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6 Best Hikes on North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s North Island is covered in absolutely stunning landscapes and well-maintained tracks, so it’s an absolute dream destination for hikers and explorers. The hardest part of hiking New Zealand is sometimes choosing a track to begin with! To make life a little easier, we’ve put together this list of our absolute favourite hiking tracks on the North Island that we think you should check out.

From short trips up mountain-sides to endurance-testing multi-day adventures camping around the edge of lakes — there’s sure to be something on this list for you to enjoy. So tighten your shoelaces, make sure that day bag is zipped up, and keep on reading to see what we think are the very best hiking trails on the North Island.

Explore North Island’s Best

  1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  2. Taranaki Falls
  3. Coromandel Coastal Walk
  4. Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk
  5. Pinnacles Track
  6. Mount Maunganui (Mauao) Summit

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park

1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park, North Island

Let’s get straight to the point: this is one of the best hikes in New Zealand and you should do it if you get the chance. It’s pretty cliché to say this about anything in NZ, but this hike will make you feel like you’re travelling across Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings — specifically, the Return of the King, when they’re lighting the Beacons of Gondor (trust us, just look it up).

This alpine crossing will take you the better part of a full day to complete, but it’s well worth the time and effort. You’ll see active volcanoes, the three Emerald Lakes, cross epic craters and lakes, and scramble up the ominous-sounding Devil’s Staircase. The path can be busy in summer and very difficult in winter, so the spring and autumn months are often best for enjoying the views.

Visit the official Tongariro Crossing website for a map of the area. And bring the camera (and some Lembas bread).

DISTANCE: 19.4km One-way (6-8 Hours)

DIFFICULTY: Moderate (Spring, Summer), Hard (Winter)

BEST TIME: Spring to autumn months are most comfortable; winter can be very cold.

Taranaki Falls, Ruapehu

2. Taranaki Falls

Ruapehu, North Island

This walk is a nice, easy looping track for a relaxing day. A rocky track meanders alongside a trickling stream, surrounded by the lush greenery of the alpine landscape. In the distance, the looming volcanic ranges attract rain and snow in the colder months. It’s one of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes anywhere on the North Island.

There are actually two paths to choose from on this hike — the Upper track rewards you with amazing views of the mountains and open moor landscape, ending at the top of the waterfall; the Lower track takes you along the river and among the trees, ending at the bottom of the falls. We highly recommend trying both tracks as each is unique and beautiful enough to justify it.

Visit the Department of Conservation website for more information on each of the tracks.

DISTANCE: 6km One-way (2 Hours)


BEST TIME: All year, but the summer months are best for taking a dip in the pools at the bottom of the waterfall.

Coromandel Coastal Walk, Port Charles

3. Coromandel Coastal Walk

Port Charles, North Island

Packed with stunning landscapes, beaches, lookouts, mountains, and rivers, the Coromandel Peninsula is worth spending at least a few days exploring. If you’re looking for a moderately-challenging hike to take in as much of the area as possible, allow a full day to take the Coromandel Coastal Walk between Stony and Fletcher Bays.

You’ll cross bridges over running rivers, see tree-covered mountains, see geothermal vents, walk through lush forest, and get stunning views of the rugged coastline. It’s an absolute treat to hike through this ancient trail on foot — but somehow even better on a mountain bike (if you’re an experienced rider).

Check out the official Coromandel website for more information on the walk.

DISTANCE: 10km One-way (3.5 Hours)

DIFFICULTY: Easy-Moderate

BEST TIME: All year

Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk, Te Urewera National Park

4. Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk

Te Urewera National Park, North Island

Located on the sparsely-populated eastern side of North Island, Lake Waikaremoana is a beautiful, rugged, remote part of New Zealand to slow down and explore at your own pace. You can spend a few hours peacefully exploring the tracks…or, you can take the Great Walk around the entire circumference of the Lake. It will take you several days and isn’t a path to be taken without preparation as it is quite remote.

The Lake is surrounded by richly-forested mountains, rocky outcrops, pebble beaches, and sheer cliffs formed from millenia of landslides and storms. This is about as wild as any landscape in New Zealand gets, and is a surprisingly quiet part of the country for tourism. You can either camp in the designated campsites, or retreat inside from the weather in one of several huts along the way.

Check out the Department of Conservation website for more information on how to explore and stay in the Lake area.

DISTANCE: Anywhere from half a day and up to 4 days

DIFFICULTY: Easy-Moderate

BEST TIME: All year, but treacherous in wild weather.

Pinnacles Track, Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve

5. Pinnacles Track

Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve, North Island

Jutting out from the rocky tundra below, these massive pillars of stone are unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. Carved out of the earth by the stream below over thousands of years, the ominous-looking rock formations cannot be missed if you want to explore the hiking trails of the North Island. There are three routes you can take through the Reserve and we’d recommend trying all three.

Oh and more Lord of the Rings trivia? Don’t mind if we do. The Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve is an iconic filming location from the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The Army of the Dead might have called them home in that movie, but we promise these spooky looking granite pinnacles aren’t haunted.

Check out the New Zealand tourism website for more information on the tracks.

DISTANCE: 7km One-way (3-4 Hours)


BEST TIME: All year, but the crushed gravel paths can be slippery in wet weather.

Mount Maunganui (Mauao) Summit, Bay of Plenty

6. Mount Maunganui (Mauao) Summit

Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve, North Island

Fancy a climb up an extinct volcano? This short hike up the summit of Mount Maunganui (also known as Mamau) is well worth the effort if you’re in the Bay of Plenty. We highly recommend starting the climb at the base of the mountain before sunrise so you can watch the sun come up over the town and coastline below — extra points if it’s been a foggy night or there are low-hanging clouds in the morning.

There are actually two tracks for you to choose from: the steep and winding stone steps of the Waikorire track; and the (also steep, but somewhat easier) Oruahine track, which is on the ocean-facing side of the mountain. Either way, the views at the top are absolutely stunning and easily worth the effort.

Visit the Bay of Plenty website for more information on the walk.

DISTANCE: 3-4km (45-90 Minutes)

DIFFICULTY: Easy-Moderate

BEST TIME: Any time, but foggy sunrises are most common in cooler months.

So there you have it — our favourite hiking tracks on the North Island. We love each of the trails on this list because they show off how diverse and special the landscapes of New Zealand really are. There are lush forests, barren rocky areas, rich volcanic plains, shimmering lakes, and rugged coastlines: all within a few hours of one another!

If you’re interested in exploring all of what New Zealand’s North Island has to offer, then road tripping in a campervan is one of the best ways to do it. Explore our campervan hire options for more information.

Eager to discover other routes? Check out the best hikes in New Zealand for an even larger, but equally exciting, set of tracks and trails.

Now get out there, get hiking and have fun!

The South Island of New Zealand is renowned for its mountains, lakes and glaciers.

The Southern Alps, home to 3724m-high Mt. Cook, runs the entire length of the island – and it’s not hard to see why the South Island is extremely sought after for its hiking trails.

We’ve chosen our top ten hikes and made it easy for you to begin planning your next adventure, and after you get an idea of the views, you’ll see on the hikes below you’ll be booking your trip as fast as we did!

Explore South Island’s Best

  1. Hooker Valley Track
  2. Milford Track
  3. Lake Marian
  4. Rocky Mountain Summit Track
  5. Rob Roy Track
  6. Moonlight Track
  7. Mount Robert
  8. Queenstown Hill Time Walk
  9. Roy’s Peak Track
  10. Lake Ohau Track

Hooker Valley Track - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

1. Hooker Valley Track

Mount Cook National Park, South Island

It’s not hard to see why the Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular tracks in New Zealand – before you know it you’ll be travelling and on your way!

At only 5 kilometres in length and gaining roughly 100m in height, the well-formed Hooker Valley Track can be walked by almost anyone, suitable for a range of fitness levels.

Glacier Lake, Hooker River and swing bridges all feature, and with a National Park covered in a rugged terrain of ice and rock, you’ll experience some of the most ancient landscapes on offer in New Zealand.

To get tracking, we recommend starting early to avoid peak times between 9am to 5pm – not to mention, the early morning light does offer a pretty spectacular view.

What are you waiting for? We’ll see you there!

DISTANCE: 5km One-way



Milford Track - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

2. Milford Track

Fiordland National Park, South Island

Milford Track is arguably New Zealand’s most famous walk.

The 53 km journey begins at the head of Lake Te Anau and takes you across suspension bridges, boardwalks and a mountain pass, backed by postcard-perfect views of winding lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks and enormous valleys.

To kick things off, there are a number of tour providers that can assist, especially if you’re not sure where to begin planning your journey. It’s worth noting, this is one of the more extensive tracks on South Island, and will need at least 5 days of your time to complete.

Without a doubt, it’s one of the finest hikes in the world, and you’ll soon discover why – get started!

DISTANCE: 53km One-way

DIFFICULTY: Easy/Moderate

BEST TIME: Late October to Late April

Lake Marian Track- Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

3. Lake Marian

Fiordland National Park, South Island

Lake Marian, an alpine lake formed by glacial action and set in a stunning valley over Fiordland.

It’s set above the bush line, and is surrounded by mountains and calm waters – making for quite a special sight.

To begin, we’ll make our way from the carpark to a series of waterfalls, which by our account normally takes around 20 minutes. Conserve your energy here if you get the chance, as the next section can become a little steep and muddy once we ascend up towards the lake itself.

You’ll navigate through the backcountry and may need to rely on your trusty coordination and fitness, but it’ll all be worth it once you reach the top.

Gazing over the lake is truly something special to behold, and you won’t want to miss it if you’re around the Fiordland National Park.

Pack your things, and we’ll see you there!

DISTANCE: 3.1km Loop


BEST TIME: October to April

Rocky Mountain Hike - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

4. Rocky Mountain Summit Track

Wanaka, South Island

The Rocky Mountain Summit track is a scenic hiking trail located in the Diamond Lake of Otago, starting with a gentle climb along the edge of Diamond Lake.

In fact, the higher you climb, the more rewarding the views get across the Southern Alps, Mount Aspiring and Lake Wanaka – so don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of photo opportunities. Once you reach the top, you’ll want to take a minute (or maybe 45) to appreciate New Zealand’s purity.

Now one of the best things about the Rocky Mountain track is the amount of options on offer. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge of a longer hike, try a shorter trail like the Lake Wanaka lookout, which still gives you an epic view.

Give this hike a go today!

DISTANCE: 7km Loop

DIFFICULTY: Easy/Moderate

BEST TIME: November to April

Rob Roy Glacier - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

5. Rob Roy Track

Mount Aspiring National Park, South Island

Along the Rob Roy Track, you’ll come face to face with active glaciers and alpine vistas, strung together by mountains, river valleys and lakes like no other.

The incline on your way to the viewing point is gradual, and once you arrive at the top, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the Kea – a mountain parrot known to try and steal your food!

Although this is a pretty light track, take note that the weather can be a little unpredictable – so pack the right clothing, and make sure you check the conditions ahead of your trip.


DISTANCE: 10km One-way


BEST TIME: November to Late April

Moonlight Track Queenstown - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

6. Moonlight Track

Queenstown, South Island

So the Moonlight Track isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and it will require a little skill and experience to get to the top – however – we bet it’ll lift your spirits as high as the Southern Alps.

You’re actually going to feel quite spoilt once you see what’s on offer: views of the Shotover River, Southern Alps and Queenstown’s gold mining history.

Feel free to start at either side of the track, and arrange some sort of transport on either side so that the way back isn’t as harsh. Now lucky for you, the track also offers a series of different legs, with an option to venture off-track and attempt the summits of a circa 1750m climb (here’s a little hint – it’ll give you one of the best views over the Southern Alps).

Along the rest of the track, you’ll notice little markers or poles indicating the way to Sefferstown – an old mining village that holds the remains of the old Moke Creek stone school – and as you near the end of your journey, you’ll cast an eye across Shotover River.

No doubt this is one of the tougher tracks on South Island, but man is it worth it!

DISTANCE: 14km One-way


BEST TIME: October to May

Mount Robert Nelson Lakes Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

7. Mount Robert

Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island

Mount Robert is a loop circuit located in Nelson Lakes National Park, well formed to combine Pinchgut Track and Paddy’s Track.

The Pinchgut Track starts to zig-zag up the steep bareface of Mount Robert, before beginning to enter Beech Forest. It’s by no means an easy track, and it’s probably where you’ll find yourself climbing more than a couple of times.

That being said, Paddy’s Track naturally connects you to the Mount Robert circuit, which cuts across the mountain’s open face and several gullies, before bringing you to a rewarding view of Lake Rotoiti.

Planning to head up soon? The weather could be a little crisp, so make sure you’re prepared for an Alpine-like environment – or in the warmer months – choose to bring some insect repellent for sand flies often located near the lake.

Ready for a challenge? We’ll meet you up the top!

DISTANCE: 9km One-way


BEST TIME: November to Late April

Queenstown Hill Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

8. Queenstown Hill Time Walk

Queenstown, South Island

Located in the heart of Queenstown, the Queenstown Hill Time walk is one of the most popular and accessible tracks in the region: a demanding 1.5km walk that stretches up Te Tapunui to show the past, present and future.

Test your legs on the hill track up to the ‘basket of dreams’, a favourite lookout spot to check out historically-rich information plates and illustrations.

You’ll wind through pine forest, ascending higher before breaking out above the treeline to be met with sweeping views of the Remarkables, Cecil Peak and parts of Lake Wakatipu. We recommend bringing along a packed lunch where you can stop for a snack before you begin your descent, on the shore of the small mountain lake.

DISTANCE: 1.5km One-way



Roys Peak Track - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

9. Roy’s Peak Track

Wanaka, South Island

Roy’s Peak Track, a famous trail known to bring travellers from all corners of the world.

You’ll start by zig-zagging along a steep 4WD track from the carepark, up to the conservation area, before being met by wild grasslands that guide you up to Roy’s Peak summit.

It’s there, and along the way, that you’ll catch a panoramic view of the ridgeline, taking in most of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks of Mount Aspiring.

Since the hiking trail is quite popular, parking can be a little limited during peak hours (9am – 5pm), so remember to take this into consideration when planning your trip. In fact, have you thought about an early start? If you time it right, Lake Wanaka and the accompanying sunrise will simply speak for itself.

So, we’ll see you there right?

DISTANCE: 16km One-way

DIFFICULTY: Easy/Moderate

BEST TIME: Mid November to September

Lake Ohau South Island - Best South Island Hikes New Zealand

10. Lake Ohau Track

Waitaki, South Island

Part of Te Araroa, the Lake Ohau Track takes you around the shores with breaktaking views of surrounding mountains.

Like some of our other featured walks, it’s not for the faint-hearted, and will require a bit of extra effort to take you past a zig-zagging mountain side – but you’ve got this!

As you approach the final stretch, make your way through scree and tussock slope, and suck up a view of the entire Mackenzie Basin below, with uninterrupted views in every direction.

Especially in the colder months, come well prepared as parts of the track can become very slippery under snowy terrain.

Ready to start hiking? Let’s go!

DISTANCE: 8km One-way


BEST TIME: November to Late April

Hiking is one of the best ways to truly absorb the splendour of New Zealand’s South Island, with a wide range of experiences to choose from.

With some of the best hikes on offer across the South Island, we’ve made it even easier to plan a jam-packed adventure with this hand-picked list!

Most tracks will allow you to catch glimpses of the Remarkables Mountain Range that cover a high volume of the South Island, but if you’re up for more, conquer the best hikes in New Zealand.

There’s no time like the present to begin planning your next adventure!


New Zealand’s stunning landscapes and unique landforms are a hiker’s paradise. Networks of trails wind past rugged coastlines, farmlands, river valleys and even around glaciers. The diversity of tracks across New Zealand’s national parks and reserves means there’s something for everyone, from Sunday strolls to overnighters to catch the first glimpse of the morning sun, welcome to New Zealand’s untouched wilderness.

South Island Hikes

North Island Hikes

South Island Hikes

Hooker Valley Track

Mount Cook National Park, South Island

The Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular walking tracks within Aoraki National Park and leads through sacred areas within the Hooker Valley itself, consisting of swing bridges, stunning views and distant rumblings of avalanches from Mount Sefton. You can catch views of Glaciers, Lakes and Mountains as you weave your way along the valley floor. You may even be lucky enough to spot an avalanche before it crashes into the Mueller Glacier below, from a safe distance away. We recommend walking this track either dawn or dusk where you can be rewarded with absolute serenity of the first or final sun rays as they creep over the Southern Alps while sharing the track with only a handful of other walkers. One of the best parts of this walk is how easy it is to complete for people of all ages and reasonable fitness levels. The path is well maintained and easy to follow, so you can concentrate on the epic views which are all along the way!

DISTANCE: 10km return


BEST TIME: November to March

Hooker Valley Track New Zealand Hiking Destinations

Milford Track

Fiordland National Park, South Island

Once described as ‘the finest walk in the world’, the Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks. This track begins at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes in Milford Sound. You will see pristine lakes, sky-scraping mountain peaks and enormous valley views. You will be able to taste the mist of the tallest waterfall in New Zealand, Sutherland Falls. On a sunny day, this track is picture-perfect yet if you do get rain while you’re there, some walkers describe it as truly experiencing mother nature at her finest with torrents of water cascading down the steep mountainsides, a magical sight to behold. As this walk is going to consist of overnight stays, we recommend heading over to the Department of Conservation to check out the public lodges and to book in. Keep in mind you won’t be able to camp along this track, after walking all day what better way to rest inside a lodge with a bed! 


DIFFICULTY: Easy – Intermediate

BEST TIME: Late October to Late April

Milford Sound Track New Zealand Hiking Destinations

Lake Ohau Track

Waitaki, South Island

The Lake Ohau track runs along the Lake Ohau shoreline offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, both in summer and winter. If you are into mountain biking this track is known for having a well-maintained track, ideal for mountain bikers of any age and is part of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It is also a dog-friendly track, which adds to the uniqueness of this trail. Whether you’re into gentle walking or higher intensity hikes, Lake Ohau can accommodate for all levels. To get you started, we recommend heading down to the lake to wander the shore, skim stones into the Lake itself or even having a dip in its refreshing waters. Weather can change quite rapidly when you’re within the valley of the mountains so we encourage you to always check the forecast, plan ahead and pack for extreme temperatures, including plenty of water and sunblock! 

DISTANCE: 8 km one way


BEST TIME: Late October to late April

Lake Ohau Track New Zealand Hiking Destinations

Roy’s Peak Track

Wanaka, South Island

Roys Peak is one of the most popular tracks and one you may have heard of before. Starting from lake level, you will climb your way up into the tussock tops, right to the 1578m summit. The sounds of grasshoppers will guide you as you weave your way upward through the well-formed track. You will see Lake Wanaka, its islands, bays and the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps which will make for spectacular views. If you love a good sunrise, you can get up early and start making your way up, in time to catch one of the most memorable sunrises at the top of Roy Peak Track. It will still be dark and quite cold if you decide to go on an early morning trek, you will need to be very prepared including warm gear (hats, gloves, layered clothing), plenty of water, sturdy footwear and torches. There are toilets at the beginning and the end of the track. 

DISTANCE: 16 km return


BEST TIME: 11th November – 30th September (In winter you will need alpine equipment)

Roys Peak Track New Zealand Hiking Destinations

Rob Roy Track

Mount Aspiring National Park, South Island

The Rob Roy Glacier Track leads you into a spectacular world of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. Also known as Mount Aspiring National Park, follow Rob Roy Stream through beech forest, enjoying waterfalls and the luxuriant understorey of ferns and mosses. At the tree line, the forest gives way to alpine vegetation and unique views of the hanging glaciers beneath Mount Rob Roy. You will cross a few swing bridges along the way as well as countless flora and fauna. From a safe distance, you are able to listen for signs of avalanche movement while taking a picnic lunch at the viewing point. Watch out for the Kea (mountain parrots)  as they are known to be very persistent when it comes to food! As much as you may want to share your lunch with them it is prohibited to feed the wildlife. As this is an alpine environment, weather conditions can change rapidly, so ensure you take appropriate clothing and check conditions prior to starting your trek. 

DISTANCE: 10km return


BEST TIME: December – April

Rob Roy Track New Zealand Hiking Destinations

North Island Hikes

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park, North Island

From November to May, trek across a volcanic, alpine landscape of dramatic contrasts. From June to October, snow and ice mean alpine skills and experience are essential. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and in the top ten single-day treks in the world. It is world heritage listed with people coming from all over the world to experience this unique environment. The trek commences in the Tongariro National Park which is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. The unique landforms including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek. There are shuttle services that can take you back to your car as it is a one-way trek. Due to the alpine environment, extreme and sudden weather is to be expected and can be dangerous if you are not prepared. Always make sure you are prepared and do your research before starting the trek. 

DISTANCE: 19.4km


BEST TIME: November – May

Tongariro Crossing North Island New Zealand Best Hikes

Pinnacles Track

Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve, North Island

Easily one of New Zealand’s hidden gems, every traveller to New Zealand should aim to do this track at least once! Located upriver from the Thames in the stunning Kauaeranga Valley, this track is an overnighter with an 80 bed DoC hut which will need to be booked in advance. If you begin the trek at an early time and are of a higher fitness level this trek can be completed in a day. You will walk through the historic foothills of the valley as you continue to incline toward the summit. Crossing streams via swing bridges, you will be winding your way through groves of Nikau palms and huge rata trees. You should allow at least 8 hours to complete the hike. For those who decide to stay overnight, an early rise the next day will see you clambering carefully up the peak of the Pinnacles to see some of the first rays of sun hitting the Pacific Ocean and offshore islands of the Coromandel. You will be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views of both coasts of the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty, Hauraki Gulf and Plains. 

DISTANCE: 8-hour loop track


BEST TIME: All year round

Pinnacles Track North Island New Zealand Best Hikes

Blue Lake Track

Rotorua, North Island

The Blue Lake Track begins at the north-east end of the Lake. The track consists of walking along the shore, following the roadside and steering off into the bush where you will come to a secluded beach at the south end. The track will slowly descend into native bush at lake level and you can exit at the north-eastern side of the beach. There are spots along the track where you can have a picnic lunch, a quick dip in the freshwater Lake or just relax in the grass fields. This track is an easy walk with also being long enough to be slightly more than a stroll in the park. It is one of the most popular walking tracks in Rotorua and on a good day, the views around the Lake will be incredible. You won’t need to prepare too much for this walk; good footwear, a water bottle, and a sun hat should be worn. 

DISTANCE: 5.5 km loop track


BEST TIME: All year round

Blue Lake Track North Island New Zealand Best Hikes

Mount Taranaki Summit Track

Taranaki, North Island

The Mount Taranaki Summit Track is the ultimate trekking experience. This challenging journey should only be attempted by those of a higher fitness level and experience. Standing at 2518m high, this track can become dangerous very quickly and it is advised to only attempt this track in good weather conditions. This adventure will take you anywhere between 8-10 hours and the views from the summit will be absolutely worth the hike as you will be rewarded with an overwhelming sense of achievement and the feeling of being on top of the world. There are multiple huts along the way for you to rest and gather your energy before continuing on. When you near the top you will need to climb your way over rocks, once you reach the summit crater you know you are nearly there as snow sits in the crater all year round, take extra care as it can be slippery. 

DISTANCE: 12.6 km return 


BEST TIME: December to April

Mount Taranaki Summit North Island New Zealand Best Hikes

Rangitoto Summit Track

Auckland, North Island

Just off the shore of Auckland City is Rangitoto Island, an icon that dominates the Hauraki Gulf with its conical peak. A short ferry ride from downtown Auckland will take you to the dormant volcano island. This is a popular track that begins at the Rangitoto Wharf and climbs through lava fields and the world’s largest pohutukawa forest, right up to the island’s peak at 259m above sea level. Experience panoramic views from the summit of Auckland City and the surrounding Hauraki Gulf islands. On your way back from the summit take a detour to discover the volcanoes fascinating lava caves (you will need a torch!) The regular ferries to and from the Island mean you can stay for a longer time or a shorter time. There is no access to drinking water on the island so you will need to bring your own supply as well as sturdy shoes.  



BEST TIME: All year round

Rangitoto Summit Track North Island New Zealand Best Hikes

Whether you tackle the Tongariro Crossing, walk through the hooker Valley and steal a glimpse of the tallest mountain in New Zealand, or set an early morning alarm to catch sunrise up Roys Peak, the trails in New Zealand are like no other. Well-established and well-maintained trails offer a remarkably diverse array of hikes for every ability and interest.

These are only a few of the endless trails in New Zealand, we have chosen our top favourite and most popular ones to make it easy for your next adventure.

If you’re hiring a campervan to travel around New Zealand, the last thing you want is to be stopped in your tracks by something you’ve overlooked by accident. Don’t get us wrong — we love carefree, easy-going adventures in the outdoors. But not preparing yourself or doing enough research before you head off can leave you stuck with a nasty surprise.

To make life a little easier, we’ve popped together this list of 15 things to check out before you rent a campervan in New Zealand. Use this guide to choose the best vehicle, the best passengers, and the best campervan hire company for your needs.

Let’s get started!


1. Check the number of passengers you can fit

When choosing a campervan, keep an eye out for the term ‘berth’. This is how many people can legally travel/sleep in the campervan — so if it says ‘2-berth’, only 2 people can be seated in this vehicle.

In New Zealand, there are very strict road rules around wearing seatbelts. There is absolutely no way you can sit a third passenger in the back of a 2-berth van, including on a make-shift seat or on the floor.

2. What kind of transmission does the campervan have?

Take it from us, the last thing you want is to arrive at the depot to collect you vehicle only to find you don’t know how to drive it. Most campervans have an automatic transmission — but there are exceptions, so watch out.

If you’re used to driving a manual, it’s easy as cake to switch to an automatic. However, if you’re used to driving an automatic and you book a manual by mistake, well… you’re gonna have a bad time.

3. Check if your license is valid in New Zealand

If you’re an overseas traveller from a non-English speaking country, you’ll need to show an international driving license plus your primary driver’s license when you pick up your campervan. If you need a last-minute international driver’s license, there are plenty of official translation services in New Zealand that can help you out. Believe us though, it’ll be way less stressful if you get it sorted out beforehand.

4. Keep an eye out for age restrictions

Most campervan rental companies in New Zealand require hirers to be over 21 years old. Even those who allow young drivers sometimes slap them with a hefty ‘young drivers fee’. At Travellers Autobarn, we’ll happily rent a vehicle to anyone over the age of 18 with no young driver fees or exclusions on which vehicles you can or cannot rent.

5. Make sure there’s enough room for the kids

If you’re travelling with young children, you’ll need to be careful to only rent a vehicle which can legally seat them. Many campervans only have seats in the driver’s cabin, and children under a certain age aren’t allowed to travel in them. Keep in mind, the laws in New Zealand are extremely strict and may be very different to the laws in your home country. 

If any child travelling with you is 4 year or older, you’ll probably be fine. However, if your child is under 4 years old (and especially if they’re under 6 months old), your choices will be very limited! At Travellers Autobarn, our Hi5 Campervan has 3 front seats and 2 back seats — so you can fit a baby seat for children as young as 6 months old.


6. Check the van’s model year

One question you’ll have to ask yourself is how much the age of the van matters to you. Are you looking for a brand-new campervan, or are you okay with a van that has few extra kilometres if it means saving a lot of money?

If you’re undecided, we recommend you think about hiring a used campervan with a new interior fitting — it’ll save you tonnes of money with very little compromise where it matters. Our Chubby, Kuga & Hi5 Campervans are just that: older vans that we’ve bought and built the interior of ourselves, so the kitchen and bedding fit-outs are guaranteed to be no older than three years.

7. Make sure you choose the right size van

Before you decide on a vehicle, make sure you check out the size specs. Have a look at pictures of the van with people sitting in it or standing around it to get a rough idea of its relative size. It might also help to compare the measurements of the van to a vehicle that you’re familiar with.

Once you’ve got an idea of the size of the van, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions, like:

  • How much room will I need?
  • Am I comfortable with driving it?
  • Can I stand up inside?
  • Does it fit in underground car parks?
  • Does it have enough storage space for my luggage?

8. Consider the equipment and fit-out you’ll need

If you’re comparing campervans, you’ll need to take a good hard look at your personal needs. You should spend some time trying to work out what you can and can’t live without. Be honest with yourself.

Many campervans have fridges, built-in gas burners, and microwaves on board which you might find very useful for one of your first trips in a van. These are things many people think they can go without, but it might be tougher to go without a fridge or proper cooking equipment than you think. For instance, some campervans are fitted out with just a cooler boxes and portable gas cookers. If you can roll with it, it might be enough — if you’re used to more luxuries, it might be a bit of an adjustment.

For the larger campervans on offer, you’ll typically find built-in showers and toilets. However, generally speaking, you might not even need these as many campgrounds in New Zealand have great facilities.


9. Check if you’ll need a ‘Self-contained Camper’

New Zealand is very big on self-contained campers, but what does that even mean?

Well, self-contained means that you have access to a toilet in the campervan, so you can do your business without the need for a communal bathroom. What does this mean for you? Well, a self-contained camper opens many doors and grants you access to free and/or highly discounted campgrounds which you’d otherwise not be allowed to access. If you want more information, have a look through our special guide on Freedom Camping in New Zealand.

To identify a self-contained camper simply look for this symbol in the image below.


All our campervans come with the option to upgrade to self-contained camper models for a one-off fee of $50. It’s an investment well worth the price as you’ll almost certainly save more than that on campground hire — oh, and that $50 is a flat-rate so it doesn’t matter if you hire for 5 days, 20 days, or even 50 days.

10. Work out what type of power supply you need

Some vans have power hook-ups which you can plug in at powered campsites. This will be much appreciated if you want that extra convenience of a fridge on board, or to charge your power devices such as laptops and cameras. Others have standard USB type-A power outlets for charging your phone or camera. On high-end campervan models, you’ll find a solar panel.

11. Check the fine print for extra fees

You might be perusing comparison sites, see a cheap daily rate and think to yourself, “Well that’s it, this is the one!” Be warned — always check what other fees you might need to pay on top of that great-looking price. Generally, you will want to hire a ‘living equipment’ pack, which includes bedding and some kitchen equipment. It’s worth checking what is included in that pack so you can decide if you need to bring anything else along/hire any additional items (hint: always check for linen!).

Also, keep an eye on your bond and excess reduction requirements! Every company has its own set of rules, so don’t assume each one will be the same. Sure, you might find the cheapest daily rate price out there, but you might also need to leave a $5000 cash bond when you pick up your camper. Yikes!

12. Remember, there are other benefits to the hiring company

When you book a campervan, there are often other things you’ll be elligible for as well. Check what else the company has to offer, like special discounts or deals with other travel partners — with Travellers Autobarn, you’ll get discounts on campgrounds around New Zealand as well as partner discounts on travel experiences.


13. The vehicle depot’s opening hours

We can’t stress this enough — check when the campervan depot is open! Don’t make the mistake of flying in at 8pm on a Saturday night and expecting to collect your campervan, only to realise the depot is closed until Monday. The last thing you want on a “budget” holiday is to get stuck paying for accomodation in a hotel for a few days.

14. Cash card vs debit card vs credit card

What type of card do you have and what type of card will you need?

Typically, for security and bond purposes, rental companies will require you to have a credit card to leave on file. Even if you have full damage cover, other fees can come up like traffic infringements or tolls. Companies keep your card on file to protect against unexpected costs like these. If you don’t have a credit card, you should be able to fill out a pre-authorisation form to reference a friend or family member’s card instead.

15. We’ll say it again: check the fine print in the terms and conditions

Raise your hand if you’ve ever ticked a box that says ‘I have read and accepted the terms and conditions’ without actually reading the contract. Yep, us too.

But be careful! Companies know that people tend to do this and don’t understand the rules. It’s very important that you actually take the time to read any rental contract you’re asked to sign. It’ll help you understand everything there is to know about your rental, including rules which you might not consider (and could lose you your bond). There’s also information about where you can and can’t take your vehicle, what’s included and excluded in your cover, and what to do if something goes wrong. Be sure to take note!

Practical and stress free travel in a campervan

Those were our top 15 tips to look for before renting a campervan. What did you think?

Travelling in a campervan doesn’t have to be stressful – doing your research and jotting down the right hacks will save you a heap of time and money. If you have any other questions just post a comment or contact us at Travellers Autobarn.

Still need more convincing? Here is why travelling in a campervan is the best way to explore New Zealand.

Taking a road trip across New Zealand is something plenty of people have at the top of their travel bucket lists. It’s really no surprise when you consider all the amazing locations, sights and unique places to see in NZ.

Now, maybe we’re a bit biased, but we reckon one of the best place to explore New Zealand’s islands is in a campervan. Not convinced? Allow us to present to top 6 reasons you should explore New Zealand in a campervan:

1. A New View to Wake Up to Every Morning
2. Travel Where and When You Want
3. Explore New Zealand’s Unique Natural Landscapes
4. You Can Save Money By Hiring a Campervan
5. A Campervan Give You Stress-Free Travel
6. Experience #VanLife for Yourself

Let’s get straight to it…

A New View to Wake Up to Every Morning 

Young woman watching the mountains from the back of her campervamCome on, how many other places are there on Earth where you’re pretty much guaranteed a beautiful view every morning? Our favourite thing about campervanning in New Zealand is that — as long as you follow the rules — you can sleep wherever you want, whenever you want.

Imagine this: you wake up in the morning, open the back door of your campervan, and you’re greeted by a stunning sunrise over the ocean. What better way is there to start your day of adventure?
You can start your morning slow, lounge in bed with your morning coffee and have breakfast right where you’re parked. Best of all, you’ll be right where you need to be with no need for a long drive, public transport, or (worst yet) crowded tourist bus to catch. Stay overnight at the beginning of a hiking trail at Mount Cook; wake up near the crystal blue waters of Nelson Bay; or rest your eyes in the heart of adventure capital of the world: Queenstown!

Travel Where and When You Want 

Couple standing in wilderness with their campervanTravelling around in a campervan means you’ve got the freedom to travel flexibly. You can drive at your own pace, stop where you like, and choose your own schedule — you can’t really be late when there’s nobody else to coordinate with. Forget about train or bus schedules, there are sights to see!

Love that beachside lot you stayed the night? Spend another day there, no problem.
Sick of the crowds? Take a drive somewhere off the beaten track.
Don’t fancy waking up early to haul your bags to the airport? Far out, us neither.

Lucky for you, a campervan has plenty of room, luxuries and creature comforts to be your home-on-wheels wherever you like.

Explore New Zealand’s Unique Natural Landscapes

Travellers Autobarn stationwagon parked by a cliff in New ZealandIf you love exploring the outdoors, there’s no better way to witness New Zealand natural wonders than travelling in a campervan. Since so many of New Zealand’s campgrounds are in national parks, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when searching for a campground to stay in for the night.

You don’t even have to try for these places to look good — NZ really does have that magical, movie-like look and feel pretty much everywhere you go! You want photos by a lake at the foot of a mountain? Done. You want to walk through an alpine forrest in the snow? No problem. You want to camp near a cliff by the ocean? There are literally hundreds of places to do that. Take your pick, adventurer. 

You Can Save Money By Hiring a Campervan

Friends cooking in the back of their hired campervan kitchenNew Zealand might not be the cheapest country in the world to travel around, but if you’re on a budget, you can stretch your money pretty far by hiring a campervan. The upfront cost of hiring a campervan can seem pretty high if you’re watching your wallet — especially if you’re booking travel in the peak season around December and January — but it’s actually way cheaper than other ways of travelling when you factor in other costs.

There are pretty sizeable discounts up for grabs year-round when you rent a campervan for more than 14, 21 or 35 days — plus some extra bonus savings if you hire in the low-season. Once you’ve paid for your campervan rental, you’ve pretty much paid for all of your accommodation and transport in one go.
And don’t forget, your campervan includes a kitchen too; there’s no need to waste money on takeaway food every night (or cook the same sad, skinny sausages on a public BBQ…every…single…night).

Take note as well, the price of campgrounds in New Zealand is pretty reasonable and there are plenty of opportunities to camp somewhere for completely free if you rent out a self-contained campervan! Even if you pay for a campground every night, it’s usually way cheaper than the cost of hotels or hostels in New Zealand. Oh, and with a campervan there’s no need to pay for a tour bus, train tickets, car rental, airport car, or flights between cities either. It’s worth it we’re telling ya!

A Campervan Give You Stress-Free Travel

Young woman planning campervan trip with mapWe’ve been there: lugging around a suitcase; bags digging into shoulders and running over toes; trying to find the right building; trying to find the right room; and checking in and out of a new hotel or hostel every few days. It’s a frustrating and time-consuming hassle that’s fun for about 45 minutes the first time.

Well, you can skip all of that if you travel in a campervan. Take your accommodation and luggage with you everywhere you go. Plus, when you’ve got a kitchen and bed on board, you can snack and nap whenever you want. Nice.

Experience #VanLife for Yourself

Couple laying in back of campervan by NZ beachYou’ve seen ’em. You know what we’re talking about. Those point-of-view photos looking at the ocean out the back of a van or stylish campervan. Usually there’s someone’s gorgeous boyfriend or girlfriend laying there and they’re wearing a cool hat and everyone’s smiling and they’ve got a surfboard sitting just outside among the daisies.

Well, that can be you — just no guarantees on the boyfriend/girlfriend part (sorry).

The #VanLife is bigger and more popular than ever, and for good reason! People from all around the world have seen why campervan travel is so amazing and that there’s no adventure quite like it. So, why not join that happy, adventurous community for yourself for a while?

Campervan travellers are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever chat with at a campground and they’ve all got their own unique stories from their time on-the-road. No hustle and bustle and no hard schedules; just some peace and quiet, relaxing times, and the freedom of the open road.

Ready to get out there and explore New Zealand in a campervan? Travellers Autobarn has plenty of 2-5 berth campervans available for all budgets. Get a quote on a rental today and start exploring New Zealand in the most enjoyable, unique and memorable way possible!

Still need more convincing? This video will have you packing your bags…

Have you been lucky enough to experience some of this yourself? If you’re just planning your trip, make sure you know what to look out for – we’ve even created a little checklist to help out. Here are 15 things you must know before booking a campervan.

Station wagons (also known as ‘stationwagons’, ‘wagons’ or ‘minivans’) are a convenient, comfortable and cheap way to explore New Zealand’s islands. 

Back in the day, station wagons were the default way that backpackers and travellers would travel around New Zealand. In recent years, these vehicles have become super underrated and have started disappearing from roads everywhere in favour of campervans. People are missing out!

Hiring a station wagon to travel New Zealand is a fantastic option with its own unique advantages over a normal car — and for some people it might even suit them more than a campervan. Here’s what hiring a station wagon can get you over other vehicles:

1. Station wagons are cheap as chips to hire

Travellers Autobarn Station Wagon parked lakeside in New Zealand

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to travel New Zealand (while still living pretty comfortably), a station wagon is the answer.

Station wagon hire starts at about $25 per day — yep, only 25 bucks for the day with unlimited kilometres. It’s a whole lot cheaper than pretty much any car, van or hotel you’ll find. Even in the busiest time of the year (around Christmas & New Years Day), you’d be looking at around $55 per day at most. That’s a choice deal. This is pretty much the best station wagon deal out there and you won’t find an equivalent rental at such a cheap rate — it’d cost you more to buy a slab of beers!!!

One of the best things about a station wagon is that you can split up your daily expenses with loads of mates (we’ll get to this in a moment). Imagine you’re travelling out in the wops off-season with a group of 4 friends: splitting up your costs means your daily hiring cost is literally less than lunch.

2. Station wagons are roomy (no really, they’re super spacious)

Mother lifting baby from inside spacious station wagon

Station wagons offer loads of space! You can fit heaps of suitcases, bags and other luggage in the back or even fold the back or middle seat rows down for extra space. This is great if you’ve got lots of bags, a large tent, a big air mattress, or you’re bringing everything but the kitchen sink.

Our station wagons are Toyota Estimas, which are usually classed as people-movers since they can fit entire families with all their bags and luggage. There’s a reason you see these bad boys used as luxe airport shuttle buses: you can fill them chocka block with both people and luggage in comfort!

3. Station wagons can fit your whole crew

Group of friends driving in station wagon towards New Zealand mountain range

Our station wagons can fit up to 7 adults — heaps of seats for the whole fam or even a decent sized group of friends! Having this many seats means they’re one of the most flexible vehicle options out there and are suitable for solo travellers, couples, groups of friends, and even whole families! You’d need to hire two cars or campervans to fit that many people inside!

If you’ve got a smaller crew or you’re travelling alone, you’ll have more space than you’ll know what to do with — but that’s a good thing since there’ll be even more space for groceries, a big chilly bin, a tent, or a mattress. Speaking of which…

4. You can sleep in your station wagon (or in a tent…or at a hotel)

Station wagon camping roadside in a national park

Like having options for where you’ll sleep? A station wagon might just be your dream come true. They give you heaps of flexibility so you can switch things up night to night if you feel like a change in scenery or experience. Here are you overnight options:

  1. Sleep in the back: Station wagons are so spacious that you can easily sleep in the back of one. Just push down the back seats, chuck your BYO mattress in the back, et voilà: your accommodation needs are pretty much sorted. Back in the 80s & 90s, this is how it was done — hotels were too pricey, and campervans weren’t really a thing yet.
  2. Camping: Station wagon + tent + air mattress + sleeping bags/linen = a simple but boujee DIY glamping trip. If you book a station wagon with Travellers Autobarn, you can hire a tent, camping chairs, Esky cooler and cooking gear directly from us — just BYO sleeping bags & mattress.
  3. Stay at hotels: If you don’t feel like camping or sleeping in the back (or you’ve got too many mates to make it work), you can use your station wagon as a normal car and stay in hotels, motels or hostels every night. No judgement from us: camping isn’t for everyone.

5. Station wagons are great for travelling as a family

Mother and two children laying on mattress in back of station wagon

If you’ve got kids, you already know how tricky it can be to travel with them. “Are we there yet?” is a cliché for a reason — many of us remember being squished in the back of a car with hardly any space to move. Thankfully, with a station wagon, there’s more than enough room for all the kids, bags and all the gear you need for a fun family holiday.

Campervans are great, but if your child is under 4 years old, your options are pretty limited since it’s impossible to fit child seats in some models. That’s where station wagons come in. You can travel with kids from just a couple of months old since a station wagon can fit pretty much any child seat. Plus, there’ll still be plenty of room in the back to fit a stroller, toys and all your usual luggage.

6. All our station wagons have automatic transmissions

Automatic transmission station wagon parked on cliff overlooking ocean

All our station wagons are automatics, so you can easily drive on any highway or road you like, go over mountains, or cruise through any town. On top of that, driving a station wagon is pretty similar to driving a normal car, so there isn’t a huge learning curve beyond complex parking moves.

This is a deal-winner for many travellers (including overseas tourists) who can’t drive a manual transmission car and just want the easiest vehicle possible to drive around in. Lots of campervans and cheap car rentals have manual transmissions, so make sure you do your research if you only know how to drive auto. Check out this article on license requirements and safe driving practices in New Zealand if you have any doubts.

So there they are: 6 reasons to hire a station wagon on your next New Zealand road trip. Hopefully we’ve convinced you it’s worth giving one a look and getting a quote at the bottom of this page. If you’re looking to go on a trip around New Zealand, but a station wagon doesn’t sound quite right, you can compare all our rental vehicle options to find the one which suits you best.

If you have trouble with making a booking or you need some more information, get in contact with us. You can use the buttons below to contact our reservations team, or call us directly on 0800 348 348 (we also have overseas contact numbers in case you’re outside NZ). Happy travelling and we’ll see you out on the road soon.


Heading on a camping trip across New Zealand? It’s possible that you’ve started to plan ahead or have been given recommendations by friends – but what you’ll need to know is how to find top-rated campsites, trails and views, insider tips and how to respond to any emergencies (fingers crossed not!). 

Here are the best camping apps for New Zealand:

  1. Rankers Camping
  2. AllTrails
  3. Star Chart
  4. Travellers Autobarn
  5. Trail Chef
  6. Offline Survival Manual
  7. Camping Checklist
  8. MetService
  9. First Aid & Emergency


Let’s jump right in.

Rankers Camping App Icon  Best Campsite App: Rankers Camping NZ

No more camping fines? Yes please!

The Ranking Camping app shows you council-approved sites, so it’s perfect for a last-minute adventure, or if your trip involves a spontaneous pitstop.

As a huge advantage over other apps, Rankers Camping allows you to download grounds for offline use, giving you access to a range of nearby sites and points of interest across 2000+ locations. What’s more? You can save your favourites and ensure you’re getting the best spot possible – with sites backed by over 60,000 reviews.

If you’re choosing New Zealand for your next camping adventure, download the Rankers Camping app.

Rankers Camping App - Travel Reviews Rankers Camping App - Top Sites Rankers Camping App - Camping Locations

Available on the App Store and Google Play.

All Trails App Icon  Best Track App: AllTrails

Collecting over 100,000 tracks, AllTrails is the ideal app for those that enjoy breaking their sweat and exploring the outdoors.

Backed by a community of 10 million travellers, the app provides an extensive and localised map outlining popular tracks and points of interest. Of course, you don’t have to sweat for each trip – but especially if you’re close to some of South Island’s best camping grounds, you’ll be able to browse popular trails and compare against a range of geo-tagged images.

Grab the latest climate information with live weather maps, fire history and air quality scales, save your favourite trails before you hit a higher altitude, and stay in the right lane with accurate GPS tracking.

All Trails App - Interacting with detailed maps All Trails App - GPS Tracking All Trails Apps - Track your progress

Download the AllTrails app on the Google Play Store or App Store.

Star Chart App Icon  Best Astronomy App: Star Chart

Ready to make the most of New Zealand’s night sky on your next trip? Star Chart acts as a portable planetarium – simply point your camera at the sky, and you’ll find out all there is to know about our solar system; every planet and every star visible from Earth is all captured in the one app.

From the comfort of your own tent, you can use voice commands like “Take me to Mars”, virtually navigate throughout the solar system, and capture over 120,000 visible stars.

Star Chart - virtual star plotting Star Chart - Crab Nebula Star Chart - Virtual view of planet earth

The next time you’re heading to a natural escape with an open view, we recommend you download the Star Chart app – available on Google Play or the App Store.

Travellers Autobarn App Icon  Best Camping App: Travellers Autobarn

With the latest on camping spots and points-of-interest, the Travellers Autobarn app lets you find campsites ahead of time, or allows you to select based on your current location. You’ll be provided with suggestions on nearby facilities such as ATMs or laundromats, so if you’re in dire straits on an upcoming adventure – this app certainly has you covered.

As well as that, you’ll have the chance to interact with the community hub; add your photos, leave reviews and grab recent updates on local deals relevant to where you’re staying.

Map Section - Travellers Autobarn App . Community Hub Section - Travellers Autobarn App . Local Suggestions - Travellers Autobarn App

Download the app from Google Play or the App Store.

Trail Chef App Icon  Best Cooking App: Trail Chef

Once you’ve decided on a camping ground and you’ve settled in, your next thought is probably along the lines of – “what do we have to eat?”.

When you become sick from eating all of those nut-bars, Trail Chef is the best solution for cooking from your tent or campervan. Not only does it include over 60 easy-to-follow recipes, but the app also allows you to access the full menu without an internet connection.

Add your own recipes, categorise by dietary requirements and save your favourites for other adventures down the track.

Trail Chef App - Main Menu  Trail Chef App - Mushroom Polenta with Chorizo Chips Recipe  Trail Chef App - Easy Tiramisu Recipe Overview

Download ‘Trail Chef’ from the Apple App Store, or find their complete recipe menu online.

Offline Survival Manual App Icon  Best Survival App: Offline Survival Manual

So don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be bitten by a spider or break a bone on your next New Zealand trip – but this app is ideal for all things off-the-grid. The ‘Offline Survival Manual’ is an intuitive but comprehensive guide for skills such as building a campfire or shelter, finding food or treating bites and stings.

We know it’s quite obvious, but it’s also worth mentioning that the app can be used no matter whether you have a data connection or not, so you’ll always be prepared. Explore different areas of survival across basic medicine, shelter, fire, water procurement, poisonous plants or dangerous animals – and yes, the list continues.

Offline Survival Manual - App Navigational Menu Offline Survival Manual - Building A Fire Offline Survival Manual - Settings Page

Before you find yourself in the midst of New Zealand’s camping sites, download ‘Offline Survival Manual’ on the Google Play Store or on the App Store.

Camping Checklist App Icon  Best Planning App: Camping Checklist

Going on a trip without a proper plan? You wouldn’t dare – especially in New Zealand.

The Camping Checklist app provides a collection of templates and quick ways to share your items with other mates. This app also includes pre-loaded checklists, which means you can quickly start to plan ahead if you’ve organised a last-minute getaway.

Camping Checklist - Menu Camping Checklist - Creating a new checklist Camping Checklist - Getting Started

It’s a relatively simple app to use, but should not be left off your own list the next time you’re in New Zealand. Download the app on the App Store or via Google Play.

Met Service App Icon  Best Weather App: MetService

Don’t trust Siri when it comes to weather – particularly in the land of the long white cloud! The MetService app has been designed to warn you of severe weather changes, and provides updates for up to 48 hours ahead of time.

You’ll get real-time rain radars and climate warnings, customisable dashboards and access to live traffic cameras – absolute must-haves if you’re considering a trip throughout the south or north islands. Created by the Meteorological Service of New Zealand, it’s ideal for keeping up to date on all things weather.

MetService App - Main Dashboard MetService App - Auckland 3 Day Forecast MetService App - Rain Radar

Before your next adventure, download the MetService app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

First Aid and Emergency App Icon  Best Emergency App: First Aid & Emergency

Ok, so we’re not here to shelter you, but a first aid app cannot go unnoticed if you’re camping in New Zealand. The First Aid & Emergency mobile app, created by the NZ Red Cross, is designed to give simple, easy advice for emergency situations.

Broken down with step-by-step instructions, it’s an accredited app that lets you access guides without reception or an internet connection – providing advice for natural disasters or first-aid scenarios.

Learn, prepare and test your knowledge with built-in modules, and use it as a pocket guide in case of any emergencies.

First Aid App - Learn Menu First Aid App - Unconscious Treatment First Aid App - Treating Burns

Before you unpack at your next stay, be sure to download this app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Wrapping up the best apps for camping across New Zealand, you should now be well prepared for your next trip. If you’re planning on driving throughout your journey, be sure to check out the best travel apps as well – it’s packed full of tips for Wi-fi hotspots and where to pick up the cheapest fuel, so you can’t miss out!

Have some other recommendations for us? Feel free to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.


You’re finally going on that spontaneous road trip across New Zealand.

You’ve saved up as much money as possible, got the time off work, and shown off your campervan booking confirmation to your mates. Now what do you do?

Believe us, being spontaneous is fun, but you’ll probably want to do a little planning before you go and find some places to check out when you’re there. Finding places to eat, sleep, get fuel and go on day trips can seem daunting, but finding these places (and saving a bit of money along the way) will be much easier with these 9 apps.



These are the top road trip apps for New Zealand:

  1. Campermate
  2. Google Maps
  3. Travellers Autobarn
  4. What’s Hot NZ
  5. Gaspy
  6. Wi-Fi Sweet Spots
  7. GrabOne Discount
  8. NZ Doc Campsite Finder
  9. The Outbound Collective

Campermate App Icon  Best Road Trip App: Campermate

Campermate is the personal guide to New Zealand you didn’t know you needed. From finding epic campsites, nearby petrol stations or the best bar in town, this app has you covered. It was built with New Zealand and Australia in mind, so it’s not short on detail and is updated with warnings and alerts in real time.

Camper Mate Travel Deals  Camper Mate Travel Information  Camper Mate App

Find the Campermate app on the Google Play Store or on the App Store.

Google Maps App Icon  Best Maps App: Google Maps

The most comprehensive maps app out there due to the sheer scale of countries it covers – 220 countries! You’ll have no trouble finding your destination with this app. You can save 120,000 square kilometres in the offline mode and seeing as though it’s only about 1,700 kilometres from South Island to North Island, you’ll have no trouble getting from A to B (unless, of course, you want to get lost).

Google Maps should be pre-installed on most Android devices, so if you’re on an Apple device, download it from their App Store here.

Google Maps Transport Updates Google Maps Traffic Updates Google Maps Local Shops

Travellers Autobarn App Icon  Best Camping App: Travellers Autobarn

Grab the latest tips on camping spots, places to visit and sights-to-see with the Travellers Autobarn app. You’ll not only find campsites closest to your road trip route, but will be thrown suggestions for facilities like the closest laundromat or nearest ATM.

With the app’s very own community-hub, add photos of your trip, provide reviews to other travellers and get the very latest updates on local deals relevant to your location.

Map Section - Travellers Autobarn App Local Suggestions - Travellers Autobarn App Community Hub Section - Travellers Autobarn App

Before you start travelling, be sure to download this app from the App Store or Google Play.

What's Hot New Zealand App Icon  Best Events App: What’s Hot NZ

Not only is there a lot to see in New Zealand, there’s also a lot to do. That’s why you’ll want the locals guide to all the best events around town with the What’s Hot NZ app. This free download is your ultimate event guide for design, fashion, arts, dining and accommodation. The app also includes:

  • Offline access ensuring you’ll never miss a thing
  • Extensive events and gigs listings across the whole of New Zealand
  • Simple navigation lists activities/attractions, destinations, accommodation, restaurants and bars by category
  • Locations of venues/attractions on the handy map
  • Social media sharing of events, activities and attractions
  • Create your own Bucket List of unmissable events and activities

What's Hot New Zealand - Events What's Hot New Zealand - Bucket List What's Hot New Zealand - Map

Get the What’s Hot New Zealand app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Gaspy App Icon  Best Fuel App: Gaspy

When you’re on the road, knowing where to fill up can make all the difference. With petrol prices changing daily, you want to be able to rely on an app that gives you up to date price information, crowd-sourced by it’s own users. Enter, Gaspy.

Gaspy - Fuel Selector Gaspy - User Profile Gaspy - Ranking

This petrol station locator app helps you compare prices from petrol stations on your journey and avoid paying too much. It keeps money in your pocket for the important things, like 15 foods you must eat.

Download Gaspy from the App Store or Google Play store.

Wi-Fi SweetSpots App Icon  Best Wifi App: Wi-Fi Sweet Spots

If you need to get online, you want to do it quickly and effectively so that you can return to the road. To do that, we recommend Wi-fi sweet spots – an app which scans your location for the strongest wi-fi connection. This might also help in choosing your morning coffee shop to catch up on recent posts, or for reading the latest updates in your news feed.

Get the Wi-Fi Sweet Spots app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

Wi-Fi Sweet Spot - Menu Wi-Fi Sweet Spot - Scanner Wi-Fi Sweet Spot - Modal

GrabOne Discount App Icon  Best Discount App: GrabOne Discount NZ

Take in even more of New Zealand with GrabOne. This app offers some incredible discounts across local activities, restaurants or outdoor camping spots, and even let’s you purchase your vouchers in advance.

Better yet, you can filter your searches by location, price and category, so you’ll never be short of adventure – even as you inevitably come across some of New Zealand’ most instagrammable locations.

Featured Deals - GrabOne App Categories - GrabOne App Nearby Deals - GrabOne App

With coupons across 20+ categories and locations, be sure to download the GrabOne app from Google Play or from Apple’s App Store.

NZ Doc Campsite Finder App Icon  Best Campsite Finder App: NZ Doc Campsite Finder

This road trip app contains the GPS locations of over 200 campsites managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Whether cheap or free, these sites span the length of both the North and South Island, and the app itself contains some amazing locations which are saved locally – so no need to worry about losing mobile data or a wifi-hotspot.

North Island - NZ Campsite Finder App Open Map Coordinates - NZ Campsite Finder App South Island - NZ Campsite Finder App

Find the NZ Doc Campsite Finder app on Google’s Play Store.

The Outbound Collective App Icon  Best Adventure App: The Outbound Collective

The Outbound Collective is a community-based travel app, great for finding local adventures, or planning your road trip to visit as many places as possible. The app features personal stories on real adventures, amazing landscape galleries, and categorises trips by activity and season. Be sure to check out their guides on exploring Karekare Falls (near Auckland), and the Rakaia Gorge Walkway (near Christchurch).

Planning  - The Outbound Collective App Travel Inspiration  - The Outbound Collective App Searching  - The Outbound Collective App

Download The Outbound Collective from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

New Zealand is a land full of adventure, and we’re not talking just about the extreme sports you can try there. If you ever visit the place, you would be in for a culinary adventure. It’s a beautiful country with so much to see, do…and EAT. You’ll find delicacies you won’t find in any other country. When you are travelling around New Zealand, here’s just a preview of the must-eat foods you can’t miss out.

1. Hangi

cooking in a camper

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The goal when doing a road trip would be to experience the country like a local. One way to do that would be to eat like a local. The hangi is a traditional Maori cultural food. This dish is prepared by placing vegetables and meat wrapped in leaves in deep fire pits. The cooking process is time-consuming. It takes three to four hours to cook the meet. This slow cooking method results in tender meat and flavourful vegetables. Since it takes so long to cook, this is a dish that’s normally cooked for special occasions.

2. Manuka Honey

cooking in a camper

Photo by Christina Branco on Unsplash

Photo by Christina Branco on Unsplash

Manuka honey is popular all over the world. It’s known for its medicinal properties. The manuka tree grows in New Zealand, and this type of honey is known for being more flavourful than other varieties of honey. It’s quite expensive to purchase outside of New Zealand. This would make a great souvenir to bring back home with you.

3.  Crayfish

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Joakim Roubert from Pixabay

Lobster or crayfish is widely available in New Zealand. As an island nation, the easy access to seafood means that you will have plenty of choices for different types of seafood. The crayfish in the country is a must-try. You do not want to miss out on this delicious local favourite.

4. Pavlova

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

The origin of this dessert is much debated. Ask a Kiwi, and they will tell you they invented the pavlova. An Australian would tell you that it came from their country. I guess it doesn’t matter who came up with this delicious dessert. All you need to know is that it’s a dessert you will want to have over and over again. It is a meringue dessert that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The meringue is served with fruits and whipped cream. This is a featured dessert for Christmas.

5. Roast Lamb/ Canterbury Lamb

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image from Pixabay

As a country that is full of vast greenery, the beef and lamb industry thrive here. You cannot visit New Zealand without tasting the lamb. Roasted or grilled, you’ll find this meat on basically every restaurant menu.

6. Hokey-Pokey Ice Cream

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by lorbautista from Pixabay

No must-eat list would be complete without something sweet. When you’re in New Zealand, you have to try something from the dairy industry. Dairy products are amazing in New Zealand, and the ice cream is one of the highlights. One of the popular flavours is called hokey pokey. This ice cream is a mixture of vanilla with bits of honeycomb. You’ll never call vanilla ice cream boring after you try this mix.

7. Whitebait Fritters


Whitebait is a tiny fish that is considered a delicacy in the country. From August to November, whitebait will be in season. You can enjoy them in an omelette served with toast. Be warned, it is an expensive fish.

8. Green-lipped Mussels

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Jeremy Keith from Flickr.

Available basically all year round, this variety of mussel is juicier, fattier, and larger than the North American and European varieties. You’ll find plenty of seafood options in the country, and it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss out on.

9. The Original Flat White

new zealand coffee in a campervan

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

Okay, this isn’t a must-eat, but it is a must-drink. Coffee lovers, pay attention! Much like the pavlova, the flat white is another item with a contentious history regarding whether it came from Australia or New Zealand. Needless to say, it has been long loved and is well known in this beautiful island country. So, when you are travelling around the country, pop into a local cafe and get a taste of the real flat white. The local baristas will have all perfected this brew.

10. Feijoas

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Photo by Elena G on Unsplash

This plant actually comes from South America but it is planted in gardens all over New Zealand. A feijoa is a small, oval-shaped green fruit with a taste that is often compared to a guava. It is actually called the pineapple guava. When ripe, you’ll enjoy the distinct fruity smell. They can be eaten straight from the tree or used as an ingredient for a smoothie. This fruit is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s a great healthy snack to enjoy as you drive along the country’s long and winding roads.

11. Paua

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by BoKyoung Lee from Pixabay

This delicacy is expensive all over the world. If you want to splurge and expand your culinary horizon, paua is the way to go. Paua is the Maori word for abalone. This is a rare shellfish that is native to New Zealand. There are different ways to eat this — raw or fried are two popular choices.

12. Kiwi Burger

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Jakub Kapusnak from Foodiesfeed.

The hamburger is the ideal road trip food. You can eat it in your car, and it’s easy to hold. You don’t need a knife and fork. It’s a grab-and-go food. The locals decided to put their own twist to the classic burger. The Kiwi burger is made of toasted bread, a beef batty, fried egg, tomato, cheese, onions, lettuce, beetroot, and condiments.

13. Kina

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

The Maori word for sea urchin is kina. It is a spiky, ball-like sea creature. You’ll find that people either love it or hate it. Kina can be found on any coast of New Zealand. The inside is soft and fleshy. You can buy the sea urchin and try to crack it yourself or you can purchase a tub of the flesh that can be eaten directly. The briny, slimy texture won’t work with everyone’s palate, but it’s worth a try!

14. Kumara

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

This is the ultimate sweet potato. The kumara is a nutritious and affordable root crop that can be used in many recipes. It’s low fat and high in fibre, so if you’re watching your diet closely, this is a great food to try. This is a very good staple food that can leave you feeling satisfied.

15. Tuatua

new zealand cooking in a campervan

Image by Karolina Grabowska on Kaboompics.

This is another shellfish that’s native to New Zealand. This is a delicacy for Maori people. You can cook this by boiling it or creating a fritter. The soft and creamy texture is a big hit with the locals.

There’s so many foods to try when you go to New Zealand. The list we gave is a mere snippet of the gastronomic delights that await you. If you’re planning to visit the country, hop into a campervan. It’s one great way to really explore and get to know the place like a local. If you’d like to book a trip, contact Travellers Autobarn, or if you’d like to read more exciting cooking in a camper ideas explore here

It’s a luxury to be able to just head out on the open road and be one with nature. There’s a lovely sense of freedom that comes with being able to disconnect from the chaos of city life, drive off, and go for a weekend camping. Driving around in a campervan makes it easy for you to discover new places, but you can’t forget about your basic needs like water and food to take camping.

When planning your meals for your road trip, you might think that you’ll be limited in your choices. In fact, there are a number of easy camping recipes that you can try to ensure you don’t have boring, basic meals during your campout.

We want to help you by making it easy for you to plan out your camping meals. We’ve put together a collection of simple and easy camping food ideas and tips you must try on your next campervan adventure.

Why try out new recipes?

Easy meals don’t have to mean plain cheese sandwiches and crisps or anything else that comes in easy-to-open packaging. You can actually create something more fancy and flavorful. Cooking in a campervan is really an experience you have to try.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you dine in your campervan:

Dinner under the stars

Immersing yourself outdoors is one of the best things about camping. When you have a campervan that has a decent kitchen facility, you can really take advantage of the surroundings. Can you imagine eating a warm meal under the stars? Sitting under the night sky enjoying your supper is romantic, calming, and serene.

Forces you to be creative

Obviously, when you go out to a campsite, you won’t have a huge kitchen with lots of equipment. You can only bring the bare essentials. You’ll probably have one pot, one pan, and a handful of spices. This would mean you want to force on bring creative so that your meals will still taste good even with just the basic spices.

Fresh, in-season foods

Take advantage of the local fruit and vegetables that are in season because it’s cheaper than buying in the grocery stores.

What You Need for Your Easy Camping Meals

The biggest adjustment when planning meals for camping recipes instead of planning for cooking in your home is that you have to create those meals on a much smaller scale. Ideally, you need to have things in handy containers that are easy to open and store or stack.

Here’s a quick list of the must-haves for camping out and cooking on the road:

  • Pots and Pans
  • Spices and Condiments
  • Jams and Other Spreads – peanut butter, chocolate spread, jam, Vegemite and more.
  • Staple Foods – rice, oats, pasta and grains will help build out any meal on the road.

Top campervan cooking videos for your next adventure

The sky is really the limit for camp cooking recipes, anything can be made with the right equipment. Here are our top campervan cooking videos to excite your palate:

Overnight Oats Recipe – for your winter mornings

Chilli Nachos Recipe – a must cook when camping

Risotto Recipe – for those extravagant nights in

Banana bread – a top staple for every adventure

Pizza – if you hire the right vehicle, you can make homemade pizza happen anytime!

Easy Ideas for Camping Meals

Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or overcomplicated. To make things easy for you, we have put together this list of camping food ideas that you might want to try out on your next trip:

1. Salad wraps/ chicken wraps

camping meals, camping food ideas, easy camping meals

Image by Nevena Mikec from Pixabay

2. Quesadillas

camping recipes, camping meals, camping food ideas

Image by Kira Hoffmann from Pixabay

3. Nachos

easy camping meals, food to take camping, camping meals

Photo by Herson Rodriguez on Unsplash

4. Vegetable Soup

camping recipes, camping meals, camping food ideas

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

5. Fried Chicken

camping food ideas, easy camping meals, food to take camping

Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

6. Cheese Sandwich

camping food ideas, easy camping meals, food to take camping

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

7. Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich

camping food ideas, easy camping meals

Image by leestilltaolcom from Pixabay

8. Fish with Veg

camping recipes, camping meals

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

9. Chicken Soup

camping recipes, camping meals, easy camping meals

Image by kai kalhh from Pixabay

10. Pesto Pasta Salad

camping meals, camping food ideas

Image by Pexels from Pixabay


Whether you’re ‘glamping’, free camping or have the luxury of a campervan, the options really are endless while cooking on the road. Whatever you do, just make sure to pack the essentials, and keep your cooking simple yet creative!

For more recipes, adventures and happy customer stories, come and explore our YouTube channel!

Travellers Autobarn YouTube Playlist

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