Travel new Zealand North IslandTrips to New Zealand North Island
First I suggest you reread them and then dive into them to learn all the detail of the North Island. Check out our New Zealand Motorhome Selection Guideline. Don't neglect your travel policy! World Nomads or Truth Travellers are recommended, both offering dependable and complete coverage, covering health care, emergency medical services, luggage and a variety of adventurous pursuits and outings.
It is possible to take out both Truth Traveller and World Nomads policies even if you have already checked out, which is uncommon for travel insurers. On our travel aids page you'll find all our best travel advice, as well as how to use the best maps to help you make the most of your trip, what kind of insurances to take out and what kind of travel aids and equipment to use.
The first part of this journey will take you to the South Island Roadtrip Route. We' ve done a home swap in Wellington with the HomeXchange website. We started our North Island days in Wellington, which Lonely Planet called one of the "coolest small towns in the world". It was quite a surprise to be back in an urban setting after almost a whole months in the countryside, and we didn't really appreciate Wellington as much as we thought.
Also the botanic garden is wonderful. If you want more information about Wellington, I suggest you read Liz's contribution as she was living there for a while and loving it. We' ve done a home swap in Wellington with the HomeXchange website. I' ll write more about it as soon as it becomes one of my favorite trips.
The Interislander boat took us from Picton to Wellington. During the first half of the three-hour trip you will be taken through the Marlborough Sounds. When we were in Wellington, we went everywhere. Accommodation was at the Adventure Lodge and Motel, which was neat but simple and run by a rather rude lady.
In Wellington we rented a vehicle which we kept for the next five nights before picking up a motorhome in Auckland. From Wellington to Tongariro the trip was supposed to take four hrs, but we got on the road, which was more like five. The Lake Taupo is the North Island's response to Queenstown, full of adventurous activity and beautiful scenery to discover.
Just one overnight stay, we used this opportunity to hike along the lake shore, see the splendid Huka Falls and unwind on the stunning Wairakei Terraces, a small set of spa resorts supplied by the mineral-rich Wairakei Steam Field and encircled by wonderful orchards. It is one of the most wonderful hot springs I have ever been to and to spend the evenings there, to bathe in the swimming pool while the day was setting was magic.
Our overnight stay was in a twin room in a nice Tiki Lodge Backpackers which was priced at NZ$80 (£40) for a twin room. It is a wonderful ride with some nice view points on the way where we made a stop for a pick nick. It is the most stinking tourist attraction on the North Island and is home to steamy hotsprings, stunning geysers and gushing sludge baths.
A thing we didn't have enough spare for was to toboggan with the Skyline Rotorua. Our home was a beautiful flat in front of the center, only 5-10 minutes away by car. On the way is Wai-O-Tapu, so we first stop there in good order to see the Lady Knox outbreak.
In Rotorua we went to Matamata, home of one of New Zealand's best tourism destinations, the Hobbiton film series! To Hobbiton we made our way to the Coromandel Peninsula, which was always suggested to us by New Zealanders themselves. Accommodation two night in a beautiful tree house in the wood.
And we lived in an amazing tree house near Whitianga. In Hobbiton we went up to Whitianga, which took about three hour. And the last part of the trip, when you reach the Coromandel Peninsula, is particularly scenic, along coast streets with strips of woodland. Auckland is the largest town in the New Zealand, and up to 25% of the country's inhabitants are living there.
Like I said before, we put New Zealand's natural environment first, so we only spent two night in Auckland, one on the way to the Bay of Islands and another on the way back. Recently we spotted them and loved them so we chose to try the two different businesses in Auckland.
A nice lady called Aimee' s airborne was living with us in the beautiful Grey Lynn district of the town, which is a housing area near the pulsating and trendy Kingsland and Ponsonby. From Whitianga to Auckland takes 2.5 hrs, but be prepared to include a little more once you arrive in town, as you'll probably encounter the hustle and bustle of town.
It was the first picnic for us in a motorhome on the North Island. From Auckland we collected our spaceship mobile home and made our way to the Bay of Islands, stopped in Whananaki on the way, mainly to interrupt the journey, and also because we wanted to enjoy a quiet place on the shore.
Accommodation was at a DOC camp site Otamure Bay, a quiet place on the beach run by a kind host familiy with about eight kids. From Auckland we collected our motorhome and went to Otamure Bay. It should take three and a half hour, but the car has made it to four.
One of our favorite places in New Zealand was the Bay of Isle. Apart from the benefit organization, which of course enhances its charm, it is definitely a good idea to leave the high boat for a nice trip on the isles. This was one of the high points of our whole stay in New Zealand.
Our second cruising was the Cream Trip with Fullers Great Sights, which follows the old shipping lane around the Bay of Isles from Paihia. However, it also means that we dared to go further, and there was the added benefit that this journey involved the possibility of swimming with them. Further high points of the journey were observing pinguins, sail through the holes in the rocks and visit the Otehei cove, where we took a stroll over the hill to enjoy a nice look over the islets.
During our stay in the Bay of Islands we also went parallel para sailing, which meant that we were towed by a small ship in the sky around the island. Our last stop on our way back to Auckland was the Waipoua Wood, home to New Zealand's highest cauri trees, the gorgeous Tane Mahuta.
They were both wonderful and certainly something to see. Outside of Paihia we slept in the Bay of Islands Vacation Parc. This was one of the most attractive camp grounds where we slept, surrounded by a lovely forest landscape and a canal. Following the Bay of Islands we spend a late evening in Auckland where we change campers before descending the western shore to New Plymouth.
All our New Plymouth stay was taken up with the New Plymouth event (which was fantastic!), so we don't have many hints in this area. I would say, however, that the trip was quite dramatic and some of the most breathtaking landscapes I have seen on the North Island, especially along the coastline between Mokau and New Plymouth, thinking of the Waldtal between Mokau and Piopio.
At New Plymouth we spent the night in our Britz Action Pod at the camping site WOMAD. Auckland RVs were on our way before we left for New Plymouth. With the Britz Action Pod this year. From Auckland to New Plymouth it took about five hour. Without the event we probably would have halted somewhere, but we were anxious to get there on schedule.
Like I said before, the trip between Hamilton and New Plymouth has a breathtaking landscape. Raglan was a favourite windsurfing city on the North Island and we were not dissapointed. At Raglan we remained at two different locations as our first option, Solscape was fully booked on the first one.
But the other place we spent the night was a summer campsite right on the coast. From New Plymouth to Waitomo it took 2.5 hrs, and from Waitomo to Raglan it took about 1.5 hrs. That was our last stop on the North Island. After that we put our campervan back in Auckland before we flew away.
From Auckland to Raglan it takes 2 hrs, but you have to take into account the additional transport you are likely to encounter in Auckland. Part one of the route - the Southern Island Roadtrip. Here is a picture book view of the southern part of the tour and a picture book view of the northern part.
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