Family friendly things to do in Nelson | Apollo NZ
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Apollo motorhome driving nearby Auckland, New Zealand

Motorhome and Campervan Hire Auckland


There is no better place to start your New Zealand road trip adventure than in Auckland, the country’s largest city and the gateway to the North Island. Though it’s known as the entrance to many of the North island’s destinations, this metropolis is a popular destination all on its own. Explore Auckland with visits to the museums for Māori cultural performances, to the Auckland Zoo to get in touch with the local wildlife, and to many other landmarks, all perfect for a day out with the family. Whether visiting Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf to bask in the scenic beauty, or venturing up to the Sky Tower for a heart-stopping bungee jump, there are many activities to enjoy on your Auckland campervan holiday.

Auckland Transfer Information via Aeroparks Shuttle

We offer transfers to/from our Auckland Branch as follows:

  • From Auckland airport, Domestic Terminal: Pick up is opposite the Jetstar end of the Terminal. Once guests have their luggage, exit through doors 7 or 8 and walk across to the big white control tower to the pick-up point. Phone number for Aeroparks is 0800 237 672 or +64 27 414 4712. Pick-up is between 8am and 4pm daily.
  • From Auckland airport, International Terminal: Once you clear customs, exit the terminal and make your way to the Transport Pick-Up Zone (Lane 5); just a short 5-7 minutes’ walk under the covered canopy walkway, north of the Transport hub and behind the Te Arikanui Pullman Hotel. Request a pickup on the shuttle by calling through to Aeroparks. Phone number for Aeroparks is 0800 237 672 or +64 27 414 4712.

Looking for campervan rental in Auckland?


For the campervans Auckland travellers love, choose Apollo! Leave Auckland from any direction in your campervan, and you will find more of what the North Island has to offer! Visiting Northland and the Bay of Islands will provide splendid opportunities to see dolphins up close. The relaxing beaches and spas of The Coromandel are truly worth the scenic road trip, as are Hamilton and Waikato, with stunning beaches, nature reserves and the famous Hobbiton; the movie set where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot. While you’re there, don't miss the thermal mud pools of Rotorua, and Lake Taupo, which offers beautiful clear waters and stunning stargazing by night.

Explore ethereal landscapes and majestic scenery, and be immersed in unique Māori and modern culture with a self-drive adventure in a campervan or motorhome hired from Apollo Motorhome Holidays. If you’re visiting from the South Island, we have a branch there too. Apollo has you covered for campervan hire from Auckland to Christchurch.

Campervan hire Auckland Airport: Guests will need to arrange their own way to and from the airport to our branches in Auckland and Christchurch.

Auckland Branch

  • Address:
    13 Manu Tapu Drive, Auckland Airport, Auckland 2022, New Zealand
  • Opening Hours:
    Monday - Sunday: 08:00 - 16:30
  • Telephone:
    0800 845 222
  • Distance from City:
    21 Kilometres / 13 Miles
  • Taxi Fare City:
    NZD $95 Approx
  • Distance from Airport:
    4.5 Kilometres / 2.8 Miles
  • Taxi Fare Airport:
    NZD $25 Approx
  • Closed Days:

    New Year's Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day

What to do on your campervan road trip?


The beautiful legends of New Zealand and the inception of its two main islands are told as part of the traditional Māori people, who settled in the country long before the Europeans first arrived. According to the Māori, the North Islands were formed after the brothers of Māui, a demigod, fought over a great fish that he pulled from the sea. The fish was chopped into pieces, creating what is now known to be Te Ika-a-Māui, the traditional name of the island group. Though the tales may only be myth, the breathtaking beauty of the North Island is definitely not.

Auckland City

The North Island of New Zealand has endless opportunities for adventure, beauty and wonder. However, we think the perfect place to start is Auckland, where you’ll be picking up your Apollo motorhome or campervan. Although surrounded by the natural beauty of the North Island, Auckland itself has an array of fantastic tourist activities sure to keep everyone entertained, from food and music to art and culture. So, after setting off from our Auckland branch location, why not stop in at a few of the city's best sites and attractions.

Sky Tower

Piercing Auckland’s skyline, the Sky Tower is known for its panoramic views of the city, bay area and surrounding landscape. Standing at 300 metres high, it is the highest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. As well as stunning views, the Sky Tower also offers gift shops, world-class restaurants and a heart-stopping bungee jump which starts at 192m above the streets below. 

Auckland Museum

Step back in time and discover the rich history of Maori and Pacific Islander culture. With extensive cultural, military and natural history collections, the Auckland Museum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s story. Located within a historical building and surrounded by tranquil parkland, it’s the perfect day trip for the whole family. 

Mount Eden

Walk up Auckland’s highest volcanic peak for stunning views of the Auckland CBD and harbour. You can observe the crater in the centre of the mountain, which is now covered in grass. 

Tapapakanga Regional Park

Operated by the Auckland City Council, the Tapapakanga Regional Park is a scenic coastal farm park about an hour’s drive east of Auckland. Perfect for a relaxing start to your NZ road trip, park up at your beach-side campsite, and watch the sunset over the rolling landscape behind you. 

Touring the North Island

Travelling out of Auckland in your Apollo campervan, you are spoiled for choice. From forests, beaches, rolling hills, and wild rivers, which area of natural beauty should you visit first? 

The Northern Tip

Travelling north of the city, you will reach the world-renowned Bay of Islands. From there, drive as far as you can to arrive at Cape Reinga, the northernmost point on mainland New Zealand. Along the way you will encounter cute little towns, rural charm and gorgeous coastal scenes.

Heading South

South of Auckland, there are many different paths you can take. If you’re feeling in need of some sea air, make a beeline for the Bay of Plenty or Coromandel Peninsula. A trip inland will likely guide you to lakes and thermal environments of Taupo and Rotorua.

Wild West Coast

If dramatic, rugged scenes are what you crave, the west coast of the North Island is perfect for you. Let the wind whip through your hair as you stand over the craggy cliffs or paddle out on one of the many surf beaches. Dotted with national parks, limestone caves and even a volcanic mountain, let the west coast captivate you with its natural beauty.

East Coast Adventure

Known as the ‘Sunshine Capital’, Napier and surrounding regions are home to world-class vineyards and a wonderful collection of art-deco architecture. Get a bit of culture in you and stroll the streets of Napier on a self-guided ‘Art-Deco walk’, designed by the Art-Deco Trust. 

Things to do in Auckland

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

Family friendly things to do in Nelson.

Planning to book a campervan hire for a fun family holiday in sunny Nelson? With its endless sunshine, fantastic scenery, and loads of great things to do, Nelson is a great spot for a New Zealand road trip. From golden beaches to markets and museums, there are loads of great family friendly activities in Nelson. Whether you’ve got tots, tweens, or teens, there’s plenty for everyone to see and do. To help you plan an unforgettable campervan travel itinerary, we’ve put together this helpful guide to the best family activities in Nelson.


Why Nelson is a good place to visit

Taking pride of place within the captivating landscapes of New Zealand's South Island, Nelson is renowned for its unique blend of natural wonders and cultural richness. From its breathtaking coastal vistas to its lush hinterland, Nelson offers an array of outdoor adventures. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Tahunanui Beach, hike through the pristine Abel Tasman National Park, or cycle along the scenic Great Taste Trail. But Nelson isn't just about outdoor pursuits; it's also a hub of artistic expression and culinary delights. Explore the vibrant galleries of the city, indulge in farm-to-table dining experiences, or sample world-class wines in the nearby vineyards. 


What’s the best way to explore Nelson?

There’s no better way to see the sights of this beautiful region than in the comfort and convenience of an Apollo campervan. Setting out on a campervan adventure with your family in Nelson promises an unparalleled blend of freedom, flexibility, and fun. What's even better? The unbeatable convenience it offers. With your onboard kitchen, whipping up healthy meals is easy, without the need to factor in dining out expenses. Plus, you'll always have access to essential facilities like a toilet and washing area – no more hunting for public restrooms or hand-washing spots. And when the little ones (or the designated driver!) need a break, your cosy camper bed is just a few steps away, ensuring everyone stays refreshed and ready for the next adventure.

Nelson's variety of family-friendly activities perfectly complement the campervan experience. With an abundance of attractions waiting around every corner, it's a short drive from one exciting Nelson highlight to the next. Plus, the city's well-appointed campervan parks and facilities make finding a comfortable stay a breeze. Many holiday parks and campsites are strategically situated near the city's must-visit spots, ensuring effortless exploration of Nelson's vibrant offerings.

If you’re picking up your Apollo camper from our Christchurch branch, it’s just a five-hour drive (around 420 km), with plenty of great scenery and stops along the way. 


Our top 10 favourite family friendly things to do in Nelson

Ready to start planning your road trip itinerary planner? Let's take a look at some of the must-do Nelson attractions. 


1. Tahunanui Beach

Nelson's crown jewel, Tahunanui Beach, is a popular spot for families seeking sun, sand, and sea. Spend your days building towering sandcastles, splashing in the gentle waves, or simply basking in the warmth of the New Zealand sun. The kids will love the cool playground where they can burn off energy and enjoy the fresh seaside air. Meanwhile, parents can relax on the soft sands or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade. Feeling peckish? No problem. There are plenty of great cafes and eateries nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink with views of the ocean.


2. Natureland Wildlife Trust

Immerse your family in the wonders of nature at Natureland, in the heart of Nelson. This sanctuary is home to all sorts of precious native and exotic animals, providing a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. Take a walk through the lush gardens and winding pathways as you discover playful meerkats, cheeky kea, and curious monkeys. For a special experience, book an up-close encounter with a meerkat. These little cuties are truly something special. If you’re lucky, you might even have one come and sit on your lap!


3. Founders Heritage Park

Keen to learn a bit about the rich history of Nelson? Head along to Founders Heritage Park. This living museum offers a glimpse into the region's past, with beautifully restored historic buildings and exhibits showcasing early settler life. Walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the heritage architecture and charming gardens. Visit artisan workshops where skilled craftsmen demonstrate traditional techniques, or hop aboard the vintage train for a nostalgic ride around the park.


4. World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum

Prepare to be dazzled at the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum, a must-visit attraction in Nelson. This unique museum showcases two distinct collections: the captivating world of wearable art and a stunning collection of classic cars. Step into a world where fashion meets artistry as you marvel at intricate garments crafted from unexpected materials. From elaborate costumes to avant-garde designs, each piece tells a story of innovation and creativity. After exploring the wearable art displays, journey through automotive history with a stunning collection of classic cars. Admire the sleek lines of vintage automobiles and marvel at the craftsmanship of bygone eras.


5. Nelson Saturday Market

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Nelson Saturday Market, a beloved institution in the heart of the city. Held every Saturday morning, this bustling market offers a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and flavours that reflect the diverse culture of Nelson. Stroll through rows of stalls brimming with locally grown produce, artisan crafts, and delectable treats. Sample freshly baked goods, yummy cheeses, and aromatic coffees as you soak in the lively ambience. Browse unique handcrafted gifts and souvenirs, or simply immerse yourself in the community vibe of the market. With live music, street performers, and friendly vendors, the Nelson Saturday Market is sure to be a favourite with families of all ages. 


6. Nelson Fun Park

For a day of thrilling adventures and family-friendly fun, look no further than the Nelson Fun Park. This exciting attraction offers a wide range of activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages. From adrenaline-pumping rides to classic carnival games, the Nelson Fun Park has something for everyone. Take a spin on the Ferris wheel for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, or test your skills on the mini-golf course. Kids will love the bouncy castles, go-karts, and other interactive attractions designed just for them.


7. Abel Tasman National Park

Discover the wonders of the Abel Tasman National Park, a natural gem located along the stunning coastline of Nelson. Known for its golden beaches, clear waters, and lush native forests, this iconic park offers loads of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts. Explore pristine hiking trails that lead through ancient forests, leading to hidden coves and breathtaking viewpoints. Glide along the coastline by kayak, uncovering secluded bays and encountering playful seals along the way. Or simply unwind on one of the park's pristine beaches and enjoy the view.


8. Nelson Provincial Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Nelson at the Nelson Provincial Museum. Located in the heart of the city, this intriguing museum offers a journey through time, showcasing exhibits and interactive displays that bring the region's past to life. Step into the museum's galleries and explore the range of exhibits, from Māori artefacts and early settler memorabilia to displays highlighting Nelson's maritime history and natural wonders. Discover the stories of the people who shaped the region, from Māori ancestors to European settlers, and learn about the challenges and triumphs that have shaped Nelson's identity.


9. Rabbit Island

Around 25 minutes drive from the centre of Nelson, Rabbit Island is well worth adding to your travel itinerary. The largest of three sandy islands in the Waimea Estuary, Rabbit Island is a favourite spot for picnics, barbecues, and family time out in the fresh air. Enjoy a quiet walk along the shoreline, feeling the sand between your toes and listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. Keen on a walk? Explore the island's network of walking trails which meander through native bush and offer glimpses of local wildlife. 


10. Miyazu Japanese Gardens

Looking for a peaceful spot for some quiet time? Miyazu Japanese Garden is just the ticket. This beautifully landscaped garden celebrates the connection between Nelson and its Japanese sister city, Miyazu, showcasing a harmonious blend of New Zealand and Japanese cultures. Families can enjoy quiet walks over lovely footbridges, admire the reflective ponds, and explore exotic plantings that include bonsai and cherry trees. The addition of a tea house and a bamboo forest enhances the authentic and tranquil atmosphere of the garden.


Where to stay in Nelson

Looking for the perfect holiday park in Nelson for your family? Whether you're after a spot that's handy to the city or near the beach, Nelson's great campgrounds and holiday parks won’t disappoint. Here are two of our top picks:


Tahuna Beach Holiday Park

If you’re keen on a beachside holiday, Tahuna Beach Holiday Park ticks all the boxes for families. This excellent campsite offers a great range of facilities including a playground for the kids, barbecue areas, and an onsite café. It's the perfect base for families looking to relax and explore Nelson’s fantastic attractions.


Nelson City TOP 10 Holiday Park

Nice and close to the heart of Nelson, Nelson City TOP 10 Holiday Park is ideal for campervan families keen to make the most of Nelson’s attractions. It’s got everything families need too, including a communal laundry and kitchen, playground, bike hire, and free Wi-Fi.


Plan the perfect Nelson family holiday with Apollo

Ready to explore the top attractions in Nelson? From the pristine shores of Abel Tasman National Park to the tranquil beauty of the Miyazu Japanese Garden, your Apollo campervan is your home away from home as you enjoy the best of Nelson. 

Take the first step toward an unforgettable family holiday and book your Apollo campervan online today. Nelson’s sunshine, beaches, and awesome attractions are waiting!


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Where to stay in Auckland with your campervan


The Auckland region and surrounding North Island are perfect for your motorhome or campervan journey. The area is packed full of motorhome-friendly holiday parks that can provide power and security while offering amazing views. There will often be a holiday park close to popular towns and tourist spots so you can enjoy everything Auckland has to offer.

Holiday parks can supply powered and non-powered sites for campervans and motorhomes, as well as tents and caravans. They may offer multiple recreational amenities like heated swimming pools, trampolines and barbeque facilities. 

For inspiration, check out these world-class tourist areas which cater to motorhomes and campervans:

The Shakespear Regional Park - Situated north of Auckland, this beautiful spot offers beautiful views of Te Haruhi Bay, with three main walking tracks for you to enjoy.

Whatuwhiwhi Holiday Park - Perfect for a beach-side getaway, this spot is great for accessing the pristine Perihepe Beach. Enjoy an array of activities in the area, like fishing, snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding. 

Kauri Coast Holiday Park - Located on two hectares of stunning native parkland, the Kauri Coast is a great launching point for seeing the natural wonders of the west coast. Visit the nearby Waipoua Forest, Kauri Park or stroll along the beaches at Maunganui Bluff.

New Zealand is also a free camping nation which means you can park and stay the night in designated areas, as long as you're respectful of others and the environment. Freedom camping is a great option for cheap campervan hire, but it is only allowed for certified self-contained vehicles. This means it must have an on-board toilet, shower and waste disposal facilities.

For more information about free camping in your campervan rental, Auckland City Council has provided detailed rules and regulations for staying in the city.

Why choose Apollo for campervan and motorhome hire in Auckland?


Apollo has been a leading brand for premium quality motorhome and campervan rentals since 1985. Our entire campervan fleet is designed and custom built by expert RV manufacturers, who understand New Zealand’s unique climate and terrain. Fitted with quality appliances and furnishings, we can ensure you all the comforts from home when you’re on the road.

Contact our Apollo Motorhomes Reservations team and speak to one of our dedicated team members today. You can also browse through our range of campervans and motorhomes online now and start planning your ultimate Auckland road trip.

New Zealand campervan site

Nearest Campsite


22 The Promenade, Takapuna,
Auckland 0622

Apollo campervan filling up at petrol station

Nearest Fuel Station


33 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere,
Auckland 2022

Family cooking in Apollo motorhome

Nearest Supermarket


Corner of Bader Drive & Orly Avenue, Mangere, Auckland, 2022

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