Northland Campervan Rental Holiday
The relaxed, sunny lifestyle of Northland comes from its sub-tropical climate and the myriad of islands, bays and beaches around its extensive coastline.
- The Treaty of Waitangi, the document that founded bicultural New Zealand, was signed in the Bay of islands in 1840.
- Northland is rich in Maori history, and 31% of the population is Maori.
- With the Tasman Sea buffeting the west coast, and the South Pacific Ocean lapping the East Coast, activities in this region are often water-related. Chartering a skippered yacht to explore the Bay of Islands or Hauraki Gulf is a quick route to isolated beaches, bays and islands.
- Snorkelling, surfing, big game fishing and dolphin-watching are experiences easily found along the region’s touring route – the Twin Coast Discovery Highway - providing plenty of activities to keep you amused on your campervan trip.
- Waipoua forest, on the west coast, is New Zealand's largest kauri forest. You can park your campervan on the road then a short walk into Waipoua forest takes you to some of the oldest and largest living kauri trees, including the famed Tane Mahuta 'Lord of the forest', and Te Matua Ngahere 'Father of the forest'. Tane Mahuta - at 51m high - is the tallest kauri tree and largest by volume in New Zealand.
- The historic lighthouse standing on the northernmost tip of New Zealand, at Cape Reinga, is one of New Zealand's iconic sights. You may have to hire a separate car or 4WD to get here however, as most campervan rental companies will not allow hired motorhomes to travel on the unsealed road leading to Cape Reinga. It’s worth it if you do though!
- Northland’s subtropical climate and proximity to the sea produces abundant citrus fruit and many kinds of fresh seafood. Hire a motorhome and follow the food and wine trail showcases local vineyards.
- There are no traffic lights or high rise buildings north of Whangarei.
- 90 Mile Beach is actually only 55 miles or 88km long. Bus tours take you up the beach, however you won’t be allowed to take your rental campervan along it yourself.
Ahipara is a seaside village lying at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach. Surfers come from all over the world to ply the waves here and at adjacent Shipwreck Bay. You can join in too by taking a surf lesson or hiring boards from Mark Shanks of Good Vibrations
Beginning in the diverse city of Auckland, this road trip will allow you a unique look into New Zealand culture and the natural splendor of the country. Diving, water and adventure sports, sailing, whale watching, fishing and golf are just some of the possible activities available to you when you visit the beautiful Bay of Islands area. Explore the ancient Puketi Kauri Forest and stunning 90 Mile Beach on your way north to Cape Reinga. In Maori mythology the Cape and its famous lighthouse are the spot that spirits enter the underworld, it also the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
Houhora is a tiny harbour township that was once a centre for gumdiggers, but now is renowned for its super-sized subtropical fruits and vegetables, sold at tiny roadside stalls, and its superb fishing, an extremely popular local pursuit.
Kaiwaka is a quirky country town with a big heart. By day its home to the finest Italian Bakery in the north, the eccentric fairytale-like turrets of the organically-minded Café Eutopia, and the renowned Kaiwaka Cheese Shop whose SH1 signage proclaims that you’d better stop, as this is “the last cheese for miles”.
Kerikeri is a historic outpost which has undergone a revolution in the past 20 years or so from the one-time Orange Capital of New Zealand into a vibrant, bustling and ever-growing township. These days the incredibly juicy Kerikeri orange jostles for space beside locally grown avocados, grapes, macadamia nuts, tamarillos, gourmet cheeses, artisan breads, and olives at the weekly farmers’ market.
Ngunguru is a small settlement located on the shores of the Ngunguru estuary. Ngunguru was once a busy port, and today, this quaint village offers fantastic fishing opportunities and boasts a boat ramp, ski lane, general store and takeaways.
Paparoa is a tiny community located on a tidal inlet which leads into the Kaipara Harbour where there are a number of historical buildings.
Waipu was settled in 1853 by a group of Scottish Highlanders. The Waipu Heritage Centre commemorates the original pioneer settlers, revealing the history of this close knit community, while the self-guided Waipu Heritage Trail provides a scenic driving tour of the town’s original homesteads and historic places.
Warkworth is a region long known to Maori as Puhinui, where a country village-type atmosphere permeates. Life here is as mellow as the river upon which the town was built; there’s no sense of urgency in the air. However, this is no sleepy hollow: tables from lively cafés spill onto the streets, beat-up utes with sheep-dog cargo compete for space with BMWs, and a steady stream of visitors call into the Parry Kauri Park, the Honey Centre, the old cement works and Ransom Wines, all located nearby.
Wellsford is a rodeo town, where cowboys - and cowgirls too - strut their stuff on New Year's Day. But no matter if you miss it, even if you don’t stop you will be sure see these hardy types on the main street wearing their long rubber gumboots, and plaid shirts. But first, before you enter the town, keep an eye out in the paddocks for the life-size corrugated sculptures of animals farmed in the area - if you are lucky you will spot a couple corrugated cows and pigs.