Campervan Road Trip Ideas
The Most Scenic Roads In New Zealand
- The Great Coast Road - Westport to Greymouth. Resembling the Californian coast at times, this part of the country is lightly populated with people but bursting with wildlife and natural attractions. Punakaiki is pretty unique! Carry on to Franz Josef to check out the stunning rain forest, Lake Matheson, glacier hot pools, & glaciers. We really recommend a helicopter flight including Mt Cook & the Tasman Glaciers.
- Marlborough Sounds - The Queen Charlotte drive is a relatively short route of 40km at the top of the South Island. It’s not the first choice of touring visitors but trust us, the scenery is awe-inspiring overlooking the Marlborough Sounds.
- Crown Range Road - The road that connects Queenstown & Wanaka takes around 90 minutes to drive at an easy-going pace. However, allow for 2 hours to take some photos & stop occasionally. Equally good in summer & winter (but with a little more caution required when it’s icy). The Queenstown to Auckland road takes you up over both towns with fantastic views on either side. Arrowtown is well worth a pit stop!
- Te Anau to Milford Sound - This is probably the most remote road with the wildest scenery that you’ll see on your trip. It’s one of the most beautiful road trips in New Zealand, with one of the country’s top destinations at the end... Milford Sound. Our advice is plan an early start to avoid the crowds on this route.
- Mt Cook Road. The road into Mt Cook National Park is so beautiful we can’t describe it. So we won’t. You have to see this one for yourself. Start at Twizel & follow the signs to Mt Cook. Make sure your camera’s batteries are fully charged for Lake Tekapo. Take a pit stop in Fairlie for a pork belly or lamb roast pie (best in the country by far!)
- Tauranga to Napier. One of the lesser known routes but a favourite ours via The Bay of Plenty & Hawke’s Bay.
Campervan Hire From Nelson To Marlborough Sounds, Motueka, Riwaka & Abel Tasman National Park
Leaving our Kinky Campers depot in Nelson, head north along the coast to the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds, across to Motueka, up to the beautiful Riwaka Resurgence & explore the amazing Abel Tasman National Park! This is a trip filled with amazing scenery, ancient sunken river valleys, forests, & much more. Then you can leisurely cruise down the lush West coast to get lost in the endless mountains & nature.
Take A Drive North To Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds is one of our favourite places to check out on the South Island. Cruising along the Queen Charlotte Drive in your Kinky Camper is one hell of an experience, this drive is so beautiful I could nearly shed a tear.
Experience long sheltered inlets, clear waters & sandy bays. Park up your Kinky Camper, hike through the forest, explore the headlands, & discover the beautiful reserves on offer. Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The area has three main bodies of water – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, & Pelorous Sounds.
Discover Your Hippy Vibe In Motueka
Further north of Marlborough Sounds, nestled in the heart of Tasman Bay, you’ll discover Motueka. One of the nearest towns to the Abel Tasman & Kahurangi National Parks, Motueka has become the base of many tourism ventures.
Rock climbing? Golden beaches? Caves? Festivals? All found here. The infamous extensive limestone cave systems (including Harwood Hole in the Takaka Hill area) attract heaps of rock climbers yearly.
Hop out your campervan, to explore the museum & variety of restaurants on offer, or head down the main street to grab a feed in a converted church! Motueka is also well known for its rather arty farty community, do check out the numerous galleries on display. Another recommendation would be the waterfront walkway, enjoy a romantic walk with your loved one (guaranteed to melt their heart).
This brings us to your next step of the road trip... a drive to the Riwaka Resurgence & into the Abel Tasman National Park.
Take A Pit Stop In Riwaka Resurgence
Drive down the Riwaka Valley Road for about 15kms to be greeted by beautiful crystal clear water pools & fantastic scenery. A short 500m walk will bring you to where the river surges out of the Takaka Hill, a truly spectacular site.
The short walk from the picnic area takes you up to the awe-inspiring crystal pool & the source of the Riwaka River. It is fairly steep at first (pack some suitable walking boots), but soon levels off & is well worth it. The sunlight hitting the bottom of the pool offers a beautiful blue hue to the rock, quite a treat to the eye I must say.
Enjoy the expansive coastal scenes, bush clad mountainsides, a river that surges from a hole in a hill & a broad view over a busy landscape.
Explore World-Famous Abel Tasman National Park
A must stop along the top end of the South Island. Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, & world-famous coast track.
Park up your Kinky Camper & get ready for one hell of an adventure. Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal paradise that you can walk through or explore by cruise boat, sailing catamaran, water taxi or sea kayak.
Try your hand at some snorkeling, go swimming, sun bathing or just roll up a juicy joint & crash out for a few hours. Besides, I've heard that sleeping under the stars here is the way to experience the true spirit of the Abel Tasman.