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Wellington and the Wairarapa

Looking for great cafes, unique wildlife encounters, and boutique shopping? You’ll find it all and more in the Wellington and Wairarapa region. Wellington, the nation's capital, buzzes with an infectious energy, boasting an arts scene as vibrant as its famed coffee culture. Enjoy a relaxing breakfast overlooking Wellington’s beautiful harbour. Spend an afternoon meeting the wildlife at Wellington Zoo. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll love sampling the tasty offerings at Wellington’s renowned cafes and eateries. 

Just a short drive away, the Wairarapa region unfolds with its charming townships, renowned wineries, and lush rural landscapes. Once you’ve ticked off your list of things to do in Wellington, hit the road and start exploring everything on offer in the Wairarapa. We’re talking wineries, cycle trails, artisan producers, and spectacular coastlines boasting unbeatable stargazing.  

No matter what time of year you’re planning your campervan holiday in New Zealand, Wellington and Wairarapa stand out as year-round destinations. In summer, Wellington's waterfront comes alive, perfect for sun-drenched strolls and alfresco dining, while the Wairarapa's golden beaches beckon for lazy afternoons and vibrant sunsets. Autumn transforms the landscape into a tapestry of reds and golds; it's the best time to meander through the Wairarapa's vineyards, savouring the region's renowned pinot noir amidst the fall foliage.


Why explore Wellington & Wairarapa by Campervan

There’s no better way to discover Wellington and Wairarapa than with an Apollo campervan. Be as spontaneous or structured as you like. Take your time, travel at your own pace, and truly immerse yourself in everything on offer in this special region. With your own kitchen, bed, and bathroom onboard, travel by Apollo campervan is all about freedom and comfort. A road trip through Wellington and the Wairarapa in a campervan is all about the freedom to go where you want when you want. With a campervan, your plans are as flexible as your mood, allowing you to soak up moments that you'd miss if you were rushing to meet hotel or tour schedules.

Travelling by campervan isn't just about getting from A to B; it's about the experiences along the way. It's about impromptu picnics at breathtaking overlooks, morning coffees with views that beat any café, and nights spent under a blanket of stars. Fancy spending an extra day exploring a hidden gem you've stumbled upon? Go for it. Every turn in the road offers new possibilities, and with a campervan, you're in the driver's seat!

A campervan holiday in New Zealand, especially through areas like Wellington and the Wairarapa, is a journey into the heart of what makes this part of the world so special. And it's all yours to explore!


Things to do in Wellington & Wairarapa

Wellington and the Wairarapa are bursting at the seams with activities and sights, catering to every taste and interest. If you’re enjoying a family holiday, you’ll find plenty of great family-friendly things to do in Wellington that promise fun for all ages. And if you’re a foodie looking for a taste of something new, you’ll find no shortage of must-try food in Wellington. Venture into the Wairarapa, and you'll find a peaceful escape with wine tours, scenic hikes, and charming country towns waiting to be explored. 

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

The best family friendly campgrounds near Wellington.

Planning a family campervan adventure around Wellington? New Zealand’s capital city has loads to offer with its vibrant culture, fun attractions, and stunning natural landscapes. And to make your campervan road trip even better, the city has plenty of fantastic campgrounds and holiday parks tailored to families. 

In this blog, we'll guide you through some of the best Wellington region campgrounds where you can park your campervan and enjoy a memorable stay. From Wellington holiday parks with all the amenities to budget-friendly Wellington council campsites that allow you to get closer to nature, we've got you covered. 


Why take a camping holiday in Wellington

Known for its picturesque harbour, lush green hills, and fantastic food scene, Wellington is a family-friendly travel destination that ticks all the boxes. Whether it's exploring the interactive museums of the city, taking a scenic bike cruise around the bays, or discovering the hidden gems within the Wellington Botanic Garden, there's something for every member of the family to enjoy.

The appeal of Wellington lies in its diversity. One day you could be spotting seals at Red Rocks Reserve, and the next, you could be riding the historic cable car and taking in the panoramic city views. 

The region's family friendly campgrounds and holiday parks are gateways to exploring this vibrant landscape, offering the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation.


What’s the best way to explore the Wellington Region?

When it comes to discovering the wonders of the Wellington region, there's no better way to do it than in the comfort of an Apollo campervan. Whether you’re travelling with tots or teenagers, Apollo's fleet is designed with families in mind.  

Travelling in an Apollo campervan means you have all the essential on-the-go facilities at your fingertips. From a well-equipped kitchenette for those beachside breakfasts to onboard bathrooms (in select models), every detail is taken care of. This level of convenience makes it easy and fun for families to focus on making memories, rather than worrying about the next pit stop. Plus, with the freedom to move at your own pace, you can explore the hidden nooks of the Wellington region that are often missed by the typical tourist trail.

Image: Jake Ward


Our top family-friendly holiday park picks in the Wellington Region

We've handpicked a few of the best campsites in Wellington that stand out for their family friendly amenities, stunning locations, and proximity to Wellington's top attractions. 


Cuba Street Motorhome Park, City Centre

Located in the heart of Wellington, just a stone's throw from the vibrant Cuba Street, this central city motorhome park offers a unique urban camping experience. This Wellington campsite offers self-contained vehicles a quiet spot amidst the city's lively streets. Its central location means families can easily walk to Wellington's top attractions like Te Papa Museum, the vibrant waterfront, and the iconic cable car, making it an unbeatable choice for those keen to soak up the city's culture and convenience.


Catchpool Valley, Remutaka Forest Park

Nestled in the Remutaka Forest Park, Catchpool Valley Campsite is a nature lover's paradise and an excellent option for families seeking a more rustic camping experience. This DOC campsite offers picnic spots, essential facilities, and a range of walking tracks suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The valley itself offers a safe, natural playground for kids to explore, with easy access to educational walks where they can learn about New Zealand's native flora and fauna. It's a fantastic way to disconnect from digital distractions and reconnect with nature.


Kapiti Holiday Resort, Paraparaumu Beach

A short walk from Paraparaumu Beach, the Kapiti Holiday Resort provides a blend of beachfront access and private camping luxury. With powered sites that include individual shower and toilet facilities, families can enjoy their own space while being just moments away from the sandy shores. This Wellington holiday park location is perfect for beach activities, and nearby attractions like the Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve offer stunning walks through native bushland, catering to both relaxation and adventure.


Paekakariki Holiday Park, Paekakariki

Located in the charming seaside village of Paekakariki, the Paekakariki Holiday Park offers a tranquil retreat on the Kapiti Coast, just 40 minutes north of Wellington. This family-friendly Wellington holiday park is close to the beautiful beach, making it an ideal spot for families looking to enjoy sun, sea, and sand. With great facilities including a playground and a jumping pillow, it's ideal for families of all ages. Nearby attractions include Queen Elizabeth Park, with its walking and cycling trails, and the Paekakariki Escarpment Track for breathtaking views.


Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park, Seaview

Just 15 km from the heart of Wellington, the Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park in Seaview offers a peaceful retreat with the convenience of city proximity. This park prides itself on spacious grounds suitable for families, couples, and groups. The park's location makes it easy to explore Wellington's attractions, including the Wellington Zoo and the Space Place at Carter Observatory. With excellent facilities and a family-friendly atmosphere, it's a great base for exploring the Wellington region.


Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park, Timberlea

Set in the scenic parklands of Akatarawa Valley, Wellington's Kiwi Holiday Park in Timberlea is a family-run park that offers stunning native bush surroundings and riverfront beauty. This Wellington holiday park is close to Harcourt Park, known for its large play area and as a filming location for The Lord of the Rings. The park's commitment to sustainability and its great facilities make it a top choice for environmentally-conscious families seeking a memorable Wellington campervan holiday.


Lindale Motor Park

Set in the peaceful rural surroundings of the Kapiti Coast, Lindale Motor Park is a quiet getaway perfect for families. Just north of Paraparaumu, this park is an ideal stopover for ferry crossings, offering easy access to attractions like the Lindale Farm Park, Southward Car Museum, and safe beaches. The park's proximity to cheese and ice cream factories, as well as the Kapiti Island tours, makes it a hit with families looking to try a few new experiences.


Kaitoke Regional Park

Just 45 minutes north of Wellington City, Kaitoke Regional Park sprawls across 2860 hectares in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges. This Wellington council campsite, with its lush forest and the tranquil Pākuratahi River, offers families a magical escape into nature. Famous as the filming site for Rivendell in The Lord of the Rings, it's a place where fantasy meets the natural world. Families can enjoy swimming in river pools, exploring forest tracks, and camping near the river, making it an enchanting option for a family getaway.


Wairarapa Campgrounds and Holiday Parks

Venturing beyond Wellington city? The Wairarapa region is dotted with family-friendly attractions and holiday parks worth adding to your New Zealand travel itinerary. 


Greytown Campground, Greytown

Located in the heart of Soldiers Memorial Park, Greytown Campground offers a peaceful retreat just a short stroll from the historic town of Greytown. And to keep the kids busy, the campground is adjacent to excellent recreational facilities including a playground, swimming pool, and tennis courts. The campground's handy proximity to Greytown's main street makes it easy to explore its Victorian architecture, cosy cafes, and charming shops.


Martinborough TOP 10 Holiday Park, Martinborough

In the vibrant wine village of Martinborough, the Martinborough TOP 10 Holiday Park caters well to families, offering amenities like a playground and barbecue area for leisurely afternoons. Nearby, families can cycle through the picturesque village or savour the local gourmet offerings, making this popular holiday park an ideal spot for a relaxing getaway.


Castlepoint Holiday Park, Castlepoint

Right on the beachfront, Castlepoint Holiday Park offers a scenic getaway. This holiday park is a prime choice for families with stunning views of the bay and Castlepoint Lighthouse. The park's proximity to attractions like the fossil-rich limestone reef, safe sandy beaches, and the iconic Castle Rock makes it an exceptional spot for families keen on exploring the great outdoors.


Lake Ferry Holiday Park, Lake Ferry

Located on the southern coastline of Palliser Bay, Lake Ferry Holiday Park provides families with a wilderness camping experience just a stone's throw from Wellington. This coastal campground is an ideal spot for families looking to engage in outdoor activities like fishing, cycling, and tramping. 

Image: Tourism New Zealand


Looking for things to do with your family in Wellington?

Wellington offers the best of natural beauty and urban sophistication, making it a popular destination for motorhome travellers. Here are some highlights of family activities in Wellington:

  • Mount Victoria Lookout: Offers panoramic views of Wellington City and its harbour. It's accessible by car or via walking trails.

  • Wellington Museum: Located on Queens Wharf, it's a treasure trove of the city's history and heritage, with a focus on its nautical stories.

  • Willis Lane: A vibrant spot for food lovers and those looking for entertainment, like bowling.

  • Wellington Cable Car: An iconic ride providing stunning views of the city, with a museum at the top detailing its history.

  • Glow-worms at the Botanic Gardens: A magical experience at night, with guided tours available.

  • Weta Workshop: Offers a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making magic, with props and costumes from famous films.

  • Crocodile Bikes: A fun way to explore Wellington’s Oriental Bay, with options for three or six-seaters.

  • Zealandia Twilight Tour: A chance to meet New Zealand’s precious native wildlife in a predator-proof ecosanctuary.

  • Witching Hour Mini Golf: A spooky twist on mini golf, set in a ghostly realm.

  • Space Place: An immersive journey into the universe, with a state-of-the-art planetarium.

  • Te Papa Museum: New Zealand's national museum, offering interactive exhibitions on the country's history, art, and Māori heritage.

For more detailed information and additional activities, you can explore our handy guides on fun things to do in Wellington and cultural experiences for kids in NZ.


7 top campervan travel tips for families

Travelling with children in a campervan can be an enriching experience for the whole family. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth journey:

  1. Packing: Pack light but don't forget essentials like weather-appropriate clothing, first-aid kits, and favourite toys or games to keep the kids entertained.

  2. Safety: Ensure that all passengers have proper seating and that child seats are securely installed. Always have a stocked first-aid kit accessible

  3. Planning: Plan your route with plenty of stops at child-friendly attractions to stretch legs and burn off energy.

  4. Meals and snacks: Stock up on healthy snacks and plan for simple, nutritious meals that can be easily prepared in the campervan.

  5. Entertainment: Bring along books, games, and download movies or shows for rainy days or quiet evenings inside.

  6. Exploration and education: Use the trip as an educational opportunity, exploring local history, geography, and culture at your destinations.

  7. Flexibility: Be prepared to adjust your plans based on weather, mood, and interests to keep the trip enjoyable for everyone.

For more helpful tips, including how to make the most of your family adventure in a campervan, check out our campervan travel tips for families guide.


Ready to book your Wellington family road trip?

Ready to kick off your unforgettable Wellington family road trip? Go ahead and book your Apollo campervan online today. With the freedom of a campervan, you're all set to explore Wellington's wonders at your own pace. Start planning your trip now and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Popular Wellington & Wairarapa road trips & itineraries

Positioned at the southern end of New Zealand's North Island, Wellington and the Wairarapa region are perfectly placed for unforgettable road trips. Starting from Wellington, you can easily navigate your way through the scenic routes that lead to the Wairarapa, where vineyards, coastlines, and quaint towns await. Whether you're coming from the North Island's urban centres or making the crossing from the South Island, these regions offer fantastic campervan road trip experiences with a variety of itineraries to suit every traveller’s taste. Here are a few worth checking out:

Ultimate 7-day South Island campervan itinerary Ultimate 7-day South Island campervan itinerary

Ultimate 7-day South Island campervan itinerary

Thinking of hitting the top of the South Island on a campervan road trip? Great idea! From the lively vibe of Christchurch to the stunning beauty...

Great savings on your New Zealand road trip

Apollo offers a fantastic selection of deals and specials for those looking to explore New Zealand by campervan. From hot deals and last-minute discounts to long-term hire benefits, you’re sure to find a deal designed to help you make the most of your campervan adventure. 

Apollo Campervan branches


The drive from Apollo Christchurch to Wellington takes you along some of the South Island’s most scenic coastline. There’s a fair bit to see and do along the way, so be sure to take your time and perhaps plan an overnight stay in Kaikoura. This journey includes crossing the Cook Strait by ferry.


Keen to make the most of your road trip and explore more of the South Island? Book your camper with our Queenstown branch and spend a few days heading northward, including crossing the Cook Strait by ferry. You may even like to plan an epic road trip and continue on to Auckland. You can arrange to drop off your camper at any of our three branches. 


The North Island is packed full of sights and experiences, so why not tick off a few with a road trip from Apollo Auckland to Wellington? The beauty of a campervan trip is that you can stop when you need to, change your route, or take a detour if you spot a signpost pointing to something you’d like to see. 

Auckland City Skyline


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


Christchurch City, New Zealand


 One of the world’s most unique destinations.



Breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.


Helpful tips for visiting Wellington & Wairarapa


Climate and seasons in Wellington & The Wairarapa

Wellington and the Wairarapa showcase New Zealand's dynamic climate, offering a spectrum of seasonal experiences.

Wellington, known for as the ‘windy city’, presents a temperate maritime climate.

  • Summers (December to February) are pleasant with temperatures averaging around 19°C to 21°C, ideal for beach visits and outdoor cafes.
  • Autumn (March to May) brings cooler, calm days, perfect for exploring the city's vibrant arts scene.
  • Winter (June to August) sees temperatures drop to 6°C – 12°C, a time when the region's cultural events come to the forefront.
  • Spring (September to November) revitalises the city with mild temperatures and blooming gardens.

The Wairarapa, while sharing Wellington's temperate traits, often enjoys more pronounced seasonal contrasts, especially in the more rural areas. Expect crisp, frosty mornings in winter, transitioning to warm, dry summers ideal for vineyard tours. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, though June and July can be wetter, making the lush landscapes even more vivid.





What to pack

An adventure through Wellington and the Wairarapa in your campervan calls for thoughtful packing. Given the varied climates and the awesome variety of outdoor activities available, ensuring you have the right gear can make all the difference. From essential outdoor apparel to campervan must-haves and sun protection, here's what you should consider packing.

  • Outdoor gear: The great outdoors of Wellington and the Wairarapa invite exploration, so outdoor gear is important. Pack layers to adapt to the changing weather – think breathable fabrics for warm days and insulated, waterproof options for cooler, wetter conditions. Sturdy walking shoes are a must for those planning to tread the numerous trails or wander the vibrant city streets.
  • Campervan add-ons: To make the most of your campervan experience, consider packing some add-ons. A portable barbecue can elevate your dining under the stars, while extra camping chairs and a table (these can be added to your campervan hire) can make your outdoor setup more comfortable.
  • Sun protection: New Zealand's sun can be surprisingly intense, so ample sun protection is essential. A broad-spectrum sunscreen, UV-protected sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat should be on your packing list. For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip

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


Nearby attractions and day trips from Wellington

Paekakariki & The Escarpment Track

Just a short drive from Wellington, Paekakariki serves as the gateway to The Escarpment Track, one of the region's most exhilarating walks. This trail offers stunning views of the Kāpiti Coast and the Tasman Sea, making it a favourite among hikers. The track's challenging stair sections and swing bridges add to the adventure, providing a rewarding experience with panoramic vistas at every turn.

Kāpiti Coast & Kāpiti Island

The Kāpiti Coast, with its beautiful beaches and quaint towns, is perfect for a leisurely day trip. For a unique adventure, take a boat to Kāpiti Island, a nature reserve that's home to some of New Zealand's most rare and endangered birds. The island's rich history and conservation efforts, combined with its natural beauty, make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.

Somes Island

Located in the middle of Wellington Harbour, Somes Island (Matiu) offers a peaceful escape with a rich history. Accessible by ferry, this predator-free scientific reserve boasts a unique blend of natural and historical attractions, including well-preserved WWII-era relics. It's an ideal spot for picnics, short walks, and wildlife spotting, especially for those interested in conservation and history.

Days Bay and the Remutakas

Days Bay, accessible by a scenic ferry ride from Wellington, is known for its vibrant arts scene, cafes, and swimming beach, making it a popular spot for relaxation and recreation. For the more adventurous, a drive through the Remutaka Ranges offers breathtaking views and access to a network of trails in the Remutaka Forest Park, perfect for hiking and biking enthusiasts.



Nearby attractions and day trips in the Wairarapa

Castle Point Lighthouse

Perched on a scenic clifftop, Castle Point Lighthouse stands as a beacon of beauty in the Wairarapa region. This historic lighthouse, accessible via a short, scenic walk, offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and the vast Pacific Ocean. It's an ideal spot for photography, wildlife watching, and soaking in the serene beauty of one of New Zealand's most picturesque locations.

Pūtangirua Pinnacles and Cape Palliser

The Pūtangirua Pinnacles, with their eerie, towering rock formations, offer a landscape that feels like stepping onto another planet. These geological wonders, coupled with a visit to nearby Cape Palliser, where you can climb New Zealand's tallest lighthouse, make for an unforgettable day trip full of adventure and natural beauty.


Greytown is a charming Victorian country village known for its well-preserved heritage buildings, boutique shopping, and artisanal eateries. Strolling through the tree-lined streets, you'll find a delightful mix of antique stores, galleries, and cafes that exude a quaint, laid-back vibe. It's the perfect destination for those looking to unwind and indulge in the slower pace of rural New Zealand life.



Where to stay in Wellington & The Wairarapa with a campervan

Exploring Wellington and the Wairarapa in a campervan offers the ultimate freedom to discover New Zealand’s diverse landscapes and townships at your own pace. When it comes to finding the perfect spot to park and rest, there's no shortage of picturesque, comfy campgrounds that cater to every need. Here are a few worth adding to your travel itinerary:



For more great family friendly campsites and holiday parks, check out our guide to the best family friendly campgrounds near Wellington.

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