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Drone image of campervan driving along water

Hannah Klein
/ Categories: NZ blog

6 Reasons Why Van Travel is the Best Way to see New Zealand.

What better way to see NZ than staying and playing in its most spectacular locations, all from the comfort of an Apollo campervan or motorhome. See why you should road trip holiday this year.


New Zealand is the poster child for larger-than-life natural beauty.

Home to towering mountain ranges, striking national parks and landscapes fit for blockbuster movies (did someone say The Lord of the Rings?), it’s no surprise New Zealand attracts almost 4 million travellers a year.

Take it from us, New Zealand is best enjoyed by fully immersing yourself in the scenery with the same enthusiasm and energy of an All-Black diving headfirst into a tackle.

What better way to see NZ than staying and playing in its most spectacular locations, all from the comfort of an Apollo campervan or motorhome?

Read on for six reasons why van travel is the best way to see New Zealand.


1. Experience freedom camping

Freedom at its finest is about taking things at your own pace, having full control of your itinerary, and immersing yourself in the here and now.

In other words, freedom = camper holidays. Hiring a campervan in New Zealand lets you take full advantage of freedom camping - as long as you abide by freedom camping regulations.

What is freedom camping? Think of New Zealand as one giant campground, where you get to pick and choose what postcard-worthy vista becomes your backyard for the day.

The privilege of freedom camping isn’t accessible to all vehicles, so be sure to check your vehicle is freedom camping certified and fully self-contained before setting off on your adventure. Wanting to double check? Chat to our friendly staff to confirm.

With great power comes great responsibility, and it’s the mission of every New Zealand local and traveller to commit to the “Tiaki Promise” – care and conservation of the land.

Put simply, you’re a guardian of the land, sea and nature, agreeing to tread lightly and leave no trace. You must promise to respect the culture and local communities, and travel with an open heart and mind.


Woman in campervan by a lake


2. Vanlife is all about locations, locations, locations

Welcome to the ultimate room with a view, your Apollo camper.

Since New Zealand is the master of taking dreamlike landscapes, dialling them up to 100 and adding nature sounds, you’d be wise to sleep amongst its iconic wilderness rather than in a traditional hotel room.

What nature scenes await? Pull up beside the glassy waters of Lake Tekapo for towering mountains and mirrorlike reflections.  

On your next day, drive along raised roads to Arthurs Pass to capture the feeling of soaring through valleys flanked with green and white-capped behemoths.

When you campervan, you don’t need to leave time to commute to and from the hotel. Your home on wheels can be right on the doorstep of the day’s adventure.


New Zealand aerial shot of coastline


3. Experience seasonality

What do vans and New Zealand have in common? Both have a (Welling)ton to offer all year round.

While NZ summers bring verdant green scenes and a plethora of outdoor adventures, June to August gifts travellers with smooth snowfields, winter wonderland scenes and frozen glaciers in stark contrast to its lush summers.

Whether your holiday aligns with sunny or ski seasons, your van is kitted out with everything you’ll need to keep warm in winter and cool in summer - view our vehicle features here.


Apollo van with New Zealand wild flowers on roadside


4. Make your trip spontaneous

Everyone’s heard of island time, but have you heard of campervan time? With no stressful check in lines or hotel room dramas, buckle up and take your holiday at your own pace.

Not only does a home on wheels let you stay in your favourite destinations, you also dictate the length of your stay and enjoy the perks of a flexible itinerary.

Friendly Kiwi told you about an awesome local gem? Sweet as bro - consider it added to the itinerary.

As a teaser for the adventures-on-wheels that await, check out these two driving itineraries or build your own:
o    9 day itinerary from Christchurch to Queenstown via Dunedin
o    7 day Cape Reinga Campervan Loop


Apollo van parked next to lake


5. Time your visit with a New Zealand event and stay close to the action

Looking to experience New Zealand with all five senses?

After sorting accommodation and transport in one go, let the many food and drink events of New Zealand be your guide as you traverse the country to sample incredible seafood, meats, traditional meals, and wines.

Buckle up and leave plenty of stomach space for the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, Wellington on a Plate foodie festival, Bluff Oyster and Food Festival or Hokitika Wildfoods Festival along the West Coast.

Are you driving a campervan or tasting truck? We’ll let you decide when visiting these 10 NZ Foodie events.


New Zealand rainforest


6. Get back to nature

How many National Parks does New Zealand have? Here’s a hint: You’ll need more than two hands to count them all.

Each with its own magic, New Zealand’s 13 National Parks offer memorable ways to reconnect with nature.

For scenery on steroids, head to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park to stand before New Zealand’s tallest mountain and witness glacial landscapes blending with vibrant greenery.

Prefer to kick back and relax? Pull up the handbrake and lay out a rug on secluded beaches in Abel Tasman National Park to drink in relaxed coastal vibes.

For the hikers, Tongariro National Park calls. Its volcano-scarred landscapes and dramatic fissures are enough to wow any walker.

By staying amongst striking landscapes, you’re likely to build a closer connection to the land and learn the legends behind Māori culture.

Embrace this connection by immersing yourself in a Māori Cultural Experience, or setting up camp in significant sites where you can discover the relationship between people and place.

We highly recommend a visit to geo-thermal wonder Rotorua, a place of great significance within Māori culture and history.



Ready to road trip New Zealand? Say Kia Ora to Apollo in Auckland and Christchurch for more details.




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