Family friendly things to do in Nelson | Apollo NZ
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campervan for hire driving nearby Christchurch

Motorhome and Campervan Hire Christchurch


Haere mai, welcome to Christchurch.

Christchurch, the garden city, is the start of your South Island adventure. Whether you are an intrepid explorer, an adrenaline junkie, or prefer a more sedate pace and all the comforts of home, your motorhome is the ideal way to explore our world famous scenery and attractions at your own pace.

Looking for Christchurch campervan rental?

Your Apollo motorhome is your home away from home while you explore the stunning South Island. Unpack once, stop where you like and stay as long as you like. From Christchurch the options are endless. Explore the city with its art and history museums, shopping options and the food scene. Christchurch has continued to rebuild with new dining and entertainment precincts that will rival its larger city competitors. For the best campervan rental Christchurch has to offer, get in touch with Apollo today!


Christchurch Airport Transfer Information

We offer a shuttle service to and from the airport every hour from 8am - 4.30pm, daily.

We will also run additional shuttles, if called, or when the number of guests is more than the shuttle capacity.

The shuttle area is outside door 1 and 2 in the domestic area of the airport. Look for the orange and white shuttle with our brand logos on it.

There is no customer parking available inside the grounds of our branch, but there is a wide range of safe, secure, convenient and affordable parking options situated close by. We recommend using Parkopedia to research options.

Christchurch Branch

  • Address:
    159 Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport, 8053
  • Opening Hours:
    Monday - Sunday: 08:00 - 16:30
  • Telephone:
    0800 845 222
  • Distance from City:
    10.7 Kilometres / 6.6 Miles
  • Taxi Fare City:
    NZD $59 Approx
  • Distance from Airport:
    2.7 Kilometres / 1.6 Miles
  • Taxi Fare Airport:
    NZD $25 Approx
  • Closed Days:

    New Year's Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day


What to do on your Christchurch campervan road trip?


With Apollo’s campervan and motorhome hire in Christchurch, you can explore every corner of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island.

Head north, to Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, where the stunning scenery and friendly locals combine with fresh seafood and the famous Marlborough wineries. Further on you’ll be able to explore the Marlborough Sounds and the golden sands of the Tasman National Park.

To the west coast, the photo opportunities are endless. There's so much on offer including tramping, mountain biking, the glaciers of the wild West Coast and the local beers and whitebait patties. Yum!

And of course the famous southern scenic route, including the Southern Lakes, Aoraki Mt Cook, Queenstown and Milford Sound, where every bend in the road will take your breath away. Literally millions of people come from all over the world to see our back garden, why not you!

Discover Christchurch City

Welcome to Christchurch, the doorway to the South Island. On your journey, you will discover endless natural beauty in this uniquely New Zealand setting, from snow-capped mountain ranges to lake-side vistas. However, now that you’re here, why not check out what the city of Christchurch has to offer first?

After you set off from our branch just outside the airport, cruise on into the CBD and enjoy the cultural delights of New Zealand’s oldest city. From restaurants and heritage architecture, to street art and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra concerts in Hagley Park, feast your senses on all Christchurch has to offer. 

Botanic Gardens

As one of the city’s most popular attractions, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens feature the most extensive collection of local and exotic plantlife throughout New Zealand. With over 1.1 million patrons each year, these epic botanic gardens are a place of ever-evolving natural beauty. There's something new to see with every season. 

Christchurch Gondola

For the best view in town, ride the Christchurch Gondola to the top of the Port Hills. This experience offers a stunning outlook over the city, the Southern Alps, Lyttelton Harbour and the Canterbury Plains. At the summit, you can enjoy a variety of activities, including shopping, the Time Tunnel Ride or a beverage and snack at the Red Rock cafe.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Want to see a Kiwi bird in its natural habitat? How about with no glass between you? At the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, you can get close to many of New Zealand’s native icons, as well as other local and introduced species. Walk around the park at your own pace and let the animals eat out of your hand, then stay for a Maori cultural demonstration or walk through the gift shop.

Your South Island campervan adventure

Ready to see the Lord of the Rings in real life? After exploring what Christchurch has to offer, it’s time for the main event. With the dazzling scenery in every direction, we lay out what the South Island has to offer, place by place. Read on to discover where our campervan hire can take you.

Lake Tekapo

Regardless of the season, Lake Tekapo is a sight to behold. Fed from a nearby glacier, bask in the reflection of the crystal clear waters, or visit one of the local cafes to gaze across this great blue expanse. When the sun sets, prepare yourself for a dazzling night time display. Known for its stargazing, local tours operate from Wednesday to Sunday, taking you to the perfect spots to witness our vast milky way. 

Aoraki Mount Cook

Standing at 3724 m above sea level, Aoraki Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand. On a clear day, it stands magnificently against the sky - a memorable sight for anyone to behold. For day trips to Mt Cook, we highly recommend the Hooker Valley Track. At an easy 3 hour return time, the Hooker Valley Track offers stunning views of Hooker Lake, the Mueller Glacier and, of course, Aoraki Mount Cook. 

Hanmer Springs

Unlike most places, Hanmer Springs is ideal for both thrill seekers and chill seekers. The thermal springs are the perfect place to unwind after a long day’s driving, with temperatures reaching up to 36C in some pools. However, for those who are a little more restless, Hanmer Springs Attractions offers a whole host of high-octane fun. From jet boating to river rafting, to quad bike tours and bungy jumping, they have it all. The best part is, they operate from one location, making it possible to do multiple tours in a single day.

Marlborough Sounds

With over 50 conservation reserves, 1500 km of coastline and many hidden bays and quiet beaches, the Marlborough Sounds are a place to find your own piece of paradise. The perfect setting for an island hopper cruise, float between islands and coves as you drink in some of NZ’s most picturesque coastline. With the best south island wineries located in this region, the Sounds are also the ideal place to please your palate, as well as your soul.

Things to do in Christchurch

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 Christchurch


The Canterbury region is ideal for motorhome and campervan journeys with excellent holiday parks located close to all the popular tourist attractions and towns. These areas are well equipped for road trippers, as they have everything from kitchen and bathroom facilities to powered sites specifically for campervan rentals. Some holiday parks also offer various recreational facilities like barbeque areas, swimming pools, biking and walking trails, and small stores for basic goods.

For inspiration, check out these fantastic holiday parks which cater to motorhomes and campervans:

Tasman Holiday Park, Christchurch - Only 15 minutes from the Christchurch CBD, the Tasman Holiday Park is the perfect place to begin your holiday on New Zealand’s South Island. 

Leithfield Beach Holiday Park - North of Christchurch, stop here on your way to the Marlborough Sounds and enjoy beach-side accommodation for a fraction of the price. 

The Lake Tekapo Holiday Park - Stay at the top of Lake Tekapo while remaining within walking distance of the town centre, the lake’s edge and local hot springs.

For the more adventurous Christchurch campervan travellers, you can also free camp in certain places throughout the South Island. Freedom camping is a great way to explore New Zealand on a budget, but it comes with strict rules and regulations. You must have a certified self-contained vehicle with your own toilet, shower and waste disposal facilities on board. If you’re planning to free camp in your motorhome rental, Christchurch City Council has rules and regulations about where you can stay.

Why choose Apollo for campervan and motorhome hire in Christchurch?


Apollo is New Zealand’s leading provider of premium quality motorhome and campervan rentals. Designed and built by expert RV manufacturers, our entire fleet is custom-made for New Zealand’s unique climate and terrain. Whether you are looking for your next adventure or want to enjoy a relaxing scenic drive, the best way to explore Christchurch is with an Apollo campervan.

We offer a wide range of campervan and motorhomes to suit any budget and group size. Each vehicle is kitted out with quality appliances and furnishings so you can have all the comforts of home on your road trip. For great Christchurch campervan deals, contact our friendly team at Apollo and start planning your dream holiday.

New Zealand camping site

Nearest Campsite

North South Holiday Park

530 Sawyers Arms Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051

+64 3359 5993

Filling up Apollo campervan in New Zealand

Nearest Fuel Station

Z - Sawyers Arms - Service Station

Sawyers Arms Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8053

+64 3359 8448

Family cooking in Apollo motorhome

Nearest Supermarket


530/546A Memorial Avenue, Harewood, Christchurch, 8053

(03) 357 0450

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