5 awesome activities for North Island nomads looking for fun and adventure on four wheels
New Zealand by campervan – aka an awesome adventure luring wanderers and thrill-seekers from across the globe, with the promise of open ribbons of road winding through a land rich in natural beauty, brimming with the promise of heart-thumping adventure.
Like kids in a candy store, too many recruits to the clan of the campervan find themselves with too many jars and not enough hands to stick in them. The result is a deluge of time and energy- draining dashes across the length and breadth of this sublime country, in a heroic bid to see and do it all, basically because the guide-books said it “must be done”.
If there is one piece of advice first-time New Zealand campervan holidaymakers should heed it is this: Less is more. In this spirit we invite you to join a tribe of North Island Nomads, and embark upon a rambling adventure to top hot-spots on NZ’s North Island.
1. Jump off Auckland’s tallest building – the Sky Jump
For the majority of travellers, the City of Sails will be the launching point of your campervan NZ adventure. Now, whilst you will most likely be in a hurry to load up and set off on your quest of fun, adventure, and who knows what, it is well worth holding off and spending a day or two in Auckland.
The best way by far to kick-off your trip is by leaping off the highest building in NZ – the Sky Tower. Follow this up by a night courting lady luck at the Sky City casino, and enjoying an award-winning dinner at one of the premier restaurants in the Sky City complex.
2. Catch Kingfish in the Coromandel
The Coromandel is the ocean-side jewel in the crown of the North Island. Rugged, regal and really quite beautiful, this majestic part of New Zealand is an absolute must visit. From picture-perfect white sand beaches fringed by sapphire blue waters, to a playground of coves – such as the remarkable Cathedral Cove – this stretch of NZ has something to hit anybody’s pleasure centres.
If you have the budget for it, a day spent out on the open water fishing for yellow tail Kingfish and snapper, is well worth it. There are various affordable charters operating in the area and you will be guaranteed a memorable fishing adventure in some of the worlds most revered offshore fishing grounds.
3. Black water rafting in Waitomo
Black water rafting sounds like something out of a Special Forces operator’s skillset, and not a highly fun and enjoyable recreational activity open to all ages. However, for the adventure-averse there are magical guided walking tours through the luminescent wonderland of the Waitomo glow worm caves.
For the more daring, the one and only Black Water Rafting Company will lead you on an unforgettable adventure, including abseiling down crevasses, climbing up waterfalls and tubing through the inky black subterranean caves intermittently lit by majestic groupings of glow worms.
4. Step into the pages of National Geographic at Rotorua
The iconic images of the hot springs at Rotorua have graced travel magazine covers across the world, and for very good reason – they are simply spectacular. Stroll around the geothermal pools and marvel at the raw, rugged, and untouched artistry of Mother Nature.
A visit to one of the culturally significant ‘living thermal villages’ is also highly advised, where you will be offered an insightful glimpse into the traditional way of living of the Maori. For any Masterchef fans, if you pay close attention, you may also come away with another culinary skillset – the ability to cook in a ‘hangi’ (traditional Maori underground oven).
5. Terrify yourself in Taupo
Three, two, one, your way to the highest water-touch bungee in the world. The Taupo water touch bungy is a must do for anyone looking to get their adrenalin pumping. Forty seven meters may not sound high, but once you are perched precariously on the jump platform above the glimmering waters of the Waikato River below, you may feel differently!
If you’re not keen on vertical adrenalin hits, why not try the swing option? If you prefer your adrenalin rushes a little closer to earth, there is always the famed jet boat ride.
North Island New Zealand campervan holidays are all about finding the balance between the sedate and leisurely ambience of Auckland’s fine restaurants and the serenely beautiful beaches of the Coromandel, with timely infusions of pure adrenalin along the Waikato River and beyond.