Stretching across both the North and South Islands, the New Zealand road trip from Auckland to Queenstown offers one amazing experience after another!
And there really is no better way to see everything on offer than to rent a travel van. With a Britz campervan hire, you can enjoy the comfort, privacy, and convenience of travelling with all your must-haves on board. Cook your favourite meals in your own kitchen and take a nap whenever you need to in your own comfy bed!
Start your seven-day New Zealand road trip in the vibrant city of Auckland before heading south through the everchanging beautiful landscapes of Aotearoa. See the boiling mud pools in Rotorua. Indulge in the best flat white coffees in Wellington. Marvel at the starry skies in Lake Tekapo. And so much more in between! Ready to hit the road? Let’s get started!
Auckland to Queenstown
Best Time of the Year
- Hells Gate Thermal Park
- Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa
- Queen Charlotte Track
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens
- Lake Tekapo Dark Sky Reserve
Rotorua Media Hub
Auckland to Rotorua
Distance 226km - Driving Time 2 hours and 45 minutes
It’s day one of your awesome Auckland to Queenstown road trip! The first order of the day is to pick up your Britz campervan from our Auckland branch on Manu Tapu Drive. It’s right by Auckland Airport – nice and handy if you’re flying in!
Today, you’ll be heading south to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Known for its bubbling mud pools, geysers and hot springs, Rotorua is a dream destination for visitors to New Zealand. Keen to learn more about New Zealand’s fascinating history? We recommend planning a visit to Te Puia. Here, you can see a cultural show, watch a geyser erupt, enjoy a traditional Māori hangi (a meal cooked underground), and lots more.
Another must-do, while you’re in Rotorua, is to go to Hell. Don’t worry, there’s no fire or brimstone. We’re talking about Hell’s Gate! Walk through the native bush and eerie clouds of geothermal steam. Soak in a rejuvenating mud spa, enjoy delicious delicacies, and watch a traditional carving being created.
If you’ve hired bikes for your road trip, be sure to put them to good use at the Redwoods Forest. With around 150 km of trails, there is plenty to explore. There are lots of great tracks for walking too.
Enjoy a relaxing night’s stay at All Seasons Holiday Park Rotorua.
Rotorua to Taupo
Distance 80km - Driving Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Enjoy a sleep-in this morning, today you’ll be driving for just over an hour to beautiful Lake Taupo. When you arrive, call in to Baked with Love on Gascoigne Street and pick up a sweet treat. This yummy café and cake shop has cabinets full of colourful cakes and delicious savouries! We suggest selecting a few goodies to enjoy as a picnic at your next stop, the Huka Falls. Witness the mesmerising beauty as more than 220,000 litres of water crashes over the falls every second! Be sure to take a walk along the track that winds through the surrounding forest – there are plenty of spots to take in great views.
For a relaxing afternoon, head to Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs and enjoy a good soak in the soothing mineral pools. Or for something just a little different, meet and cuddle the huskies at the Timberline Racing Siberian Huskies Kennel and Tours.
Park up your motorhome tonight at Lake Taupo Holiday Resort.
Taupo to Wellington
Distance 373km - Driving Time 5 hours
Today, your New Zealand road trip takes you from the heart of the North Island, to the very bottom! Have a good brekkie, pack up the campervan, and get ready to hit the road! It’s a five-hour journey today to New Zealand’s capital city. Wellington is known for its fantastic café culture, creative arts scene, and beautiful harbour.
One of the great things to do in Wellington is a visit to the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa. It’s easy to spend a day here checking out all the exhibitions and activities. Plan your visit for a Sunday and stop for brunch first at the Harbourside Market, it’s right next door.
Wellington is also home to Weta Workshops. Learn about how some of New Zealand’s big movies such as Lord of the Rings were made. Create your own keepsake at a creative workshop and explore the Weta Cave retail store.
For dinner, head to Hannahs Laneway where you can check out some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.
You’ll be ready to sleep well tonight at Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Wellington to Picton
Distance 100km - Driving Time 4 hours
It’s a big day today as you travel from the North Island to the South! Book your tickets aboard the InterIslander Ferry because you’ll be crossing the Cook Strait with your campervan. Relax on board and enjoy lunch as you take in the stunning scenery from Wellington Harbour to the Marlborough Sounds.
One of the great things to do in the South Island of New Zealand is to trek the Queen Charlotte Track. Stretching between Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds, this track offers some of the most unforgettable views in the country.
The South Island is home to many of New Zealand’s unique and precious wildlife species. One of the ways to see them is with a dolphin cruise. Watch for bottlenose, common, dusky, and Hectors dolphins. You might also spot an orca whale or cheeky fur seal. You may also like to visit the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you can meet many of New Zealand’s native birds including kererū (our huge and colourful wood pigeons!), tūī, New Zealand falcons, little blue penguins and more. You might also spot a native wētā or gecko.
Enjoy a meal of fish and chips by the water as the sun goes down before putting your feet up for the night at Picton Campervan Park
Picton to Christchurch
Distance 336km - Driving Time 4 hours and 30 minutes
Your awesome South Island trip continues today as you head to Christchurch. The big question is, are you in the mood for relaxation or adventure? Don’t worry, we’ve got both covered! For those keen on admiring nature, enjoying a stroll, and simply taking time out, we recommend a visit to Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Follow this up by taking in the epic views from the Christchurch Gondola. Once you reach the top, explore the walking tracks or just sit and take in the vista with a coffee and bite to eat at the Red Rock Café.
For those looking for an adrenaline rush, try the zipline at Christchurch Adventure Park. It’s the longest and highest in the country, at 150 metres high and over a kilometre long!
Park your campervan up for the night at the North South Holiday Park.
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
Distance 226km - Driving Time 3 hours
Your South Island road trip simply wouldn’t be complete without stopping at Lake Tekapo. Take in the captivating landscape of the sparkling turquoise lake backdropped by snow capped mountains. Don’t forget to capture a shot of the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd for your Instagram feed! And speaking of great shots, if you’re in the area in November, you’ll be treated to the breathtaking beauty of colourful lupin flowers.
To enjoy the views from the best vantage point, take the Tekapo Mt John Walkway. You’ll be treated to 360-degree panorama views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and Mackenzie Basin flats.
But the beauty of this area doesn’t end at nightfall. Lake Tekapo is a Dark Sky Reserve. Thanks to its incredibly clear dark skies, you’ll be treated to a dazzling display of millions of stars!
Park up in the beautiful grounds of Lakes Edge Holiday Park.
Lake Tekapo to Queenstown
Distance 256km - Driving Time 3 hours 10 minutes
It’s the last day of your Auckland to Queenstown road trip! Today, you’ll be enjoying some of the many great things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. And first on the list is to indulge in one of the best burgers in the world at Fergburger. Make sure you bring a good appetite though; these burgers are seriously BIG and deliciously good!
While you’re here, sample some of the region’s great wines on a Queenstown Wine Trail. Enjoy New Zealand’s famous pinot noir, sit down to a winery lunch and discover our cool climate white wine varietals. If you’re in Queenstown over winter, hit the snow and go skiing or snowboarding.
For your last night’s stay, park up your campervan at Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park.
And last of all, drop your Britz campervan rental off at our Queenstown branch at 50 Lucas Place in Frankton.
Time to book your own Auckland to Queenstown adventure?
As you can see, there’s a lot to pack in on an Auckland to Queenstown road trip! If you’re ready to experience it for yourself, take the first step and book your Britz campervan today. Follow our great road trip itinerary planner, or create your own!
The great thing about travelling by campervan is that you’ve got the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace.
With branches in Auckland, Queenstown, and Christchurch you can pick up your campervan at one branch and drop it off at another. So easy!
For more ideas and inspiration for your next New Zealand road trip, check out more of our helpful blogs and guides: