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Travelling New Zealand by campervan is the exploration road trip for the ages. Discover hauntingly beautiful scenic landscapes, adrenalin-fuelled activities and a laidback, chilled-out atmosphere that replenishes your energy.
It’s the adventure you've gotta do at least once in your life. Whether you’re visiting the North, South or both islands (you lucky thing!).
Here’s our top picks to check off your New Zealand bucket list this year!
1. The Shotover Jet, Queenstown
Adrenaline junkies listen up! If you like going ridiculously fast, and don’t mind a bit of white-water, then this is the ride for you. The Shotover Jet promises a crazy good experience as you skilfully skim through the narrow canyons of the Shotover River at 85km/h. Hold on for the 360-degree spin! Just 10 minutes’ drive from Queenstown.
2. Bungy Jumping, Queenstown
Hurling yourself off a (very high) bridge is certainly one way guaranteed to get your heart pumping, and New Zealand is one of the best, if not the best, countries to do it in. AJ Hackett Bungy is just one of many pioneering, adventurous companies helping adrenaline junkies get their fix.
You can choose between jumping, climbing or swinging. Whatever you choose, one thing is for sure, your heart going into your throat as you leap from the safety of a platform – now that’s adventure!
3. Sleep under the stars
The best thing about travelling New Zealand in a campervan, is having the freedom and flexibility of waking up to a new million-dollar view everyday – not even the most expensive hotels in the world can offer that right! And just an FYI that camping in New Zealand isn’t just a must-do - it’s a way of life.
Get away from the bright city lights, look up and discover the timeless kingdom that is the Milky Way, lost in the glare of modern-day materialism.
4. Abel Tasman Skydiving, Motueka
Need we say more? Freefalling at 200km/h is one of the most heightened states of consciousness one can achieve. An experience that will live in the memory banks forever.
Don’t worry if you haven’t made the jump yet, experienced professionals will be with you at all times, even when you jump!
5. Mountain biking in Rotorua
For most visitors, Rotorua is best known for the myriad of adventure activities and cultural experiences this magical place has on offer. However, Rotorua is also home to some of the world’s best mountain bike trails. One of the best is the 130-kilometre Whakarewarewa trail network providing stunning geothermal hotspots, cultural performances and delicious local cuisine at night.
6. Meet the locals
Kiwis are super friendly with a laid-back outlook on life, and you’ll find that many of them are always keen for a surf, a cold one or a good bushwalk. Get out there and meet the locals, you’ll not only be guaranteed local insights on where to go, but also sample the famous Kiwi hospitality.
Sports is always a great ice-breaker. If you see a game of footy being played, jump in and get amongst. Who knows, you could make friendships that last for life.
7. Expand your outlook
Discovering Maori culture of New Zealand is just one of many ways you can expand your outlook on life. You’ll find tons of museums and art galleries throughout the country, such as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
We like to think that adventure travel can truly expand your horizons. Experiencing how different cultures live and work, treat each other and contribute to the community, can have a positive and lasting effect on the mind, body and soul.
8. Cook up a storm
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much fun cooking in a campervan can be. You have all the kitchen supplies and utensils you’ll need with the added bonus of driving through rural towns where farmers’ markets are plentiful. Sample fresh local produce grown from the clean green pastures of the New Zealand’s countryside.
Check out these recipes on the road for some inspiration.
9. Find a new lunch spot
Time to hit Instagram! The likes will be pouring in from the endless picturesque vistas on offer for a campervan meal. Whether it’s breakfast on the beach, lunch overlooking mountainous terrain or a postcard sunset evening, you’ll find it in New Zealand.
10. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Ever seen those impossibly beautiful front covers of travel magazines? Well one of them was probably the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand’s oldest National Park rich in dramatic, awe-inspiring scenery and cultural identity.
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