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North Island : Beaches, Nature and Geysers

You’ll start your tour in the north of the North Island, the largest cultural and spiritual centre of the Maori (Waitangi, Cape Reinga and Waipoua forest) and also a beach holiday destination for Kiwis. You’ll then continue to the Coromandel Peninsula, which has kept its wild and natural feel (another favourite destination of the inhabitants of Auckland). Finally you’ll arrive in the centre of the North Island where the geothermal activity is an important attraction of the region.

Campground prices are based on two people + motorhome on a powered site.
 

Stage 1 : Auckland

auckland3 You've finally arrived in Auckland, the City of Sails. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand but it is easy to explore and a very pleasant place to visit especially in summer with its many inner city beaches and beautiful North Shore bays. It is also popular for its forest walks and cycle trails, many located less than 30 minutes from the city centre. Although the easy accessibility to nature is part of Auckland’s attraction, it is also a cosmopolitan city with many restaurants, bars and shops.

Camping:
Manukau Top 10 Holiday Park : powered site, $48 per night

To Do: Climb the Sky Tower, go out on an America’s Cup boat, visit Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium or the Auckland Zoo, explore the west coast beaches, climb Mt Eden volcano and go wine tasting on Waiheke Island.
 

Stage 2 : Auckland - Bay of Islands

bayofislands3 Set off towards the Bay of Islands. If you stay on the motorway make sure the toll on the Northern toll fee is paid. We recommend that you take the free route out towards Orewa and enjoy the coastal scenery.

The Bay of Islands is a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis. In addition to beautiful beaches, coves and small islands to visit, there is a palpable holiday atmosphere. The Bay of Islands is the birthplace and the historic site of New Zealand. It was here, at Waitangi, that the treaty was signed between the Maori people and the settlers. Thanks to its subtropical climate, this is pleasant all year round holiday destination. The main places to visit are Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri.

Camping:
Bay of Islands Holiday Park, Paihia : powered site, $36 per night

To Do: Swimming with dolphins, Bay of Islands cruise, dive the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior, dive Tutukaka (one of the 10 best dive site in the world), scenic flight over the Bay of Islands, visit the Treaty of Waitangi, explore the many white sand beaches, hike Cape Brett.
 

Stage 3 : Bay of Islands - Ahipara

CapReinga Today you head towards Cape Reinga and the northern tip of the country. There used to be an immense forest of giant Kauri here a hundred of years ago.

Cape Reinga is a very spiritual place for the Maori, this is where their souls leave to return to their land of origin. The main attraction of the area is "90 Mile Beach" a wild beach that stretches for about 100 kilometres. It is possible to drive on a section by car or tour bus before traveling to Cape Reinga where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea.

Camping:
Ahipara Holiday Park : powered site, $34 per night

To Do: Visit Cape Reinga, surfing on sand dunes or sea
 

Stage 4 : Ahipara - Waipoua forest

Waipouaforest Descend along the west coast through the beautiful natural harbour of Hokianga, then continue to the Waipoua forest which is simply magical!

The giant Kauris seem to touch the sky and some trees are almost 1,000 years old. You will feel tiny standing underneath these giants.

You can stay on the edge of the park where several campsites are available.

Camping:
Kauri Coast Top 10 Holiday Park : powered site, $42 per night
To Do: Discover the Waipoua Forest
 

Stage 5 : Waipoua - Mangawhai

Magawhai Head in the direction of Mangawhai to enjoy the white sand beaches and calm waters of the east coast. A popular vacation spot for Kiwis, Mangawhai is typical of New Zealand.

You will find the famous "baches" basic holiday homes lining the shores, old pubs on the seafront, restaurants, coffee and Kiwis happy to have a few days by the sea.  A stay at Mangawhai guarantees a Kiwi style holiday.

Camping:
Mangawhai Riverside Holiday Park : powered site, $40 per night

To do: Beaches (Lang Beach, Waipu Cove), walking, golf
 

Stage 6 : Mangawhai - Coromandel

Coromandel2 Now drive towards the Coromandel Peninsula. This area has it all! For nature lovers this is a wild destination with vibrant colours and green tropical forests covering most of the territory.

Stop off at one of the many white sand beaches surrounding the peninsula and go for a swim in the turquoise waters. For families this is a relaxing destination with many activities, beaches, walks, train rides, mini-golf... while backpackers and casual travellers will enjoy the rustic, relaxing atmosphere of this pristine destination.

Camping:
Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park : powered site, $46 per night

To Do: Hahei Kayaking, discover the beach at Cathedral Cove, soak in your own private hot pool at Hot Water Beach, go on a unique train ride near Coromandel Town.
 

Stage 7 : Coromandel - Rotorua

Rotorua2 The smell of sulfur and view of Lake Rotorua mark your imminent arrival in Rotorua, New Zealand’s geothermal mecca with plumes of steam and hot geyers coming out of the ground. Why not soak in natural hot pools or take a mud bath! With its beautiful green and blue lakes and vast forests, it is a premier destination for walkers and bikers.

The Maori culture is strong here with Maori representing one third of the inhabitants of the city. Take the opportunity to taste traditional food, listen to their stories and legends and appreciate their art and music.

Camping:
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park, Rotorua: powered site, $44 per night

To Do: Visit farm animals, geothermal Waimangu Park and Te Puia, Zorb, Rafting, Polynesian Spa, scenic flight of the geothermal areas, visit the active volcano on White Island, gondola ride or mountain biking in the Redwood Forest, Maori Mitai Show.
 

Stage 8 : Rotorua - Taupo

Taupo The small town of Taupo is named after the lake that it sits beside. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in the country, it was created by a gigantic volcanic explosion several thousand years ago.

Taupo today is a major tourist centre, it attracts those who love water sports and fishing, walkers, cyclists and travellers from all walks of life. It is also an excellent starting point for the famous "Tongariro Crossing" one of the finest walks in the world, see the famous "Huka Falls" and explore geothermal parks such as Wai-O-Tapu.

Camping:
All Seasons Holiay Park, Taupo : powered site, $42 per night

To Do: Geothermal Park: Wai O Tapu, Skydiving, Visit Huka Falls, Jet Boat to Huka Falls, Lake Fishing, Kayaking.   
 

Stage 9 : Taupo - Waitomo

waitomo
Waitomo is in the centre of the North Island and is best known for its beautiful glow worm caves.

It is also a region steeped in nature with beautiful hilly and wooded landscapes. For those who love caving, canyoning and rafting, this is a must.


Camping:
Camp Kiwi Holiday Park : powered site, $24 per night
To Do: Caving for all levels or guided tour of glow worm caves.
 

Stage 10 : Waitomo - Auckland

AirNZ Head back to Auckland where you drop off your campervan. Fly home with your images and memories of beautiful New Zealand.

Camping:
Camp Kiwi Holiday Park : powered site, $44 per night



 

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Click on the map to enlarge

 
Top 10 activities
  • Climb the skytower
  • Swim with the dolphins
  • Dive at the Poor Knights Islands
  • Tramp to Cape Brett
  • Discover the forests of Waipoua
  • Kayak in Cathedrale Cove
  • Rafting in Rotorua
  • Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park
  • Mitai Maori Cultural show
  • Discover the caves of Waitomo
 

 

 

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