One of the things New Zealand is famous for is its spectacular natural beauty, and what better way to explore all the nooks and crannies of the insanely beautiful country than in a campervan? Your very own home from home that can be parked up within nature in New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery – on the very edge of lakes, at the foot of mountains and on the side of the side of the beach.
There’s no freer way to travel – you say where, you say when, and you say for how long. There are a huge number of places to choose from, but naturally you’ll want to include the very best, the most captivating spots on your route, and here they are; our choice of the 10 best places to visit in your campervan in New Zealand.
There's no freer way to travel than in a campervan.
Blue Lakes, Rotorua
Blue Lakes on the North Island is a mere 10 minute drive from the centre of Rotorua town itself. Swap your campervan for a mountain bike and explore the local lake and hills or rent a boat and take to the water.
Paradise Valley, Glenorchy
Around a short 46km journey from Queenstown on the South Island you’ll find the picturesque region of Glenorchy. Expect seriously dramatic landscapes of cascading mountains and turquoise lakes.
Coromandel is found not too far from the very north of New Zealand and is an excellent place to explore on foot. There are numerous hikes and treks through the area as well as paddle boarding on Pauanui beach, so park up your campervan and enjoy the clear, fresh air that comes with being in the north.
Langs Beach, Northland
A peaceful and utterly gorgeous stretch of beach about 115km north of Auckland. Park up and go swimming, fishing and snorkelling in the chilly, blue ocean.
You couldn’t paint a more beautiful picture than Lake Tekapo on the South Island which is why this must make it onto the list – park up and take many a picture as this is one of the jewels in New Zealand’s crown.
Snow capped mountains meet the impossibly bright blue waters of the lake. Throw in some pretty plants and the odd wooden shed and there you have one of the most famous vistas in New Zealand bought to life.
Waihi Beach and Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Waihi is a small costal town on the Bay of Plenty close to Coromandel and one of New Zealand’s most beautiful parking spots – and in a country that is famous for it’s beautiful parking sports, that should give you a clue about why this is a ‘must see’ spot.
Head slightly further along the road and you’ll reach Mount Maunganui. Expect white sand, clear waters and an abundance of wildlife roaming the area to complete that ‘outdoorsy’ feeling.
A peaceful stop on the route to busy Queenstown Wanaka provides the perfect relaxation spot for those looking for some chill time. However, don’t write off Wanaka as a place to simply relax – there’s a huge amount to keep you entertained!
Park your campervan and get busy on the famous lake by hiking or biking around it, fishing or skiing over it or, if you’re brave enough, sky diving over it!
Lucy Dellow STA Travel Sales and Development Coordinator a big campervanning fan says ‘An amazing place to visit in your campervan is Dunedin. This University town has a great variety of things to do. My choice would be the Speight’s Brewery tour or, if you are a little more adventurous, take the Otago Rail Trail, which has some amazing bike rides.
Mount Cook, Dunedin
When I was putting this blog together, as part of the research I asked our Travel Experts for their choices for the best places to park a campervan in New Zealand. What did I receive? A lot of overwhelming love for Mount Cook, here’s why…
Andrew Garlick STA Travel Covent Garden
Canterbury Plains, with its expansive views across lush green plains splashed with the colour of wild flowers to the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the horizon.
My favourite spot was when we headed east from the main road near Twizel along the valley up to Mt Cook to admire New Zealand’s biggest peak and the turquoise blue glacial lakes.
View of Mt Cook.
Laura Squair STA Travel Edinburgh
Definitely the drive from Queenstown to Mt Cook. It’s totally spectacular; the drive is as good as the destination so allow yourself enough time for plenty of photo stops!
Paul Ayre STA Travel Glasgow George Street
By far the most amazing place I spent the night in a campervan was Mount Cook in the South Island, we drove down a dirt track and parked up under the stars.
Laura McLeay STA Travel Glasgow Byres Road
My favourite place was the amazing Mount Cook where I stopped for the night to go check out the star constellations and then the next day went on a boat to one of the glacier lakes in amongst the icebergs that had fallen off the front of the glacier; it was really special.