have learnt it.  However, coming to grips with the "kiwi" take on the English language may require a bit more education by a native "Kiwi".  I must make a disclaimer however, as I in no way at all know the Kiwi language to the full extent.  South Islanders' language differs from North Islanders' just like the North Aucklanders' lingo differs from the South Aucklanders'. 

I will enlighten those traveling to New Zealand on the more common terms so that when you pick up the rental car or Campervan or check in to the Campervan Park, you'll be able to understand the kiwi bloke whose showing you the ropes.... not to mention make friends with the locals along the way. 

Waiau Dairy and Tea Rooms, Canterbury, New Zealand, June 2007
New Zealand Dairy
By PhillipC - Flickr

 Eating and Meals:

Kumara: A sweet potato and common Kiwi food. Buy them in vegetable root form or in chip form from the local Fish and chip shop ( a common casual weekend and beach food for Kiwis)
Chips: are fries. 
Dairy: The local corner shop/ convenience store in most small  towns and bigger ones too. 
L&P: The World Famous in New Zealand Fizzy drink, made in Paeroa in central North Island.  
Chilly Bin: What you keep you food cold in on picnics or roadtrips.
Hokey Pokey: A delicious and much loved ice cream flavour. 
Tip Top: The NZ icecream (and bread) brand.
Marmite: NZ's alternative to Vegemite. To be spread thinly (some would argue) on toast.
Pineapple Lumps: yummy pineapple and chocolate lolly
Pavlova: meringuey type cake with cream and fruit on top. 
Piss: Alcohol
Brekkie: Breakfast
Biscuit : is a cookie
Kai: Maori for Food but commonly used
Kai Moana: Maori for Seafood
Smoko: Having a break from work possibly with a Ciggy (cigarette) and pie (common food from a dairy)
Takeaways: "Take out food" or "food to go"
Watties :a brand but usually referring to the Tomato sauce put on the Chips
Cuppa: Cup of coffee or tea

Sayings and New Zealandisms:
Sweet as: Everything is all good, all fine
Good on ya mate: Well done, Good job
"": Used on the end of words to intensify " she was pretty as", "i'm hnugry as"
"" : Used on the end of sentences as a type of rhetorical question, like "isn't it?". "She's real cool eh?"
Sick: Cool!
Yeah Right: Said when being sarcastic... you don't actually believe what's being said.
Stink: Something is no good, mild dismay at something bad
Choice!: Something is great! "Everything is choice"
Bro: term of endearment to friends or just any male. "I'll have a Heiny bro" (Heiny is a heineken beer)
Cuz: term of endearment for cousins or just any male, similar to bro
Chur: Thanks
hard yakka: hard work, associated with labouring, "digging that fence post hole was hard yakka!"
honky dory: everything's fine, as in "my life is hunky dory"
guts for garters: You're in big trouble
Strewth!: Wow!
bun in the oven: She's pregnant
Bob's your Uncle: "that's it" "That's how it's done".
Bach: A holiday house Crib : Holiday house in the south island
Bloke: Man "The bloke at the Campervan park gave me a hand" (helped me)
Bit of a dag: He's a hard case, bit of fun.
"Gizza Hoon" : Can I have a turn?
She'll be right: Everything will be okay.
Maori Terms:

Pakaru: something's Broken/ not working
Ka Pai: Something is choice
Kia ora: Maori for hello
Whanau: Maori for extended family.
For your Campervan or rental car:

Petrol: is gas
Gas guzzler: The car uses a lot of petrol , uneconomical
Dump station: Where you empty your Campervan's sewerage tanks
Campervan/Camper: An RV or Motorhome
Bumper: Fender
Hit the road: Get your travel underway.
Car Park: Parking lot
Boy Racer: A person in a zooped up fast car with LOUD music
Dunny/Loo: The toilet or bathroom
Duvet: A Quilt
Sunday Driver: Someone driving very slowly.

Know the lingo on your journey.

That's in no way all of the "Kiwi-isms" but a wee helper to get you through your traveling days in New Zealand.

Find some Kiwi road trips to put your new language into use at the Campervan Hire New Zealand blog.

And find a Campervan to take a journey through out the small and big towns of New Zealand in at Campervan Hire Sale Finder!

Monday, 16 April 2012

North Island Winter Road Trip

Rotorua - Hells Gate
By Ianz - Flickr
The Winter Holidays are the perfect time to take the kids on a mini Campervan tour of the North Island in New Zealand.  Bubbling mud pools, Thermal Hot Springs and snowy mountains are on the cards in this exploration of the beautiful New Zealand scenery.

Begin the holiday in Auckland, but leave the big city behind as you head for Tauranga and the mount.  Spend some time at the cafes and shops down at Main Beach, Mount Maunganui and be sure to take a walk around the Mount or up to the summit to get some beautiful views of the East Coast.

Mt. Maunganui
Mount Maunganui
By SW-arts - Flickr
From Tauranga,  jump on the highway to Rotorua.  Rotorua is a tourists playground and if you've been there before, the lovely smells will make you nostalgic for previous holidays.   Visit the bubbling mud pools and hissing geysers in Whakarewarewa Geothermal Village and Te Puia's New Zeland Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.   Have some fun up the Rotorua Gondola's, complete with thrilling Luges and chairlifts.  Newly renovated Rainbow Springs is a must visit with it's Kiwi's, birds, Wildlife and fun "Big Splash" ride!   Take a tiki tour around the Lake and surrounding Lakes like Tarawera,  Rotoiti and Rotoma.  Visit the Agrodome for some Kiwi Farm experiences or take an exhilarating "roll" in the Zorb!

Huka Falls
Huka Falls
By KiwiHugger - Flickr

The Next Stop is Taupo.  Another geothermal town with lots to do.  On your arrival into town, if it's a clear day,  you'll be able to see Mount Ruapehu peeking out in all her glory, from behind the lake.  Play a game of mini golf lakeside (always a favourite with me), try your luck at getting a hole in one on the Lake's Golf hole pontoon, or relax and unwind in De Brett's Thermal Hot Pools.  Set up the Campervan Lakeside and share a delicious Kiwi classic - Fish and Chips.  Experience the extravagance of the 'Huka Falls' or the Aratiatia Rapids.  The Botanical gardens are a beauty and the 'Craters of the moon' Geothermal sites is a must visit.

Tongariro crossing
Tongariro Crossing
By trailrunz - Flickr
If your family or friends are up for it, do the world Famous Tongariro Alpine crossing.  Being amongst the volcanoes and all that comes with them is a life changing experience.  You may even feel like you've stepped into 'The Lord of the Rings'. 

The Turoa side
Turoa Side
By flashmick - Flickr
 Not coincidentally, the alpine crossing entrance is on the way to the next stop - Ohakune or National Park.  Both offer access to Mount Ruapehu for skiing, snowboarding or just sightseeing the glorious mountain and the spectacular views that come with it.  If it's a clear day you may even be able to see Mount Taranaki from the Turoa side. 

Head back to Auckland from here, perhaps stopping via Rotorua again to break up the journey to Auckland.

New Zealand is a marvel to travel in and you will have  blast with your family or friends.  Find a winter special on a Campervan at Campervan Hire Sale Finder and Have Fun!!

Take a look at the following videos if you're not already inspired!!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Lovely Long Weekend in a Campervan

Beach Runner
Papamoa Beach
By Abaconda - Flickr
 Our beautiful Easter weekend began on thursday afternoon in Auckland.  After an in depth run-through  of our 4 berth Campervan by the campervan lady, being shown the nooks and cranies, where everything was and the general functionalities of the dinky space, we were underway.   However, not without a DVD explaining anything we may have forgotten ready to play on our Campervan's very modern flat screen t.v. - easily maneuvered to fit up against the wall or in good view from the back couches.

Our dinky kitchen, cupboards, table and back window.
We hit the road with only a slight automatic-driver-to-manual-driver hiccup (Alan forgot to use the clutch when trying to reverse... senior moment).  The turbo diesel powered south towards Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty.  We filled the fridge and little freezer and the many cupboards (still roomy after storing and securing all our gear - clothes, jackets, tennis rackets and easter eggs) with groceries we purchased in Matamata. 

We drove through the beautiful Karangahake  gorge, small towns and Tauranga and arrived at Papamoa Top 10 Holiday Park after dark.   After being given a map to our spot, perched on sunset rise and plugging ourselves into the power, we began the first evening of our entirely relaxing weekend.  The curtains were pulled for privacy from prying eyes and our soup and salad was easily assembled in the well equipped, clean and, all things considered, roomy kitchenette.  After dining on the couches around the spacious table and doing the dishes in the sink (dishwashing liquid, and dish brushes included) we were eager to assemble the couch-cum-kingsize bed jigsaw.   The sheets were fitted and blankets thrown on and voila we had a comfy bed for the duration of our stay, with lights above to read our books.  The other double bed above the driver and passenger seats were more cave like and could be set up all day.  An early night and refreshing sleep was obtained by all.

The Campervan
Good friday brought forth a beautiful morning once the curtains had been raised.  The advantage of arriving at nightime is one gets a lovely surprise when they awake to a recently risen sun above the sparkling East Coast waters.   Our site overlooked other sites filled with Campervans and tents, giving Lynn plenty of "people watching" opportunities.   Beyond them were the small sand dunes and beyond that - pristine Papamoa beach.

Once the bed was packed up and turned back to the slid-able table and couches, bacon and eggs were fried up and the coffee brewed.   Although the Campervan was equipped with a clean, non smelly and perfectly ample shower/toilet facility,  we opted for the holiday park facilities to save on refilling  the water tank as often.   A quick tidy of the Campervan was done as we were expecting guests who wanted to share our Campervan vistas and comforts.   The weather was slightly temperamental, although with only one shower, but I'm happy to say we spent the rest of the day engorged in our books on the comfy couches eating and drinking and occasionally gazing out to the views and changing neighbours. 

View from our Papamoa Camping site
The following morning we spent in Mount Maunganui at the local monthly market followed by lunch at a friends and the afternoon at Tauranga's Easter weekend Jazz festivities.  The return to our site at Papamoa was eagerly anticipated as we were keen for a walk along the beach and more reading.  Sunday night in the park was booked as we couldn't stand leaving the next morning.

Sunday morning saw us heading out to conquer Papamoa Hills, a Maori Pa 10 minutes from the holiday park,  that's views and walk through the bush are well worth the following day's muscle pains.  Lunch was in Mount Maunganui followed by a sunday afternoon drive through the beachtown.  The sunny and warm beach beckoned us on our return, where we sat for a while watching the surfers out in the double overhead clean waves.  The sun went behind the dunes so we got out the deckchairs (included with the Camper) from the outside Campervan compartments, poured a glass of wine and sat in the remaining sun behind the Camper.   Cheese and crackers became our dinner and cards and books were on the table for the remainder of the evening.
Papamoa Hills
Papamoa Hills Climb
By winnins1 - Flickr

Our final morning in Papamoa was a beauty, enticing us to stay for yet another night. A walk along the beach heated us up for a swim in the suprisingly warm April ocean, followed by leftover Hot cross buns grilled in the Campervan's kitchen.  As our next night or two was going to be free camping, it was about time we dealt with "the tanks".  From our site Alan had the pleasure of wheeling (like a suitcase onto a plane) the "black water" tank to the "dump station" conveniently located in the holiday park.  After a relatively clean and tidy "emptying" and checking that the power battery was full,  we said goodbye to our site, belted up, stopped so Alan could hose out the grey water and hit the road for Rotorua.

Back couches of the Campervan
After an hour or so of bouncing around in the back of the Campervan, we hopped out for a walk in the beautiful Redwood forest.  Stocked up with a few more groceries we head to the family's lakeside section near Taupo.  No power plugs were available here so on came the gas for the fridge and hot water and here in forth, preserving of water.  We found a level spot on the section overlooking the pristine lake, dug out some food and wine  and stared out the huge back window  to the killer view.   The sun was behind the mountains so we dug out the little blow heater as we thought it may come in handy at some time in the night.  The duvets and extra blankets were suffiicient however and we arose the next morning to a tranquil walk near the lake.

The rest of the time was easily passed walking, reading and eating before we set forth the following day back to Auckland to return the Camper.  The goodbye wasn't easy as the sun was still shining and  a roadtrip to another destination would've been easy.

The campervan bode us well and we will definitely be doing many more a holiday in one.  Little extras like a large mirror, a toaster and plunger, a tall cupboard for clothes not wanting creases, a stereo system with AUX,  and many storage compartments set this campervan apart making it an easy and enjoyable holiday.

Yet again New Zealand scenery didn't cease to impress and we were graced with a superb Campervan holiday in the sun.  We knew fairly well where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do but for those traveling from abroad or who wanted some help, there was a "tourist radio" included in the rental.  This is your personal tour guide so you don't miss out on anything and can learn a thing or two about NZ as you go.

We found our great campervan at .   I implore all to get a campervan for your next holiday and tour around parts, or all of New Zealand. 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Campervan Park Auckland Airport

The last thing you feel like doing when you get off a long haul flight is driving on unfamiliar roads in an unfamiliar vehicle for hours on end.

Auckland airport have created the perfect solution! A Campervan park at Auckland Airport!

Now you can get a hold of your campervan and go knuckle down for a good sleep less than a kilometre away from the airport! You don't need to spend a night in an expensive hotel but you can get the run down of the camper, get a good sleep and wake up at the crack of dawn to get on the road! Don't make your kids fall asleep in their seats or don't let yourself fall asleep at the wheel!


Don't start your dream campervan adventure tired and agitated. Book a night at the Campervan Park Auckland Airport!

With 54 powered sites, access to fresh water, toilets, showers, a laundry, kitchen and Wi-Fi you'll be all set as soon as you get off the plane. What's more, it allows you to stock up the camper with groceries at the supermarket nearby.
Alternatively, stay at the Campervan Park on your way out of the country

The park is also fully fenced, with CCTV and has regular security patrols on site.

Book a site for when you arrive in Auckland! If you haven't got a campervan yet check out Campervan Hire New Zealand or Campervan Hire Sale Finder.

A few quick Campervan ideas for NZ

Coromandel Peninsula Panorama
By Subwaynz -Wikimedia Commons

Pack up the kids, husband/wife or friends and spend a weekend or longer in a Campervan! The perfect way to see the sites of the beautiful New Zealand is from the comfort of a Campervan.  Campervanning gives you the chance to cruise around and take in the scenery, friendly people and hopefully some lovely weather.

Easter Weekend Campervan trip idea #1 - Coromandel

Paradise within New Zealand is the Coromandel. With so much coast comes the most beautiful beaches! Dig a hole at Hot water beach and bathe in the warm waters like the video. Visit Cathedral cove, where Narnia was set or park up next to a pristine beach and read your book.

Easter Weekend Campervan Idea #2 - Rotorua

If the intriguing smell of Rotorua can't tempt you then maybe Zorbing, Thermal hot pools or petting lion cubs will. With so much to do in Rotorua you'll be set for the whole long weekend. Park up in a Campervan park around the Lake and have fun all weekend. Ride the Gondola and zoom down on a luge!

Rotorua PoW
By Valley2city- Wikimedia Commons

Easter Weekend Campervan idea #3: Queenstown

Sit alongside the beautiful Lake Whakatipu with a hot drink, ride the Shotover jet, or cruise to the quaint Arrowtown. Cuddle up in the comfort of your campervan by evening and the next day take a trip on the Earnslaw, a picturesque journey across the lake.

Easter Weekend idea #4: Auckland

If you're not from Auckland, why not explore the "big city" by Campervan. Stay at a campervan park next to one of the beautiful beaches that surrounds Auckland. Rise to the top of the Skytower and see for as far as you can or join the underwater world with the penguins and sharks at Kelly Tarltons. Visit the rugged west coast beaches or the many more tranquil East Coast beaches and don't forget to relax in one of Auckland's fantastic cafes .

Find a Campervan to fit your holiday at Campervan Hire Sale Finder. You'll find the best deal on a campervan that will make your Easter weekend a memorable time.