From the green hills to the blue sea, the north island of New Zealand has a lot to offer an adventurer who wants to discover the land of Middle Earth. Below, the roadtrip geniuses at Campervan Village New Zealand have put together a great seven day campervan road trip itinerary from Auckland.
About the Trip
Starting and finishing in Auckland, you can expect to travel around 1500 - 1800kms depending on how many detours you make along the way. We suggest 7-Days to really enjoy your campervan roadtrip experience.
Coromandel Region (Auckland to Hahei via Coromandel 245 km - 3h40)
The Coromandel's region will astonish you with beautiful beaches and plenty of forests to lose yourself. This laid-back area is one of the most popular holiday regions of New Zealand. The first destination will make you travel along the coast of the Firth of Thames bay, around the Coromandel Forest Park, and to the coastal city of Hahei. Near the city, there are two main attractions that I strongly suggest visiting. The first one is the Cathedral Cove, a stunning rock formation where you can go kayaking, snorkelling or simply just walk. The second is the Hot Water Beach, a beach famous for the possibility to dig a hole in the sand and make your own hot water pool.
Getting There: From Auckland, follow the State Highway 25 direction east until Hot Water Beach Road. You can always go through the park, but the coastal route is worth the detour.
Campsites: In the Coromandel Forest Park, there are a few public campsites for campervan. If you want to be closer to Hahei and don't mind paying more, there is private campground like Hahei Holiday Resort where you'll have to pay around 45$ per night.
- Hauraki Rail Trail
- Mount Paku & Mount Pauanui
Bay of Plenty (Hahei to Tauranga 150 km - 2h20m)
This 259 km open coastline bay offers plenty of good things for the adventurous in you. The largest city of the area is Tauranga, a great place for coastal adventure. This region is perfect for sailing, fishing, kayaking and dolphin watching. For the hike lover, there's the Mount Maunganui that give you an endless view of the bay. There's plenty of tracks leading to the summit, and the end is worth the effort. Also, as a unique experience, you can go kayaking at night surrounding by glow worm for a magical & truly unique adventure (Waimarino Kayak tours).
Getting There: From Hahei, just follow SH 25 direction south for 150 km. Once in the Bay of Plenty, SH 25 will become SH 2 - just follow it to Tauranga.
Campsites: The closest public campground is 1-hour drive south of Tauranga. Around the city, there's plenty of private campgrounds, and the price is usually between $30 and $40 per night.
- White Island Tours
- Adrenalin Forest Bay of Plenty
- Tuhua (Mayor) Island
- Relax in your Hire Campervan!
Eastland (Tauranga to Gisborne 270 km - 3h30)
Eastland is an enchanting place full of misty mountains, beaches, and lakes where the roads will make you travel through vineyards and Maori culture. The main city of the region is Gisborne, the first city in the world to see the sun each day. Once over there, you will be able to experience the wine & culinary taste of the northern region of New Zealand. If you fancy surfing, the coast of Gisborne offers very nice beach for surfing. Finally, if you want to know more about the Maori culture, Eastland is the perfect location for it - this area has a high Maori population and a lot of Maori heritage demonstration that you can discover. Take some time to kick back and relax in your campervan- after all, you're on holiday!
Getting There: From Tauranga, drive on State Highway 2 direction east and stay on it until Gisborne.
- Shark diving & Rock sliding (North of Gisborne - Tatapouri)
- Campsites: The nearest public campground is 1-hour drive north of Gisborne. For the private campsite near Gisborne, the average price is $20-25 per day. These sites are campervan friendly
Hawke's Bay Gisborne to Napier 214 km - 3h
The next destination is the wine region of Hawke's Bay. With his warm and dry temperature, this area is leading the country in the production of wine; precisely red wines. So for the wine lover, it's an obvious place to explore. The main city of the region is Napier - mostly destroyed by an earthquake in the 1930's, the newest style of the city will make you feel in a time capsule. The rebuilding has brought a classical and Spanish style to the town making Napier, the Art Deco centre of New Zealand.
Getting There: From Gisborne, just head south on the State Highway 2 for 215km.
Campsites: The nearest public campsite is located 40 minutes north of Napier, at Lake Tutira. For the private one, the average price is $20-35 per day.
- Church Road Winery
- Te Mata Peak (Havelock North)
- Cape Kidnappers
- Bicycle wine tours
Lake Taupo (Napier to Taupo 140 km - 1h50)
Created by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago, the next destination is Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand with his 616 square kilometres - it's almost a sea inside a continent. If you like fishing, sailing, or kayaking, Lake Taupo is the perfect place for you. North of the city of Taupo is the most visited attraction of New Zealand, the Huka Falls. A nice little hike will make you walk alongside the river with plenty of viewing platform for different angles on the falls. Another popular destination is the Maori Rock Carvings at the Mine bay. Only accessible via the lake, the Maori carving is a beautiful demonstration of traditional Maori knowledge from a younger generation.
Getting There: From Napier, drive on SH 5 to Napier-Taupo Rd/Thermal Explorer Hwy for 140 km, and you'll arrive at the destination.
Campsites: There's plenty of public campsites around Lake Taupo. For a private campground for your campervan, the average price is $30-60 per day.
- Volcanic & geothermal in Lake Taupo
- Tongariro River Trail
- Fishing in Turangi
Hamilton (Waikato Taupo to Hamilton via Matamata 180 km - 2h15)
Next stop is Hamilton - Waikato region, land of the green hills and the black sand surf beaches. This region offers a rich range of adventure mix with diverse cultural experience. If you've watched the Lord of the Rings series, you'll probably know the Hobbit city - your luck because in the city Matamata is the famous Hobbiton Movie Set that you can visit. Another place I suggest visiting is the Waitomo Caves, a labyrinth of caves system and underground rivers - can be described as a magical place. Truly one of the great wonders of New Zealand.
Getting There: From Taupo, head north on the State Highway 1 for 150 km. If you want to stop at Matamata for the Hobbiton Movie Set, exit for State Highway 27 in Tirau and continue until Matamata.
Campsites: The closest public campsite is located at Wharepapa South, 78km south of Hamilton and 100km north of Taupo. For the private campground, they are priced around $20-42 per day.
- Pirongia Forest Park
- The Timber Trail
- Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
- Waikato River Trails
Auckland (Hamilton to Auckland 125 km - 1h40)
To finish the road trip, let's explore the region of Auckland and his city, the largest and most diverse city of New Zealand. The area is filled with stunning natural playground - black-sand beach on the west coast, impressive volcanic coves near the city, and beautiful island to discover.
The Rangitoto Island is the most iconic island of Auckland - with all the tracks and the view that it can offer, the island is popular with the hikers and the day-trippers. It's only a 25-minute ferry ride from Auckland, but you can also go there by kayaking - longer trip but with a chance to encounter wildlife. Other good attraction is the Hunua ranges, a perfect place to escape the city and experience the largest mainland forest within the Auckland region.
Getting There: The route is simple; you only have to drive north on SH 1, and you'll arrive at the destination. Also, Hunua Ranges is accessible via the exit for SH 2.
- Auckland volcanic cones
- Waiheke Island
- Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
- Skydive Auckland
Start Your New Zealand Roadtrip Adventure at Campervan Village Auckland!
If you're looking to take an amazing New Zealand road trip, why not start in Auckland and hire an affordable campervan from the good people at Campervan Village Auckland. With a small fleet of modern, reliable campervans, you'll be able to see more of New Zealand on even the tightest of budgets!
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