Exploring New Zealand in a campervan is a roadtrip for the ages. You’ll find hauntingly beautiful scenery, adventurous activities and a laidback vibe that replenishes your energy. It’s a trip you've gotta do at least once in your life, whether you visit North, South or both islands (you lucky thing).
So here are some things you can check off your New Zealand GO List this year!
1. The Shotover Jet, Queenstown
If you like white water rafting and going ridiculously fast, this is the ride for you.
The Shotover Jet is a breathtakingly good time as you spin through the Shotover River Canyons, and it’s just 10 minutes drive from Queenstown. It’s an adrenaline rush bottled in a white water ride, skilfully skimming around crags and boulders at 85km/h in dramatic and narrow canyons.
Friends enjoying the Queenstown Shotover Jet ride.
2. Bungy Jumping, Queenstown
Jumping off a bridge or cliff is one way to get your heart racing, and New Zealand’s one of the best countries to do it in.
AJ Hackett Bungy is just one of many innovative, adventurous companies helping adrenaline junkies like yourselves get your thrills.
Here you can jump, climb or swing to your heart's content. Many of their packages include transport and t-shirts, but let’s face it, the real prize is that moment when you leap off, your heart goes into your throat and you lightly touch the bottom of the canyon with your fingers. Now that’s an adventure.
Leaping off the Nevis bungy platform.
3. Sleep under the stars
Camping in New Zealand isn’t just a must – it’s a way of life. With your campervan, you’ll have the seamless ability to choose the perfect campsite at your own leisure.
Once you’ve found the right one, pull in and get ready for a front row seat to some of the clearest night skies around. Keep an eye out for shooting stars, tell stories and enjoy the company.
4. Abel Tasman Skydiving, Motueka
Of course if you’ve got your sights on the sky, it’s time to take to it. You don’t need previous skydiving experience for
tandem skydiving packages, and it’s a great way to witness the unrivalled views of New Zealand as you head up to your jumping spot.
Flying through the air at 200km/h is one of the most heightened states of awareness you can achieve, and the experience will stay with you forever – so make sure you book your package early before you reach New Zealand.
Bird's-eye view of an Abel Tasman skydiver.
5. Mountain Biking in Rotorua
Rotorua has some of the world’s best mountain bike trails, making it a great hotspot for mountain bikers around the globe. The 130-kilometre Whakarewarewa trail network in Rotorua is one of their finest, with stunning geothermal hotspots all around, and cultural performances and food at night. It’s a beautiful, scenic ride that will raise the bar for future trips while challenging your stamina.
A mountain biker hitting the track. Photograph by
6. Meet the locals
Kiwis are super friendly, and many of them are always up for a surf, a drink or a good bushwalk. Make friends on the road and you’ll not only be guaranteed local insights on where to go, but also their famous Kiwi hospitality.
A good starting point is always sports, so if you see a game you can join, get in there and join the team. When you’re on the road with travellers, getting to know locals – especially on their home turf – is the best way to experience the country. Who knows, you could make friendships that last for life.
7. Expand your outlook
Exploring the incredible Maori culture of New Zealand is just one way of many you can expand your outlook on life and understand the culture even more. There are heaps of museums or galleries, like the
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, or cultural centres where language and ways of life are shared.
We like to think that travel – especially campervan travel – expands your horizons. Your outlook and centre in life should be no different, and learning other ways of life is the ultimate expansion of all.
Three Maori warriors in a war stance.
8. Cook up a storm
Once you’ve got your camper and groceries sorted, you’ll be able to cook up a storm! Whip together brilliant recipes on the fly so when you’re not on the road or on an adventure, you can relax in your home away from home. It’s the perfect time to indulge with fresh farmers market ingredients and savour New Zealand. Check out our
Recipes on the Road to get inspired.
Gourmet meal cooked in a campervan.
9. Find a new lunch spot
Don’t just make beautiful food while you’re on the road – find new landscapes so that every meal is in front of a new backdrop
– breakfast by the beach, lunch in the mountains and dinner in a magical forest. Anything’s possible in New Zealand. Freshen up your life, as well as your Instagram feed.
Couple enjoying their meals in a campervan.
10. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
New Zealand’s oldest national park is rich in dramatic, awe-inspiring scenery and cultural identity. The Tongariro National Park is entirely unique, and that’s what makes it such a world-renowned trek for adventurer types. The
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best one-day treks available in New Zealand and though it may be a steep and unpredictable 19.4km journey, it’s a picturesque challenge and well worth it.
Think we missed an adventure you’re aching for? Feel free to add to your own GO List while prepping for your NZ camper roadtrip!
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