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2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 6
reviews: 7
2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

We are planing to go to NZ in July or August for two weeks and we would like to rent a camping car. Is it a good idea ? We are travelling with our two big kids (14 and 18), isn't it two cold at this time ? I have heard that there wonderfull sites to see ? Could you please tell me what to visit and what to do? we need nature and friendly people! If somebedy can advise for a company to rent a camping-car not too small, thank you very much for your help!

Whangarei, Northland
Destination Expert
for Auckland, Whangarei
posts: 2,647
reviews: 39
1. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

Hi there

I assume that you mean a campervan as opposed to a car (ie. a van that you can park at camping grounds and sleep in ?)

July/August is the middle of winter, and although Northland is one of the warmer areas of NZ in winter, it can still be quite cold at night in particular. (actually not sure if you meant Northland specifically or North Island generally)

I personally would not recommend a campervan for your family...

To be comfortable for 4 adults, you would need a fairly large 4 berth or 6 berth van, which is quite cumbersome to drive.

If it were my choice I would hire a budget station wagon or MPV car, and use motels, apartments, and possibly cabins at camping grounds for accommodation.

In some parts of Northland (eg Doubtless Bay and Bay of Islands), accommodation can be very cheap at this time of year as it is a very quiet time of year.

Try APEX, JUCY or ACE for good, well priced car rentals.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 6
reviews: 7
2. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

thank you very much for your information. It will be usefull !

posts: 128
reviews: 51
3. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

We just did a two week family holiday of Northisland with two kids (9and12). We chose the hire care (Apex was excellent) and apartment option. I am glad we did - it was cheaper and petrol is quite expensive as well so the petrol would be much more in a campervan.

I think for a family, a campervan is too small - if you like privacy and time to yourself a campervan does not provide this. Our apartments meant that we had a room to ourselves and a lounge area and mostly a balcony or deck where we could have time out. Also the cleaning would have been an issue for me - we only did washing up ! Then we moved out and let someone else clean! Trying to keep a campervan clean in rainy weather and all your stuff organized would be a nightmare!

What we also did was bring a small cooler bag and an icebrick. At each location, we just purchased enough food for two days and then put the excess in the cooler bag until we got to the next place. It held our lunches and water bottles as well making it a cheaper option than buying food.

I just posted on another question our itinerary and I will post it for you here too. Hope you have a fabulous holiday !! :) :)

posts: 128
reviews: 51
4. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

Here is what we did - let me know if you have any questions (all places we stayed except Jet park were self contained with cooking facilities and all places had laundry facilities on site)

-12/12/10 - Arrive Auckland airport AIR NZ was excellent - hire car (Apex - excellent - get a GPS and full insurance)and stay at St Waldorf St Martins Hotel 2 nights (Auckland museum MUST SEE and sky tower)

-14/12/10 - Drive to Paihia (east coast drive) and stay 2 nights at Cooks Lookout Motel: EXCELLENT highly recommend - great views, away from the tourists!

(see treaty grounds, russell, kerikeri - stone store, kemp house, chocolate boutique all fabulous)

16/12/10 - Drive to northwest Auckland (via the west coast cutting over at Omapere - see the giant kauri tree 'Tane Mahuta',Kai iwi dune lakes and the Kauri museum it was really good) staying one night at Parakai Geothermal Motel (good place, private hot springs water tub )

17/12/10 - Drive to Tairua and stay 2 nights at Paku Lodge (highly recommend)

(day trip to whitianga, hot water beach, cathedral cove) free bikes and kayaks at lodge - paddle out on the tranquil bay

19/12/10 - Drive to Rotarua Stay 2 nights at the Top 10 Blue Lake Holiday park - very good, ten mins out of Rotorua, no sulphur smell on the shores of a lake- magical place - can canoe out on the lake and swim

( Mitai Village culture show and hangi, gondola, rotorua lakefront is great and also free maori village on the lakefront, free geothermal park in town and rotorua museum was excellent too )

21/12/10 - Drive to Taupo - stay at Catellis of Taupo for 2 nights - highly recommend - Waikite valley thermal pools on the way to Taupo is a great stop(Huka Falls Jet, free lookout at Huka Falls, Honey Hive, walk along lake taupo forshore, Cafe Antonias for turkish dinner yum)

23/12/10 - Drive to Waitomo Caves and stay at Waitomo top ten holiday park for 1 night (good but a B&B might be nicer if no family to cater for)

- Spellbound cave tour highly recommend (best tour we did on the holiday - good value, can't speak highly enough of it) would stay another night in Waitomo if you have time as there is more to see than I thought - free walks etc.

24/12/10 Drive to Auckland via Otorohanga Kiwi Park (good value) and stay at Jet Park Motel near airport- would recommend - close to Apex car hire (they will drop you back to hotel) and the hotel has free shuttle to airport -about 5 minutes.

I have done reviews for all places stayed and some attractions we did ...they will take a couple of days to appear on Trip Advisor though.

Have a great trip .... hope you love it as much as we did !!!

Auckland, New...
posts: 1,080
reviews: 8
5. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

Definitely rental car at that time of the year as it may well be wet and cold, it is our mid winter.

And coming from Singapore it will be cold.

Many options for accommodation, Bed and breakfasts, holiday parks (though some may be closed for the winter) and motels.

New Zealand
posts: 8,450
reviews: 9
6. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

Any other time of the year and in a 6 berth campervan I'd say go for it but it will be too cold at that time of the year. Time and cost wise it's a lot quicker and cheaper to hire a car and stay in motels or B&Bs. There are hundreds of accommodation options available.

This is a great site to find your accommodation and plan your trip.


Toronto, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 3
7. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

We are going to North Island the end of Feb for 2 weeks and would like any advice available. How do you get tickets top Maori feast. Do you have to book that ahead? Is car rental the best way to go?

posts: 128
reviews: 51
8. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

There are many places that offer the hangi (maori feast). I can recommend Mitai Maori Village in Rotorua as a good night out. You get lots of food, a cultural show and a gloworm walk. Google them and check out the website...you will be able to purchase tickets on there. Most of the time you would have to book to make sure you got the day you wanted. We phoned up and booked and paid on the night.

I think renting a car is the cheapest option and also quickest for driving.

9. Re: 2 weeks in NZ Northland with Camping Car

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