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.  


  1. Hello,
    I enjoy reading a lot and your stories are worth reading, nice blog, keep it up.

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    1. Thank you! Is there any area in New Zealand you would particularly like to hear about?