50 Top Sites to Visit on a Motorhome Road Trip Around New Zealand.

50 Fantastic Places to Visit On Your Campervan Holiday.

There are so many things to see and do in New Zealand in your campervan that it’s impossible to list them all. Of course, there are the main ones, such as Rotorua, or visiting “Middle Earth”, but don’t forget that New Zealand has so much more to offer – charming towns, breathtaking beaches, jewel-like lakes, imposing mountains and picturesque farmland. Here are 50 highly-recommended spots to visit by motorhome.

Milford Sound kayaking.

Milford Sound a Top Site in New Zealand. Definitely don’t miss visiting here.

1. Boat Trip Down Milford Sound: Amazing, even in the rain when the waterfalls pour off the hills that edge the Sound. The scale of the landscape is phenomenal.

Mt Cook view.

Mt Cook New Zealand. Highest point. But you don’t have to climb to the top.

2. Scenic Flight Over Mt Cook:  Even the people who slog through the snow to get there don’t get such a view.

Dolphins in Kaikoura New Zealand

Swim with dolphins in Kaikoura New Zealand.

3. Kaikoura: The Dolphin Encounter lets you swim with or watch the delightfully exuberant dusky dolphin. Don’t be surprised to see whales off this beautiful coastline either.

Sunrise at East Cape, New Zealand.

The first place in the world to see the sunrise.

4. The East Cape Road: Journey back in time as you travel this remote highway in your motorhome and see wild horses, stunning coastline, Maori culture and empty beaches. It’s also the first place in the world to see the sun.

Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand.

Skippers Canyon road. Not for the feint hearted.

5. Skippers Canyon: Relive the pioneer days as you travel to an old gold-mining area via a treacherous road, and bring yourself back to reality with a bungy jump! Rental vehicles aren’t allowed on this track, so leave the campervan behind and do a 4WD safari.

Fjiordland, New Zealand.

Visit fjiordland in New Zealand.

6. Fiordland: Even better on a wet day (not hard, as it’s the rainiest place in New Zealand) – a living set of Lord of the Rings. Some would say it’s the ultimate must-see.

Pancake Rocks, New Zealand.

Pancake Rocks, New Zealand’s South Island on the West Coast.

7. Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki: These thirty-million-year-old limestone formations on the South Island’s west coast are huge and look like sky-high stacks of grey pancakes.

Queen-Charlotte-Sounds in the north of the South Island.

Queen-Charlotte-Sounds in the north of the South Island.

8. Queen Charlotte Sound: Take your campervan on a scenic loop from Picton to the little fishing village of Havelock to admire the bush-clad sounds and indulge in green-lipped mussels.

Franz Josef Glacier. West coast of the South Island, New Zealand.

Franz Josef Glacier. West coast of the South Island, New Zealand.

9. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers: One of the few places on earth you’ll see glaciers this close to the ocean, creeping down from the Southern Alps to the untouched rainforest.

Hamilton-Gardens-TeParapara

Hamilton-Gardens-TeParapara, middle of the North Island, New Zealand.

10. Hamilton Gardens: Stretched along the banks of the Waikato River, this relatively new 143-acre reserve contains an English herb garden, an Italian Renaissance garden, a Japanese contemplation garden and scented gardens to name a few.

blue-lake-new-zealand

Blue Lake, New Zealand.

11. Blue and Green Lakes, Rotorua: From the stately redwood forest on the edge of town, past the Blue and Green Lakes to the Buried Village and Lake Tarawera, there are plenty of jaw-dropping sights to see ou tthe window of your campervan.

Tamaki_Drive

Tamaki_Drive

12. Auckland’s Waterfront: Drive from downtown along the curving seaside Tamaki Drive to Mission Bay for a fabulous view of the North Shore, Rangitoto and Browns Island plus a peek at Auckland’s cafe culture. A good place to park up the campervan and get the bus back into town. Visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater world too.

Hicks-Bay-New-Zealand

Hicks-Bay-New-Zealand

13. Hicks Bay: Stop at the high point above Hicks Bay before you descend into Te Araroa to see New Zealand’s largest Pohutukawa tree and the East Cape Lighthouse.

Wellington, Kelburn Cable Car

Wellington, Kelburn Cable Car

14. Wellington’s Kelburn Cable Car: Above the busy shopping street, you’ll catch a view of glass-faced high rises silhouetted against the harbour. Step off the cute red cable car and into the Botanical Gardens which have great sea views.

Sky Tower, Auckland.

Sky Tower, Auckland. The Tallest Building in the Southern Hemisphere.

15. Sky Tower, Auckland: The best city view not only in New Zealand, but in the whole Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland and walk over glass floors to test your courage.

Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa

Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa

16. Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa: Hold on until Kawakawa to have your most memorable public toilet experience ever! Designed by ecologist, architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, they feature quirky copper handwork, sculptures, mosaics and tufts of grass on the roof.

Cape Reinga, at the very top of the North Island.

Cape Reinga, at the very top of the North Island.

17. Cape Reinga: The windswept northernmost tip of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. It’s marked by a lighthouse and a pohutukawa tree that holds great Maori spiritual significance.

Moeraki Boulders on the east coast of the South Island.

Moeraki Boulders on the east coast of the South Island.

18. Moeraki Boulders, Otago: Hundreds of huge spherical stones, some up to four metres wide, are strewn along the beach for a truly magical sight. Their formation was much like that of an oyster pearl, only on a much larger scale!

Mt Taranaki. West coast of the North island.

Mt Taranaki. West coast of the North island.

19. Mt Taranaki: This picture-perfect mountain is arguably the most impressive-looking in NZ and only a thirty minute drive from most towns in the region. Enjoy stunning views of waterfalls and forest, go for a day-long hike, or take your skis or snowboard.

Mount Maunganui, east coast of the North Island.

Mount Maunganui, east coast of the North Island.

20. Mt Maunganui: A favourite holiday spot for Kiwis thanks to its golden bay and busy beach culture in summer. Trek 45 minutes to the summit of “The Mount” for a great view of the Bay of Plenty.

Albatross Dunedin

Albatross Dunedin

21. Dunedin: A unique combination of cultural riches, fine architecture, and world-famous wildlife reserves. A university city with strong Scottish heritage, it’s also New Zealand’s oldest city.

Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Auckland War Memorial Museum.

22. Auckland War Memorial Museum: After a significant revamp, this beautiful structure houses some excellent interactive attractions, as well as the largest Maori and Polynesian section in the world.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum

Eastwoodhill Arboretum on the east coast of the North Island.

23. Eastwoodhill Arboretum: Situated near Gisborne and said to be one of the most magical places in the country, this is one man’s life’s work and contains over 3,500 species. The colours are particularly amazing in autumn.

Nugget Point, South Island

Nugget Point, South Island

24. Nugget Point: You may not have seen another human for hours by the time you get there. From the wild, windswept Catlins promontory you’ll see seals, penguins and seabirds galore.

Rangitoto Island, Auckland

Rangitoto Island, Auckland

25. Rangitoto Island: Created by a volcanic eruption around 600 years ago, this stunningly symmetrical, circular island is accessible by ferry from Auckland and offers a walk through forested wilderness to the cone’s tip to view the city from a new angle. Park your campervan up for the day and enjoy some time off the road.

26. Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua: The NZ Tourism Awards Supreme Winner in 1998, this recreation of an ancient Maori village shows Maori life pre-European settlers. Learn about the culture and eat from a traditional hangi (dug-out ground oven).

27. Puzzling World, Wanaka: After experiencing the huge maze, the Illusion Rooms, the Forced Perspective Room and the Tilted House, you may never view the world the same again! A family attraction with a difference.

28. Craters of the Moon, Taupo: Named for its other-worldly atmosphere, this 30-minute walk through a geothermal park gives you amazing views of bubbling craters, mud pools and steam vents from well-formed pathways and elevated viewing platforms.

29. Horse riding at Pakiri Beach: A fabulous nature experience. Ride through native bush, over rolling farmland and down dramatic Pakiri Beach with views out to the islands. Check your campervan hire company’s terms and conditions as some roads around Pakiri are unsealed.

30. Arrowtown: After checking out the arts and crafts and local wineries in this quaint town, take a walk to view fantastic views, historic places, or relics from the gold rush of the 1860s.

31. Marlborough Sounds: A stretch of deep coves and remote bays surrounded by native forest, this is a lush wilderness full of rare birds, dolphins, penguins and seals, as well as an array of pursuits such as fishing, diving, kayaking and hiking.

32. White Island: New Zealand’s only active marine volcano is accessible by boat off the coast of Whakatane. You’ll see steaming tunnels and sheer cliff faces, a crystal blue crater lake covered in white mist, and the eerie ruins of an old factory.

33. Auckland’s West Coast: Just a short drive from the city lies a native rainforest and rugged wild coastline flanked by the Waitakere Ranges, formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. These also created the distinctive black sand at these famed beaches such as Piha, Muriwai, Karekare and Bethell’s.

34. Abel Tasman National Park: Located at the top of the South Island, this park features golden sandy beaches, rocky granite outcrops and the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. If you don’t make it to the track, hiring kayaks at Motueka will make for a very memorable experience.

35. The Putangirua Pinnacles: This trek can be done in a day, but it is recommended to stay overnight in the hut. Climb to the peak and see 360 degree views of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Gulf, the Bay of Plenty and the Hauraki Plains.

36. Stewart Island: New Zealand’s third-largest Island is accessible from Bluff over Foveaux Strait. It’s a tramper’s paradise, a stunning ecological sanctuary and extremely peaceful. You’ve got a good chance of spotting a kiwi in the bush here.

37. Queenstown: Mountains and lakes provide the backdrop to New Zealand’s adventure capital. Go white water rafting, bungy jumping, skydiving, jet boating or “zorbing”, where you’re rolled down a grassy hill in an inflatable clear plastic ball.

38. Napier: A huge earthquake in 1931 and the subsequent rebuilding made it one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. Sip delicious Hawke’s Bay wines amongst the architecture, and check out the huge Art Deco weekend if you’re there in February.

39. Te Papa: One of the largest national museums in the world, this giant new structure on Wellington’s waterfront is said to be five years ahead of its time. A magical interpretation of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, you could spend all day here.

40. Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens: Christchurch is known as “The Garden City”, so this place has a lot to live up to – and does. Weeping cherries, daffodils, bluebells and huge oaks capture Christchurch’s distinctly English flavour.

41. The Milford Road: Called one of the best drives in the world, it offers primeval rainforest, mirror-like lakes, waterfalls, colourful moss and lichens and snowy sheer mountain faces, as well as the slightly daunting historic Homer Tunnel.

42. Waiheke Island: 35 minute’s ferry away from Auckland, Waiheke boasts a sub-tropical climate, 100kms of biscuit-coloured beaches, award-winning wineries, galleries and museums and a strong sense of island community. Although there is a car ferry, you will not be able to take your rental campervan across to Waiheke – and you won’t have to as there are buses, taxis and car rentals.

43. Tongariro National Park: New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area, a status which recognises the park’s important Maori cultural and spiritual associations.

44. Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola: The steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, this cableway will take you to Bob’s peak for some clean crisp mountain air and unsurpassed views of The Remarkables and Lake Whatipu.

45. Lake Taupo: New Zealand’s (and the Southern Hemisphere’s) largest lake, it offers swimming, wakeboarding, waterskiing, boating and more, next to a laid-back little town. You can also snow ski, mountain bike, hike and trout fish in the area.

46. Auckland: Sometimes seen as just a landing port, Auckland is worth staying in for a few days to experience fantastic specialty shopping, exciting nightlife and attractions such as the Harbour Bridge Climb and Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World. Just keep your campervan roadtrip outside rush hour traffic on the motorway!

47. Te Puke: The self-proclaimed “world kiwifruit capital”, this is evident by a giant kiwifruit sculpture.

48. Paihia: The gateway to the balmy Bay of Islands and close to the scene of some of New Zealand’s most poignant history. A great base to jump on a boat and explore the 144 islands and see some amazing marine life.

49. Waitomo Caves: Take a subterranean journey and discover an underground labyrinth of limestone caves and formations. Take a cave eco-tour, see thousands of glow worms, or go black water rafting – not for the faint-hearted!

50. Cathedral Cove: Accessible from the northern end of Hahei beach or a track from the carpark, the beautiful sandy beach of Catherdral Cove is separated from Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay by a stunning natural rock arch.

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How not to get robbed in Barcelona courtesy: Wanderlust

How not to get robbed in Barcelona

 

I can’t remember a day in Barcelona that wasn’t interrupted by someone chasing a purse-snatcher or wailing for the police. By all means go, but read this first

Barcelona is a wonderful place to live but the downside is, it’s a den of thieves. Barcelona topped the poll as worst city in the world for pickpockets. Here’s 10 tips to help you keep your cash in your pocket…

1. Get the airport bus

If you fly to Barcelona, take a cab or the bus from the airport. On the train, thieves only have to pay once to spend the whole day rifling through people’s pockets and thefts are common both at Sants station and on the trains. The bus, which costs around 5 euros is a far safer bet.

2. Don’t carry more than you need

Savvy Barcelona residents empty their pockets before a big night out and you should too. Go to the cashpoint during the day and take only the cash you need when you go out at night. Empty your wallet of everything else – credit cards, photos of loved ones, library card, driving license, whatever – and they’ll be a whole lot less to cry about if the worst happens.

Officially, you’re supposed to carry ID at all times in Barcelona but a photocopy of your passport should suffice if you get stopped by the cops. If you’re out shopping, you’ll need ID to pay by credit card: just be sure to keep it tucked away in a money belt.

3. Pickpockets love tourists

Out in the untouristy suburbs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a pickpocket but around La Rambla they’re ten a penny. Hot spots include: Carrer dels Escudellers (which runs down one side of Plaza Reial and is also known as ‘scally alley’) Plaza George Orwell, Carrer de la Princesa and Carrer dels Carders in the Born, Carrer de Sant Pau in the Raval and of course, La Rambla. None of these places are no-go areas by any means, but if you’re staggering down Escudellers at 6am, you won’t be short of company as you trip over the empty wallets on your way home.

4. Leave your backpack at home

It you must carry a backpack, wear it on your front where you can see it. The best way to not be a target in the first place is to carry a bag that you can wear across your body so it can’t be pulled off your shoulder. Bags that have zips and secret inner pockets are even better.

Never put anything of value in outer pockets and if you really have to walk alone at night, keep your hand over the zip and the bag on an unexposed arm (facing the wall rather than the street).

5. Underground, overground

Bag-snatchers love the metro. Gangs work together in groups and are particularly active around the train doors during the evening rush hour and on the touristy green and yellow lines. One popular method known as the ‘tapon’ involves a member of the gang dropping something in front of the victim and then bending down to pick it up. As people back up behind them, accomplices get busy with everyone’s bags.

6. Be terrace smart

Watch the locals on a restaurant terrace. They don’t leave their bag on an empty chair or their phone on the table and neither should you. If you really must take your bag off your shoulder, keep your valuables on your person and the bag strap tied to your chair or between your feet.

Taxi drivers will tell you that all thieves are Moroccan but don’t be fooled: pickpockets are just as likely to be a group of young girls or a frail old lady. Be on your guard for anyone coming to your table and asking for change – there’s a good chance they’re scoping your stuff. Most of Barcelona’s genuine homeless tend to stay in one spot.

7. Cab it

If you’re drunk as a skunk, don’t even think about walking home or taking the metro: get a cab.

8. Blondes don’t have more fun

It’s not just in the bars and clubs that blondes get all the attention, the pickpockets love you too. Nothing screams tourist more than blonde locks and short of dyeing your hair, there’s not a whole lot you can do. Practise your psycho ‘don’t mess with me’ face and avoid making it worse by not jabbering on your phone in your own language, carrying an expensive camera or gawping too long at your map.

9. Lock it up

On the beach, take as little as you can and never leave your stuff unattended. If you’re travelling alone, ask the nearest friendly-looking group to keep an eye on your things if you go swimming or use the lockers at Platja de Bogatell or Barceloneta (the lockers are underneath Passeig del Maritim not far from the big fish in Barceloneta and on the beach at Bogatell).

10. If you luck out…
If the worst happens and you do get robbed, check all the nearby bins. Thieves are just after your valuables and will ditch everything else quickly. It’s worth reporting the incident to the police (especially if you have travel insurance) as sometimes things do get handed in.

The Guàrdia Urbana station on the Ramblas (no. 43) is open 24 hours but to save time, you can report the loss online and then nip into the police to sign the form within 72 hours.

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Holiday checklist

Do you always forget something important when you go on holiday?  We have a list that will make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Email me if I have missed something: [email protected]

Holiday Packing List:
Travel Documents:

  • Driving Licence.
  • Travel insurance take a copy with you and leave one at your home
  • • Passport, identification, visa(s) Make a note of your details and leave a copy at home
    • Address book Back up on laptop or memory stick
    • Travel tickets, directions, hotel contact details Keep copies at home with booking reference numbers.
  • Email copies to yourself to enable access from anywhere.
    • Cash (incl. foreign currency) check out currency cards (http://www.campervans.com/links.html)
    • Travellers cheques (Currency cards
    • Credit card, debit card, ATM card Keep copy of numbers at home
    • Map, guide book
    • Event tickets
    • Notebook, pen

Soft baggage – to store easily.

Home Checklist:
• Lock doors, windows, garage
• Leave keys and itinerary with a friend
• Stop routine deliveries – milk, newspapers, mail
• Turn down thermostat
• Arrange for pet and plant care
• Book airport taxi
• Arrange for pets to be fed or housed
• Book airport parking

Luggage and belongings:
Clothing
Toiletries
Medication
Food and drink

Sunglasses

Watch

 

Electronics:

Plug adaptors

Chargers for phone, camera, fit bit, radio, etc.

Solar chargers – useful for back-up.

Spare batteries

Camera

go-pro

Phone

e-reader

 

Toiletries:

 

 

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Pitchup.com for coolest campsites around the World. Updated.

Pitchup.com

Pitchup has been established for about 10 years now. I first visited their stand in a Camping and Caravan Show in Birmingham and picked up a leaflet and wrote a blog post back then.  This is the remains of it here…
“Camping and caravanning offers a wide range of choice, from holiday parks with all-day entertainment to remote wildernesses where you can bring out your inner Bear Grylls. But for something really unique check out Pitchup.com’s camping 2.0 search facility, to find out where the cool kids are doing it this summer.”

Camping in Sweden in a camper from www.campervans.com

Camping in Sweden in a camper from www.campervans.com

Since then we have referred our customers travelling through the uk about this site along with other that have a good reputation for promoting quality camping sites that accommodate campervans and motorhomes. We have campervan and motorhome rental companies in most of these countries too.

Pitchup for the UK Campsites.

Since they started they have expanded their service to offer campsites in many overseas countries. See the whole list Here. Campsites around the World with Pitchup

This includes the following UK Country Pages:

Europe includes:

Norway Campervan HIre

Norway Campervan Hire

There are a few African countries listed too:

Camping in a 4WD camper in Zambia.

Camping in a 4WD camper in Zambia.

The Americas:

4-berth C-class rv rental in the USA.

4-berth C-class rv rental in the USA.

Australasia:

Campervan and Motorhome Hire in New Zealand.

Campervan and Motorhome Hire in New Zealand.

Asia:

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