Top Winter Campervan Destinations in the South Island | 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

Top Winter Campervan Destinations in the South Island.

Have you ever wondered what magic unfolds in the South Island when winter rolls around? This is your backstage pass to exploring New Zealand's winter wonderland in a campervan. From the best places to visit in the South Island to the must-do South Island activities, we're dishing out all the juicy details right here, including some cool things to do that'll make this South Island winter trip legendary.


Why you should explore the South Island in winter

Picture this: snow-capped mountains, lakes so still they could be glass, and roads winding through landscapes so breathtaking, you'll run out of gasps – that is NZ’s South Island in winter for you. South Island winters transform this already picturesque landscape into a playground for snow lovers, with every corner offering a new postcard-perfect view or a heart-pumping activity.  

And let's not forget the unique vibe that New Zealand’s South Island in winter brings – think cozy nights, steamy hot pools, and the kind of starry skies that poems are written about. The South Island in winter is a perfect setting for a cosy, picturesque New Zealand road trip. 


What’s the best way to explore the South Island?

Enter the hero of our story: the campervan. This is your ticket to freedom and your best mate on a South Island winter adventure. Why? Because it lets you wake up to a different jaw-dropping view every morning, cook breakfast while wearing your pyjamas in the most scenic spots, and change your "where to next?" on a whim. 

And with our Apollo Campervan, you're picking the cream of the crop – top-notch comfort meets the wild and untamed roads of the South Island in winter. Rolling through this winter wonderland in a campervan means you get to do the South Island your way – no schedules, no waiting, just pure, unadulterated freedom. It's about making memories, whether that's finding the perfect spot for a snowball fight, chasing the northern lights, or simply enjoying a hot chocolate with a view. For more tips and ideas for planning your South Island winter campervan adventure, check out our top guides below: 


The top 10 winter campervan destinations in the South Island

Buckle up because we're about to dive into the crème de la crème of South Island winter destinations. These are the spots that will fill your New Zealand road trip with “wow” moments, “yum” experiences, and “ahh” relaxations. Ready for the ride of your life? Let’s get rolling!


1. Nelson Lakes National Park

The first stop on your journey down the South Island in winter is Nelson Lakes National Park. This gem offers a winter wonderland that's second to none. The park, nestled in the heart of the Nelson-Tasman region, transforms under a blanket of snow, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains reflecting off the pristine waters of Lakes Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa. It's a serene winter NZ escape for those looking to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature, with crisp, clear air and landscapes shrouded in white. 

This is also one of the best places to visit in winter for the snow season in NZ. From scenic walks along the lake shores to more adventurous pursuits like snowshoeing or skiing at nearby Rainbow Ski Field, there are plenty of winter activities to keep the whole family entertained. Plus, the park's snow-covered forests and frozen lakes provide a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts or anyone looking to capture the essence of the South Island in winter. If that weren’t enough, the 4-hour drive from Christchurch is a scenic adventure in itself that'll have you glued to your window.  

Where to stay: Kerr Bay Campsite


2. Kaikōura

Alright, folks, next up on our magical winter journey is Kaikōura – a place where mountains meet the sea. Just a 2.5-hour drive from Christchurch and you’re in one of the best places to visit on the South Island in winter to watch whales and dolphins out at sea. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not jump on a boat and get up close and personal with these majestic creatures? Winter here is extra special because the crisp, clear days provide some of the best conditions for wildlife spotting. Plus, those classic winter NZ snow-capped mountains in the background really round off this experience.  

Where to stay: Kaikōura Peketa Beach Holiday Park


3. Hanmer Springs

Ever dreamt of soaking in a hot spring while snowflakes dance around you? If so, Hanmer Springs is the village of your snowy hot tub dreams and a New Zealand South Island must-see. Just a swift 90-minute drive from Christchurch, this winter haven offers geothermally heated pools that range from a warm hug of 32°C to a "this is the life" 42°C. 

And with 22 pools on-site, there's plenty of room to spread out – whether you're here with the kids or are looking for a tranquil adult-only pool. Parking your home away from home is no hassle at all. The Hanmer Springs car park is conveniently located in the village, making it easy to go from campervan to cannonball in no time. It is little wonder why this is one of the best winter destinations in NZ!

Where to stay: Hanmer Springs Top 10 Holiday Parks.


4. Arthur’s Pass National Park

Next on our list of the best winter South Island New Zealand attractions is Arthur’s Pass National Park, the rugged heart of the Southern Alps. Here, it's all about majestic mountains, breathtaking valleys, and outdoor adventures. If you are looking to take advantage of the snow season in NZ, here you can grab your skis and shred at the Temple Basin Ski Area. And let's not forget the numerous hiking trails that turn into winter wonderlands, perfect for snowshoeing.

From Christchurch, it's about a 2-hour drive – a journey that's as scenic as it gets. For campervan parking, head to the Arthur’s Pass Village car park, where you're smack dab in the middle of all the natural beauty.

Where to stay: Jackson’s Retreat Alpine Holiday Park.


5. Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier is your gateway to exploring one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. Winter here means fewer crowds, which translates to more glacier for you! Whether it's hiking up the icy expanse or taking a scenic flight that offers some of the best views of NZ’s South Island in winter, Fox Glacier is another South Island New Zealand must-see.

And, of course, don't miss the chance to visit Lake Matheson. On a clear day, you'll catch Mount Cook's reflection dancing on the surface. And while Christchurch to Fox Glacier is a bit of a trek (around a 5-hour drive in your campervan), every minute is packed with jaw-dropping landscapes. 

Where to stay: Fox Glacier Top 10 Holiday Park.


6. Mount Cook/Aoraki

Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain and dazzling glaciers, is the definition of alpine beauty and a no-brainer addition to any list of the best places to visit in winter in NZ. Winter here is nothing short of magical, with snow-capped peaks and starry nights that'll have you pinching yourself. Whether you're here to conquer a hiking trail or simply bask in the beauty of the snow-covered landscapes, Aoraki doesn't just meet expectations; it skyrockets them. From Christchurch, gear up for a drive of around 4 hours, with scenery that'll make the time fly by. Parking in the national park is straightforward, with the Mt Cook Campground providing a convenient spot for campervans to stay the night. 

Where to stay: Glentanner Park Centre


7. Wānaka

Wānaka is where the adventure junkies unite, bringing that chill alpine town vibe mixed with adrenaline-pumping activities. With Mount Aspiring National Park as its backyard, winter transforms Wānaka into a ski and snowboard paradise. Boasting four epic ski areas within a snowball's throw of the town, this is easily one of the best places to visit in winter in NZ for skiers and snowboarders: 

  • Treble Cone: This ski resort boasts the largest ski area in the South Island, offering challenging slopes and stunning lake views for advanced skiers. 

  • Cardrona Alpine Resort: This is a family-friendly resort with a mix of terrains for all levels and a renowned park for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. 

  • Snow Farm: This resort specialises in cross-country skiing, providing a unique experience with groomed trails through beautiful snow-covered landscapes. 

  • Soho Basin: This resort offers an exclusive skiing experience with untouched powder and luxury cat skiing, perfect for those seeking solitude and untracked runs.

Wānaka is not just about the slopes, though; Wānaka enchants visitors with ice skating, scenic helicopter flights, and outdoor adventure for those looking to explore the rugged beauty of the Southern Alps up close. Queenstown to Wānaka is just an hour's drive, making it a perfect addition to a ski holiday New Zealand road trip. 

Where to stay: Wanaka Top 10 Holiday Park.  


8. Queenstown

Ah, Queenstown, the jewel of the South Island's winter crown. Surrounded by the majestic Southern Alps and nestled on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is where you come to make the most of the snow season in NZ. Winter here means skiing and snowboarding, yes, but also indulging in local wines, exploring vibrant eateries, and simply soaking in the breathtaking landscapes.

For campervan travellers adding this to their list of South Island places to visit, the Boundary Street car park offers a convenient spot to park and explore the town.

Where to stay: Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park


9. Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Te Wāhipounamu, is a sanctuary of glaciers, alpine ranges, and ancient flora and fauna. Winter here is special – think crisp, fresh air, snow-capped mountains, and the serene beauty of Piopiotahi/Milford Sound under a blanket of white. 

In Fiordland National Park, winter offers serene boat cruises through the misty Milford Sound, the chance to wander through frost-laden hiking trails, and witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of snow-capped peaks and waterfalls. It's a time when Fiordland reveals its quiet, introspective side, offering moments of awe and tranquillity. From Queenstown, it's about a 2-hour drive to the heart of Fiordland – one of the best places to visit on the South Island for a tranquil escape into nature.

Where to stay: Fiordland Great Views Holiday Park.  


10. Dunedin

Dunedin is the city of the quirky and the cultured. With a sheltered harbour and a heritage that's both rich and lively, Dunedin offers a unique winter NZ experience. The drive from Queenstown to Dunedin is about 3.5 hours, offering scenic views along the way.  

From exploring its vibrant urban culture and wildlife to tasting the exceptional local cuisine, there's a cozy nook to suit any New Zealand itinerary. Winter adds a layer of charm to the city, with crisp mornings and clear nights perfect for stargazing. 

Where to stay: Dunedin Holiday Park.  


Ready to explore the South Island?

Ready to hit the road? Book your Apollo camper online and pick it up from any Apollo branch before setting off on your South Island winter adventure. So, pack your bags, round up your crew, and get ready to explore the South Island like never before, collecting memories, one snowy peak and one cozy night at a time. 

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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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