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When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.
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What's also included?
|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
Auckland: New Zealand's City of Sails
Welcome to Auckland, our City of Sails.
Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, Auckland is a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. It straddles a slim piece of land with the coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.
After checking into your hotel, relax and stretch your legs with a stroll around our beautiful city. Explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available for a more in-depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.
Accommodation: Auckland Hotel - 1 night
Auckland to the Bay of Islands via East Coast Beaches
Collect your comfortable Campervan and drive north to the Bay of Islands - a marine wonderland brimming with unique sights and wildlife. This sub-tropical region is a stunning Maritime Park with 144 islands, secluded bays, and an abundance of marine life including marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species.
On your way north, make time to visit the Tutukaka Coast en route. This often-missed East Coast gem has been named one of the world's top coastal destinations by National Geographic Traveller. From white-sand Matapouri to forest-fringed Whale Bay, there are endless picnic spots to choose from.
Your home for the next two nights in the town of Paihia, small and friendly and right by the Bay. With beach walks, island boat trips, oceanside trails and lush forests within easy reach, it's a wonderful place to relax after your drive.
Motorhome Park: Paihia - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 228 km | 142 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 5 mins
Bay of Islands: Cruise the Bay and Watch For Dolphins
Get to know the Bay in the very best way today - by sailing its shimmering blue waters.
Hole In The Rock Cruise
Set sail on a three-hour Bay of Islands cruise in search of dolphins, whales and other marine life. From the comfort of your purpose-built cruising catamaran, a journey to the end of the Cape Brett Peninsula and discover Motukokako Island's famous "Hole in the Rock".
One of New Zealand's most-loved attractions, this ocean-carved natural archway is ridiculously photogenic as well as historically significant. Māori legends tell of local warriors who would paddle their canoes through the Hole in the Rock before departing for battle.
Keep your eyes peeled for Common and Bottlenose Dolphins coming to case your boat. Lovers of marine wildlife will be in heaven today: penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, gannets and more visit these waters in droves.
If you haven't tried New Zealand's classic "Fish n Chips", head over to the Paihia waterfront this evening and try some from a local takeaway. Find your perfect picnic spot overlooking the bay and enjoy!
'According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen.'
Hokianga & Lord of the Forest
Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes it an easy drive from the Bay of islands to Hokianga, on the 'other side'.
Hokianga Harbour: footsteps of the first New Zealanders
A short drive today takes you to Hokianga, on the 'other side' of Northland. You will visit Hokianga Harbour where the great navigator Kupe ended his epic ocean voyage, becoming the first human to set foot on New Zealand soil.
Framed by giant sand dunes, it's the perfect place for a refreshing swim. Sandboarding down the dunes is great fun for big and little kids alike!
Tane Mahuta: Lord of the Forest
Here you will have an unforgettable encounter with the two oldest, largest Kauri trees on the planet: Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere. In Maori mythology, Tane Mahuta created the world as we know it. It's impossible not to feel tiny when standing beneath the 51-metre (161 foot) tall Lord of the Forest.
Te Matua Ngahere means "Father of the Forest". Aged around 3000 years old with a girth of five metres, he's the oldest and widest Kauri tree on Earth.
Motorhome Park: Kauri Coast - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 75 km | 47 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour
West Coast to Auckland
Journey back to Auckland, stopping at a black sand surf beach that's too good to miss.
A real local’s treat, Muriwai Beach on the West Coast is one of New Zealand's most breathtaking black-sand surf beaches. This Kiwi favourite has a boardwalk that hugs the dramatic coastline, perfect for stretching your legs while you enjoy stunning views of the Tasman Sea and the gannet colony on the nearby clifftops.
Motorhome Park: Auckland - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 232 km | 145 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 min
Auckland to Waitomo: Subterranean Wonders
Leaving Auckland once more, you'll travel south to Waitomo accompanied by rolling farmlands and the mighty Waikato River. Stop off in Hamilton to visit the world-famous botanic gardens, and drop into the Otorohanga Kiwi House if you'd like to see our iconic national bird up close.
The small and pleasant town of Waitomo is the focal point of the region’s subterranean wonders. The caves at Waitomo are a celebration of nature's work over the last one hundred thousand years. There are hundreds of miles of caves housing glow-worms, underground lakes, stalactites, and stalagmites, as well as all manner of limestone caves.
Above ground, the area around Waitomo is also popular for horse riding and bushwalking. The sensational Ruakuri Walk is a 45-minute loop track through lush native bush. Following the Waikato Stream through a forested gorge, you'll discover limestone arches, naturally sculpted cliffs, and amazing stalactites & stalagmites.
Motorhome Park: Waitomo - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 196 km | 140 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 10 mins
WAITOMO TO ROTORUA VIA THE MAGICAL GLOW WORM CAVES
Visit the Waitomo Caves and meet some creatures that are simply out of this world.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Hidden beneath the peaceful countryside of Waitomo, there lies an underground labyrinth of caves with suspiciously twinkly ceilings. No, they haven't installed Christmas lights: the twinkling is caused by thousands of tiny Glowworms. You'll spend a leisurely 40 minutes exploring underground, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide to answer all your questions about these incredible creatures and the amazing rock formations they live on.
Onwards to Rotorua
Sitting squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua's landscape is unique: it's like landing on the moon! Here you'll see Earth's crust at its most exciting. Giant geysers rocket into the air and colourful sulphur terraces hiss and boil. But Rotorua is about much more than boiling mud. In this Maori heartland, you can immerse yourselves in the history and tikanga (culture) of the First People of New Zealand.
Motorhome Park: Rotorua - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 139 km | 99 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins
ROTORUA: ZIP-LINE THROUGH OUR NATIVE FOREST
Embark on a magical zip-line journey through untouched native New Zealand forest, and later witness the famous haka performed before your very eyes.
Rotorua Canopy Guided Eco Tour
High above the forest floor, you'll zip between tree platforms in a stunning redwood forest on a 3 hour guided eco-tour. Suspended up to 22 metres (72 feet) high amongst ancient trees, this journey takes you through an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, zip-lines (flying fox) and swing bridges. Experience the thrill of flying through the changing landscapes with native birdsong ringing in your ears.
Maori Cultural Evening & Hangi Banquet
In the evening you will experience the wonderful hospitality of New Zealand Maori at a Cultural Evening and Feast. Enjoy a banquet of foods cooked the traditional Maori way — on hot stones in an underground oven (a Hangi). Learn about Maori culture and spirituality through joyous song and dance performances. Seeing the Haka demonstrated right in front of you is unforgettable.
ROTORUA TO OHAKUNE VIA GEOTHERMAL LANDS
Wai-O-tapu Thermal Park
Just south of Rotorua lies Wai-O-tapu, a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity and a really exciting place for both kids and adults to visit. Wai-O-Tapu means 'Sacred Water' and it is easy to see why: the hot pools range in colour from turquoise blues and rich greens to an almost olive/yellow. This dazzling kaleidoscope of natural colour is caused by mineral salts in the water including gold and silver.
Wai-O-Tapu is home to the world famous Champagne Pool, seen by many as the most beautiful example of geothermal activity around. Steaming vents, bubbling mud pools, and huge volcanic craters make the experience very ethereal — but wait, there is more... don't miss the Lady Knox Geyser that spectacularly erupts daily at around 10.15am.
Great Lake Taupo
En route to National Park, you'll pass through the mountain town of Taupo (pronounced Toe-Paw), sitting by New Zealand's largest lake. Believe it or not, Lake Taupo is roughly the same size as Singapore! It's a great place to stop for lunch and take in some seriously epic views.
Arriving in National Park, treat yourselves to a hearty meal and an early night. Tomorrow you'll tackle one of the world's greatest one-day walks: the amazing Tongariro Crossing.
Motorhome Park: National Park - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 144 km | 89 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins
Walking Tongariro National Walk
Tongariro is New Zealand's oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area.
It is a place of extremes and surprises ranging from herb fields to lush native forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau and active volcanoes - Tongariro has them all.
The Tongariro Crossing is an 8-hour trek across a dramatic volcanic alpine landscape. You'll stumble across steaming vents, glacial valleys, alpine vegetation, and vivid crater lakes, all with views to die for. Many natural hot-pools are found throughout the park, free for those wanting a soothing spa. The crossing can be undertaken with or without a guide — during the snowy winter months you'll need a guide plus ice axe, crampons, snow gear and a good level of fitness. We'd be happy to arrange a guide and equipment for you if you're up to the challenge!
Popular (and shorter) Tongariro walks
If an 8-hour hike isn't your cup of tea, popular shorter walks include:
Approximate Distance: 185 km | 115 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 20 mins
Wellington - 'Our Cool Little Capital'
Known for its arty, creative residents, Wellington is filled with character and colourful streets. Packed with quirky shops and great galleries, it's lots of fun to wander around.
Head to the waterfront and explore the amazing Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Here you can follow the incredible ocean journey of our Maori ancestors as they discover New Zealand and build a life here. Learn about what makes the earth shake, and why our mud bubbles and boils. You'll be an expert on New Zealand before you know it!
Here are some sightseeing and activity suggestions while in Wellington:
|National Museum - Te Papa||Visit Cuba Street||Weta Workshop Tour|
|Zealandia Wildlife Reserve||Carter Observatory|
Motorhome Park: Wellington - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 332 km | 237 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours
FERRY FROM WELLINGTON TO BLENHEIM: SOUTH ISLAND SUNSHINE
Cross the Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry
The morning ferry from Wellington to Picton is a great start to the day. It takes three hours to cross the Cook Strait on the Ferry, and as the South Island approaches you are greeted by a jaw-dropping sight: the fiords of Queen Charlotte Sound. You're treated to amazing views on every side as the ferry glides through the calm waters approaching your destination.
Take a stroll around picturesque Picton Harbour before hitting the road once more for the city of Blenheim the heart of the Marlborough wine district.
Motorhome Park: Blenheim - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 28 km | 20 miles Total Driving Time: 24 mins
MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION: Winery Cycling Tour
Cycle among Marlborough's best-loved vineyards
Swap four wheels for two today as a local wine expert guides you on a cycling tour of the Marlborough wine region.
The Marlborough region produces world-renowned wines. Outside the city of Blenheim, on the "Golden Mile" wine trail you can sample delicious Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cuvee. And what better way to do it than in the company of a local wine aficionado?
There are over 40 wineries that can be explored by bike along the flat, quiet back roads amid stunning scenery. You will visit three wineries and sample their selection of cool climate wines, along with some of the best local cuisine on offer.
The easy 10 km (6 mi) bike tour will be matched to your interests in wine tasting, gourmet food, crafts or just cycling on these peaceful country roads soaking up the scenery.
Approximate Distance: 28.3 km | 20 miles Total Driving Time: 25 mins
Kaikoura - Where The Mountains Meet The Sea
Today you'll journey along the East Coast to the town of Kaikoura, a marine wonderland where towering mountains meet the sea.
Kaikoura's most famous residents are the many whales and dolphins who feast on the abundant seafood in its waters. Sperm whales visit year-round, while the mighty humpback is a regular visitor in June and July.
Kaikoura Whale Watching Tour
This afternoon brings you closer to these magnificent creatures on a whale watching cruise. Enjoy spotting them as they breach the surface, spouting seawater from their blowholes before diving in search of tasty squid.
End your unforgettable day with freshly caught crayfish at one of Kaikoura's cozy eateries, enjoying one of the glorious sunsets this region is famous for.
Motorhome Park: Kaikoura - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 131 km | 94 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 48 mins
CHRISTCHURCH: THE SOUTH ISLAND'S CAPITAL CITY
Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the South Island's capital.
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is our "Garden City," blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town. English heritage buildings sit side by side with innovative post-earthquake regeneration in this vibrant place.
Why not relax with punting trip down the Avon River? Gliding gently along in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic attractions and botanic gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.
Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch
|Easygoing Cycling Tour||Punting the Avon River||Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise|
|Māori Cultural Evening||French Akaroa Tour||Southern Alps Ballooning|
|Christchurch Gondola||Clearwater Golf||Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike|
Motorhome Park: Christchurch - 1 Night
Approximate Distance: 182 km | 113 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 37 mins
Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park via Lake Tekapo
Pick up your comfortable Motorhome today and leave the city behind: the mountains are beckoning.
After driving through the Canterbury Plains, you'll reach the majestic and peaceful setting of Lake Tekapo amid the high-country splendour of the Mackenzie Basin.
Nestled in Mt Cook National Park, Tekapo boasts amazing views of the Southern Alps - including Aoraki / Mount Cook, our tallest peak. Visit the little church sitting at the edge of Lake Tekapo - couples arrive from all over the world to take their wedding photos here, with the turquoise lake and snowy mountains in the background.
Tekapo lies in a Dark Sky Reserve, offering unrivaled opportunities for stargazing. No hotel could offer you such easy access to the stars: simply open the door of your campervan and the heavens are at your doorstep.
Motorhome Park: Mt Cook National Park - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 334 km | 207 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours 25 Minutes
Mt Cook National Park: Walk the Hooker Valley Track
After a short journey through the Southern Alps, you will arrive in Mt Cook Village at the heart of Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park.
Named for our country's highest mountain, Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park is exquisitely beautiful. The Maori name for Mt Cook is Aoraki, meaning ‘Cloud Piercer’: at 3,755m tall (12,016ft) this lofty peak deserves its name!
An ice-capped world of giant glaciers awaits as you embark on one of New Zealand's finest short walks: the Hooker Valley Track.
This stunning 11 km (6.8 mile) trek leads you to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. The trail winds through the Hooker Valley in the shadow of Aoraki /Mount Cook, crossing the mighty Hooker River on old-fashioned swing bridges. Reaching the lake, you are rewarded by unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki / Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers.
Your knowledgeable guide brings the unique history, flora, and fauna to life as you wander.
Hooker Valley Guided Hike: 5 Hours Walking, Distance 11 km (6.8 mi)
QUEENSTOWN: THE "JEWEL OF THE SOUTH"
The short drive to Queenstown is stunning, leading you over the rugged Crown Range on the highest main road in the country. Take your time and enjoy the scenic lookouts en route — your camera will get a workout.
The winding mountain road demands concentration & care, but more conservative drivers can take an alternative route along the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan, and the Shotover River. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way.
The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated, and fantastically scenic. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure including bungy jumping, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting, and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences — gourmet food and wine, spa treatments, and leisurely games of golf.
Motorhome Park: Queenstown - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 264 km | 188 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins
Queenstown at Leisure
A full day for you to enjoy Queenstown and its surrounds.
Nestled by the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this breathtaking town is heaven for nature lovers. Take the gondola (cable car) to the top of Bob's Peak for glorious alpine views and excellent short mountain walks.
Adrenalin junkies, we can arrange virtually any activity you can think of from a bungy jump into Kawarau Gorge, a swing across Shotover Canyon, or a skydive into Paradise.
For a more peaceful day, there are beautiful drives in the local area. Head to historic Arrowtown for quaint streetscapes and leafy views. Or drive to Glenorchy for a horseback ride through Lord of The Rings country. You could explore local wineries, cheese-eries and orchards in your campervan or by bike.
Like the landscape the options are endless: chat to our travel specialists for more great suggestions for your perfect Queenstown day.
Recommended Queenstown excursions:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
Lake Wanaka: Snowy Peaks & Lakeside Tranquility
On the shores of New Zealand's second largest lake, the town of Wanaka is often described as Queenstown's quieter little sister: the lake and mountain views are equally incredible, and many visitors count it as a favourite location on their New Zealand tour.
This lovely little township is easily explored on foot, with fine food & wine and boutique stores aplenty. A stroll or bike ride around the peaceful shores of Lake Wanaka is a must.
Spectacular hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options will delight outdoor-lovers. The dramatic mountain backdrop is perfect for a skydive or even a flight in a vintage Tiger Moth plane.
Charming in all seasons, we're pretty sure you'll fall in love with Wanaka.
Motorhome Park: Lake Tekapo - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 67 km | 48 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 5 mins
Wanaka: Cruise to Mou Waho Island
Lake Wanaka Cruise & Island Wildlife Walk
Today you'll tour the isle of Mou Waho, one of only five islands to be found in the vastness of Lake Wanaka.
Accessible only by a 35 minute boat cruise, Mou Waho is an island nature reserve with a difference. With no predators or pests roaming here, New Zealand's rare & endangered species can live in peace, giving you the opportunity to observe them up close.
Walking with a long-time local guide, the well-formed track leads you through the native bush to Tyrwhitt Peak. Here you will find Arethusa Pool, a beautiful miniature lake with small islands within it. Impress your friends by telling them you have visited an island in a lake, inside an island in a lake, inside an island in the ocean!
From Tyrwhitt Peak you'll be spellbound by the 360-degree views of Lake Wanaka surrounding you, and the mountains beyond.
Don't forget your swimwear: on a hot day it's hard to resist a swim in Mou Waho's cool clear waters.
Queenstown to Glacier Country via the Haast Pass
Be transported to the South Island's wild West Coast today on one of New Zealand's most breathtaking scenic drives.
The views are impressive all the way, and once over the Haast Pass they change dramatically. There's beauty around every bend, with woodland walks and dramatic waterfalls along the route — perfect for picnic stops.
When the ancient forests and mountain passes give way to coastal views, you'll soon be nearing glacier country.
Welcome to one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of New Zealand.
Motorhome Park: Franz Josef - 2 Nights
Approximate Distance: 350 km | 217 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours 40 Minutes
Franz Josef Glacier: Adventures On Ice
The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast glaciers. Tumbling down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrast spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests.
There are many different ways to admire the glacier. You can walk to the terminal face, get a birds eye view with a scenic helicopter flight, or take an exhilarating Heli Hike up to the bluest ice.
Whatever you choose, get ready to experience the most spectacular glacier environment anywhere in the world.
Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:
|Glacier Hot Pools||Glacier Scenic Flight|
|Walk to Glacier Face||Glacier Heli-hike|
FRANZ JOSEF TO CHRISTCHURCH
Begin your morning with a breathtaking coastal drive to Greymouth. You might like to pause in Hokitika for a spot of shopping — this town is home to many artisan carvers of the local pounamu (greenstone), which is sacred to Maori. A unique, locally carved greenstone pendant would be a special way to remember your trip.
From Greymouth it's time to cross the Southern Alps one last time as you set a course for your final destination, Christchurch. The drive takes you along the Great Alpine Highway, traversing Arthur's Pass and the epic Ōtira Viaduct.
The vast Canterbury Plains offer a final glimpse of New Zealand's rural landscapes before returning you to the South Island's largest city.
Make the most of your last night in New Zealand by exploring Christchurch's foodie scene. With everything from relaxed cafes to fine dining on offer, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect spot to mull over your memories of the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Approximate Distance: 375 km | 268 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
Accommodation: Christchurch Hotel - 1 night
Bon Voyage !
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
We know you will enjoy touring New Zealand in a Motorhome and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
So what are you waiting for? Contact First Light Travel and book your Motorhome Holiday in New Zealand - We Guarantee you it will be the Experience of a Lifetime!