What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand | Apollo NZ
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Northland & Bay of Islands

Located at the northern tip of New Zealand's North Island, Northland is a land of contrasts, with ancient kauri forests, pristine beaches, and charming coastal towns. This region is not only the birthplace of the nation, with significant historical sites like the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, but it also boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the country, including the famous Bay of Islands.

Northland's climate, known for being subtropical, means warm, humid summers and mild winters, making it a perfect destination year-round. The Northland weather encourages outdoor activities and exploration, whether you're soaking up the sun on the golden sands of Paihia, sailing through the turquoise waters of the Bay of Islands, or driving up to the iconic lighthouse at Cape Reinga.

Travelling by campervan offers the freedom to explore Northland's diverse attractions at your own pace. From the historic charm of Kerikeri to the Tutukaka Coast, known for its world-class diving spots, there’s something for everyone. Take your pick of great Northland holiday parks and campgrounds along the way, ensuring comfort and convenience as you discover the stunning landscapes of this captivating region. Whether you’re interested in Māori culture, keen on adventure sports, or simply in need of a peaceful retreat amidst stunning natural beauty, Northland provides an unforgettable backdrop for a memorable campervan journey.

 

Why explore Northland & Bay of Islands by campervan

Exploring Northland by campervan is the ideal way to truly connect with the region's abundant natural beauty and rich history. With the freedom of the open road, you can navigate the diverse landscapes at your leisure. Start your day with a sunrise at Paihia, have lunch in an ancient kauri forest, and end with a sunset at Ninety Mile Beach. 

The ability to spontaneously choose your destinations each day, without the need to stick to a fixed itinerary or check-in times, means you can immerse yourself fully in whatever captures your interest. Travelling by campervan not only offers all the comforts of home, including your kitchen and bed but also supports a self-sufficient way to travel. This is a big plus in Northland, where you might want to spend several days exploring more remote areas. Plus, having your own facilities means you're never too far from a hot meal or a comfortable night's sleep, no matter where your adventures in Northland take you.

 

Things to do in Northland & Bay of Islands

You certainly won’t be short of things to do in Northland and the Bay of Islands. This popular region is bursting with activities that cater to every interest and age group. Discover Kerikeri’s historic sites, including the oldest stone building in New Zealand. Relax in the laidback setting of Russell, a charming town with a rich history. Adventure seekers can enjoy kayaking along the coast or exploring the underwater world at Poor Knights Islands. For a more leisurely pace, indulge in wine tasting at local vineyards or simply unwind on the pristine beaches of the Bay of Islands. Every corner of Northland promises memorable experiences for all.

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Apollo Campervan branches

Auckland

Departing from Apollo Auckland, you’re perfectly positioned for a half-day drive to Northland & the Bay of Islands. This route ensures a seamless blend of scenic beauty and local culture, culminating in the stunning landscapes of Northland.

Christchurch

The drive from Apollo Christchurch to Northland & the Bay of Islands sets you up for a scenic multi-day journey across the South Island, including the picturesque ferry crossing at the Cook Strait, and into the North Island. 

Queenstown

Keen to make the most of your road trip and explore as much of New Zealand as possible? Book your camper with our Queenstown branch and take your time heading northward over an epic 10-14 days taking in some of the great southern highlights along the way. 

Auckland City Skyline

Auckland

New Zealand’s multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture.

 

Christchurch City, New Zealand

Christchurch

 One of the world’s most unique destinations.

 

Queenstown

Breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

 

Helpful tips for visiting Northland & the Bay of Islands

 

Climate and seasons in Northland & the Bay of Islands

Northland and the Bay of Islands are renowned for their mild, subtropical climate, making them inviting destinations throughout the year. The warm Northland weather is perfect for enjoying the region's stunning coastal areas and rich cultural heritage.

  • Summer (December to February) in Northland are warm and humid, with temperatures usually ranging from 22°C to 26°C. This season is ideal for exploring the beautiful beaches, engaging in water sports, or simply enjoying the vibrant outdoor lifestyle with alfresco dining along the waterfront. Summer is also a popular time for tourists, so expect a lively atmosphere, especially in beach towns.

  • Autumn (March to May) sees slightly cooler temperatures and less humidity, making it a perfect time for hiking and outdoor activities without the intense heat of summer. The scenery remains lush, and the less crowded attractions allow for a more relaxed exploration of the region.

  • Winter (June to August) brings cooler weather, with daytime temperatures typically between 15°C and 18°C. The cooler days are ideal for visiting historical sites and museums or enjoying some of Northland’s renowned cultural festivals. Winter in Northland is generally mild, allowing for year-round outdoor activities.

  • Spring (September to November) revitalises the region with early blooms and warmer weather, gradually heating up towards summer. This is an excellent time to witness the vibrant flora and fauna as the landscapes burst into life, making it ideal for photography and nature walks.

 

 

 

What to pack?

Preparing for your campervan road trip in Northland and the Bay of Islands means packing smartly to fully enjoy the region's mild, subtropical climate and rich outdoor and cultural offerings. From sunbathing on pristine beaches to exploring historic sites and sailing in the bay, here’s what to bring:

  • Outdoor gear: The diverse environments, from the sandy beaches of the Bay of Islands to the forested walks of Cape Reinga, call for versatile outdoor apparel. Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you comfortable during the warm days, and don’t forget a few layers for cooler evenings — perfect for cosy nights under the stars. Durable walking shoes are essential, whether you're planning to trek through the forests or stroll around the historic towns.

  • Campervan add-ons: Enhancing your campervan setup can significantly improve your travel experience. Consider packing a portable barbecue for enjoyable seaside grills. You may also like to hire extra camping chairs and a table when you book your Apollo campervan to create a comfortable outdoor living space wherever you park. These additions are perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure or for enjoying a meal with a view.

  • Sun protection: The Northland and Bay of Islands region enjoy plenty of sunshine, making thorough sun protection crucial. Include a high-SPF sunscreen, UV-protection sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat in your packing list. This will ensure you can safely indulge in the outdoor activities that the region is famous for, from kayaking across clear waters to lounging on the beach.

For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

 

 

Attractions and day trips in Northland

 

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are a must-visit for anyone interested in New Zealand's history. As the site of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, it offers a deep dive into the nation's past through engaging exhibits, guided tours, and cultural performances. The beautifully maintained grounds overlooking the Bay of Islands also provide a peaceful setting to reflect on New Zealand's foundational document.

Paihia

Paihia is the vibrant heart of the Bay of Islands, known for its lively waterfront filled with cafes, shops, and galleries. It's the perfect base for exploring the surrounding islands by ferry or enjoying water sports like kayaking and parasailing. The town's relaxed atmosphere and scenic beauty make it a favourite spot for both locals and tourists.

Russell

Once known as a rowdy 19th-century whaling port, Russell has transformed into a charming seaside town. It's rich with historic buildings like New Zealand’s oldest church, and its quaint streets, waterfront promenades, and excellent restaurants offer a picturesque step back in time.

Cape Reinga

At the northern tip of New Zealand, Cape Reinga offers breathtaking views where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. This spiritually significant site for Māori is accessible via a scenic drive, with opportunities to see the iconic lighthouse and the famous pohutukawa tree that marks the 'leaping-off' point of spirits into the afterlife.

Ninety Mile Beach

Despite its name, Ninety Mile Beach is actually about 55 miles long and serves as one of the country’s most stunning natural highways. It’s perfect for a day of adventure, offering activities like sandboarding down massive dunes or just enjoying a leisurely drive along its vast, sandy stretch.

Kerikeri

Kerikeri is known for its fertile soils and beautiful orchards, but it's also rich in history. Highlights include the Stone Store and Kemp House, the oldest stone and wood buildings in New Zealand. The town also hosts vibrant markets and has a thriving arts scene, making it a delightful destination for culture and cuisine.

Mangonui

Mangonui is primarily known for its historic waterfront lined with heritage buildings that now house charming cafes and shops. This small fishing village is famous for its fish and chips, offering fresh seafood with a view. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxed day soaking up local flavours and sea breezes.

Whangarei

Whangarei, the northernmost city in New Zealand, offers a mix of cultural and natural attractions, including the acclaimed Whangarei Falls and the Town Basin marina filled with galleries and cafes. It's a great starting point for trips to the nearby beaches and lush native forests.

Tutukaka

Known as the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka offers some of New Zealand’s best diving and snorkelling experiences. The marine reserve's clear waters are teeming with colourful sea life and are perfect for underwater adventures. Above water, Tutukaka’s coast is dotted with secluded bays and pristine beaches to explore.

 

Where to stay in Northland & The Bay of Islands with a campervan

When it comes to finding the perfect spot to park and rest in Northland & the Bay of Islands, there's no shortage of picturesque, comfy campgrounds. Here are a few worth checking out:

Northland

Bay of Islands

 

 

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand.

Kicking off a New Zealand road trip in a campervan this winter? You're in for a real treat! In this helpful guide, we'll share all the essentials of what to pack for your New Zealand winter holiday. From the must-have gear to keep you warm and cosy, to the essentials that will make your campervan hire experience smooth and enjoyable, we've got you covered. 

Whether you're planning a South Island road trip to explore the snowy wonders or a North Island itinerary filled with winter festivities, preparation is key! 

So, let's dive into the ultimate campervan checklist for your winter road trip in NZ. 

 

Why you should take a winter campervan trip in New Zealand

A winter campervan trip in New Zealand is truly something special. As the cooler months roll in, the landscapes shift into a stunning spectacle of snow-dusted beauty, offering a quiet and intimate setting that's hard to find at any other time of the year.

Start your day with a freshly made morning coffee with views of majestic, snow-draped mountains. Spend the day exploring townships, museums, and trails, before relaxing the evening in a soothing hot pool under the stars. It's the kind of experience that turns a simple trip into a soul-enriching adventure.

For those who thrive on adrenaline, winter in New Zealand is a playground. The season offers unbeatable activities, from carving down world-class ski slopes to glacier hikes that make you feel like you're on top of the world. Whether you're a seasoned snowboarder or looking to try something new like ice climbing, winter is the perfect time to embrace these thrilling experiences.

One of the best parts about travelling in winter is the peace and quiet. The campgrounds and popular tourist spots are all quieter, and sometimes cheaper too! And of course, a camper gives you the freedom to chase the snow, find the best spots, and do it all at your own pace, making every moment of your New Zealand road trip uniquely yours. 

 

What comes with an Apollo camper?

Choosing an Apollo campervan for your New Zealand winter adventure means you're setting yourself up for a holiday that's not just about the stunning views and thrilling activities, but also about comfort and convenience. 

Apollo ensures that your camper hire experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, providing you with all the essentials you need for a cosy winter getaway.

Inside every Apollo campervan, you'll find a well-equipped kitchen kit and a range of general equipment designed to make your life on the road easy and pleasant. Here's what you can expect:

  • Cooking equipment: Whip up your favourite meals with the provided pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Whether it's a hearty breakfast to start your day or a warm dinner after a day of exploring, you'll have everything you need.

  • Eating utensils: Enjoy your meals in the comfort of your camper with the provided plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. It's like having a mobile dining room with the best views in town.

  • Pegs and clothesline: Keep your adventure gear fresh and ready with the handy pegs and clothesline, perfect for drying clothes on the go.

  • Fire extinguisher: Safety first! The included fire extinguisher is there for your peace of mind, ensuring you're prepared for any emergencies.

  • Bucket and hose: These versatile tools are great for a variety of uses, from washing dishes to a quick clean-up.

  • Broom and dustpan: Keep your space neat and tidy with these cleaning essentials, making your camper feel like a home away from home.

To ensure you're wrapped in warmth and comfort throughout your journey, Apollo provides personal kits with complimentary items such as sheets, blankets or duvets, pillows and pillowcases, and bath towels.

And if you're looking to enhance your campervan hire experience further, Apollo offers additional gear for hire. From plug-in heaters to keep you extra toasty, to outdoor tables and chairs for those scenic pit stops, child booster seats for the little adventurers, and bike racks for cycling enthusiasts, you have the option to tailor your trip to your preferences.

With Apollo, every detail is taken care of, so you can focus on soaking up the winter wonders of New Zealand from the comfort and warmth of your camper.

 

What to pack for your campervan road trip

Here are a few ideas on what you'll need to pack to make sure you're snug, safe, and ready for an unforgettable campervan adventure.


Warm clothing

New Zealand's winter can throw all sorts of weather your way, so layering up is the way to go. Start with some good thermal underwear – it's a game-changer for keeping warm. Add a warm fleece jacket for that middle layer and top it off with a waterproof jacket to fend off any rain or snow. Don't forget your beanie and gloves to keep your head and hands warm, and a pair of sturdy, waterproof boots are essential for those crisp winter walks. To help you prepare for the day ahead, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast ahead of time. 


Ski gear

If you're keen to hit the slopes or explore the snowy landscapes, bringing along your ski or snowboard gear is a great idea. Helmets are a must for safety, and if you're into snow hiking, snowshoes can make the experience even better. And if you don't have your own gear, no worries at all – most places near the slopes have rental options available, so you can easily gear up for your snowy adventures.

NEED SOME INSPO? Check out our 14-day winter road trip itinerary.


First aid kit

It's always smart to have a first aid kit on hand for those just-in-case moments. It could be anything from scrapes and scratches to headaches or an allergic reaction. The good news is that all Apollo campervans come with a first aid kit. This will cost $50 only if opened and it means you’ll be prepared for any accidents along the way. 

So, whether you bring your own or use the one provided, it's all about peace of mind while you're out exploring.


Cooking extras

While your Apollo campervan is kitted out with the basics for whipping up some delicious meals, there's always room to add a personal touch to your campervan cuisine. Consider packing a few extras to elevate your cooking game:

  • Portable BBQ: Perfect for grilling up a feast under the stars. There's nothing like the aroma of a good BBQ to make a winter evening feel special.

  • Coffee plunger: For coffee aficionados, starting your day with a freshly brewed cup can make mornings in the great outdoors even more delightful.

  • Favourite ingredients and condiments: Bring along those special spices or sauces that you love. They can turn a simple meal into something extraordinary. Note: If you’re travelling to New Zealand from another country, it pays to check what foods you can bring into New Zealand before you start packing. 


Entertainment

After a day of exploring, there's nothing quite like winding down in the cosy confines of your camper. To keep entertained during those chill evenings, pack some of these essentials:

  • Books: Whether you're into thrillers, romances, or travel guides, a good book is a perfect companion for a quiet night in.

  • Board games: Compact board games or card games can provide hours of fun and are a great way to bond if you're travelling with companions.

  • Laptop or tablet with movies: Download your favourite films or series for a movie night in your home on wheels. Just remember to bring headphones if you're sharing the space!


Navigation and communication

Staying connected and on the right path is crucial for a smooth campervan road trip experience. 

  • GPS device or offline maps: Even if you're planning to go off the grid, having a reliable way to navigate is key. Offline maps can be a lifesaver in areas with spotty reception. A good tool to help you do this is the thl Roadtrip app. This handy app is packed full of everything you’ll need to prepare for and enjoy your campervan road trip. Download on the App Store or Google Play.  

  • Charged mobile phone with a New Zealand SIM card: For local calls, internet access, and emergencies, a mobile phone with a local SIM card is invaluable.

  • Travel itinerary: Share your travel plans with a friend or family member. It's good practice for safety and they can also offer suggestions for your trip.


Personal items

When you're packing for your campervan road trip, it's the little personal touches that can make all the difference. Here's what you shouldn't leave behind:

  • Toiletries and medications: Essentials like toothpaste, shampoo, and any prescriptions you need should be at the top of your list.

  • Sunscreen and lip balm: The winter sun can be deceiving. Protect your skin and lips to avoid any discomfort.

  • Hot water bottle: For those extra chilly nights, a hot water bottle can be your best friend, keeping you warm and toasty.


Headlamp or torch

A headlamp or a sturdy torch is a must-have on any campervan adventure. Whether you're navigating around your campsite or exploring after dark, having a reliable source of light is essential for safety and convenience.


Power bank

In today's connected world, keeping your devices charged is more important than ever, especially when you're on the move. A high-capacity power bank ensures you can keep your phone, camera, and other gadgets powered up, even when you're far from a power outlet.


Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is a must, no matter the season. A durable refillable water bottle is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures you have access to water wherever you go. Fill up at water stations along your route and keep hydration at hand throughout your journey.

 

Ready to explore New Zealand in a campervan this winter?

New Zealand's winter landscape offers a unique blend of beauty and adventure, making it the perfect backdrop for your campervan journey. 

With an Apollo campervan, you have the freedom to explore this winter wonderland at your own pace, all while enjoying the comforts of home.

So, are you ready to hit the road and discover the magic of New Zealand in winter? Book your Apollo campervan online today and start planning the ultimate winter escape. Whether you're chasing snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, or cosy nights under the stars, an Apollo campervan is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure.

Don't wait any longer. Your New Zealand winter journey begins with Apollo.

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