Auckland to Wellington campervan touring / what to see? what to pass on?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Nov 28, 2012 6:46 PM Last Post By: UncleFreddy
Nov 20, 2012 11:45 AM
Nov 20, 2012 1:19 PM
1How long do you have for the trip?
In Auckland a good garden walk is through Albert Park, through the University - especially around old government house, down to the Domain (go past the University Marae on your way) and through the wintergardens and then to Parnell for the Rose Gardens. If you want to make a day of it, stop in at the Auckland Art Gallery beside Albert Park (get your morning coffee in the upstairs cafe and look out at the park) and the museum in the Domain. The botanical gardens are in Manurewa and are worth a stop on your way out of the ciy.
There are watergardens in Ngatea (I've never been so can't vouch for how good they are) so you could head south through there and then through the Karangahake Valley. There is a nice walk along the river and through the tunnel. Head through Katikati to Tauranga and stop by the Te Puna Quarry gardens.
You then have a choice about whether you head to Rotorua, Taupo and down to Wellington from there or if you take the drive around the East Cape and down through the Hawkes Bay to Wellington. Plenty of vineyards in the Hawkes Bay. Martinborough might also be a good stop along the way for wine.
Edited by: hereandtherenz
Had the wrong valley name
Nov 20, 2012 6:48 PM
Nov 20, 2012 9:15 PM
3Are you strongly committed to the campervan? With the short days at the end of April & probably cold nights I'd recommend a cosy motel instead!! Since you are into wine, don't miss Napier and Martinborough.
Nov 21, 2012 1:40 AM
4I second Coromandel and Hawkes Bay for flora and fauna, food and wine - you should get some autumnal colour if you're driving through those areas in May.
DetourNZ is a campervan specialist (www.detournz.com) and have a wide range of campervans, they also do itineraries. They're French so very into food and wine side of things! Just email them through their website, they speak English tho the website is French.
Nov 21, 2012 4:01 AM
Nov 21, 2012 7:39 AM
6thank you all very very much, this is fantastic info my wife & I will use for sure .....kereru: not absolute on the campervan, but felt this was a good way to have our resting & sleeping accommodations with us where ever we go or decide to stop, as hotels & motels would require planning / reservations and meeting them accordingly, campervan is easier to wing-it ....driving around the East Cape and down thru Hawkes Bay sounds like the route for us, but we are still working that out ......again, thank you all, GREAT info !!
Nov 21, 2012 1:33 PM
7I'd be quite happy in a campervan in the north island in April.
some more suggestions, but I generally agree with what others have said:
Starting in Auckland, try to find the time for a day trip out to Tiritiri Matangi Island. You will see native birds there that you won't see anywhere else.
On the way to the Coromandel, stop off for a night at the miranda hot springs park - not sure how many birds will still be around, but it is a massive coastal wetland/tidal area with lots of migratory sea birds.
Down from Coromandel, Athenree is another nice stop, not a huge fan of Tauranga. Heading further down the coast it would be nice to stop at the Maketu estuary, even if it's just a detour off the main road for a cup of tea and sit in the van. More seabirds, etc.
Not sure if it fits your specific interests, but from Whakatane you could visit either or both Moutuhora Island - lots of native birds that you may not see on the mainland, also White Island - an active volcano.
The trip around the East Cape can easily take up a few days and is beautiful, isolated and picturesque. near Gisborne, on the south side of the East Cape, you'll start to meet the vineyards.
On the way south from Gisborne, the hot pools at Morere are a nice stop, and to see more nice scenery and wildlife, you could head out to Mahia for an overnight stop on the way through.
Napier & Hastings area is full of vineyards. More wildlife to be seen at Cape Kidnappers but you have to do a trip with a tour company.
Then head further south and after you've gone through Eketahuna, but before you get to Masterton, stop at the Mt Bruce wildlife centre. More native birdy stuff.
South from there is Martinborough, another wine area, and you could also head right out to the south coast for more scenery and coastal wildlife (seals, penguins, etc). Then head west over the Rimutakas to Wellington.
Nov 22, 2012 1:50 AM
Nov 23, 2012 5:26 AM
9A campervan should be fine at that time of year and assuming you are getting a fully self contained they all have heaters if it is cool.
You don't actually say how long you have. If time, you may want to go up North first.... a round trip to Paihia/ Bay of Islands then back down the other side through Rawene, Waipoua Forest and on through Auckland to Rotorua for some Maori culture.....maybe via Waitomo Caves. Or you could go the other side down to Tauranga via Coromandel Peninsula and then through to Rotorua and on to Taupo. From Taupo you could go across to Hawkes Bay for some wine tasting and then on to Wellington.
You can see itineraries and plenty of information on all these places at www.holidays-in-newzealand.com
Nov 28, 2012 6:46 PM
10thanks again everyone, more great info for us .....to answer the prevailing question: we are planning about 10 -12 days there in New Z ....so we do have some time to stretch out geographically, but we do need to reserve 3+ days minimum for time with our pals in Wellington ......again, thank you all .....@ Lisa: so very informative, extra thanks !!
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.02 per night
New PlymouthBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$79.18 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.94 per night