North Island of New Zealand has some of the most spectacular tourist attractions in the country. For those interested in a self-drive holiday, Britz Northern Adventure is a short, four-day escape that allows you to see the best this area has to offer. Rich in history and culture, New Zealand also offers a wide variety of wildlife and the perfect mix of busy cities and laid-back country towns. The best time of year to visit is summer, where all of the roads are accessible and you can make the most of the water activities on offer. Whenever you decide to go, this road trip will be a once in a life time opportunity that you will never forget. Don't hesitate to book your next holiday choose your campervan today.
Auckland to Auckland
Best Time of the Year
- Waiwera Thermal Mineral Pools
- Bay of Islands
- Whangaroa Harbour
- Cape Reinga
- Sheep World
Auckland to Waipu
Distance 140km - Driving Time 2 hours 7 minutes
After landing in Auckland, hop on a free bus to the Britz depot to pick up your campervan, but make sure you rest up before hitting the road. If you choose to explore Auckland in the morning, be sure to head over to the famous Sky Tower where you can get panoramic views of the city from over 190 metres above the ground. For those up for an adrenalin rush try SkyJump, where you can freefall 192 metres at 85 kilometres an hour. When leaving Auckland, head north, over the Harbour Bridge and travel along the Hibiscus Coast Highway towards Orewa. Then head inland for just over an hour until you reach Camp Waipu Cove, Waipu. A non-powered site is $34 per night and the campground offers kitchens, showers, toilets and a laundry. The campground is located just minutes' walk from the beach, and a five-minute drive into the Waipu town centre.
Waipu to Paihia, Bay of Islands
Distance 113km - Driving Time 2 hours 7 minutes
There is so much to see and do in the Bay of Islands that you'll want a whole day there. The countryside along the drive is beautiful, and you can stop for lunch at the historic Hikurangi Hotel which is believed to be built around 1880. Your first stop in the Bay of Islands should be Russell, which holds an important place in the history of New Zealand for being the first capital city, the first European settlement and the country's first seaport. Check in at the Bay of Islands Holiday Park which is a great base to explore the area. A site will cost you from $32 for two adults, with extra adults costing from $16 per night. The Bay of Islands has something for everyone, from Action World for the more adventurous, to Rainbow Falls and Paihia Harbour for spectacular scenic views. There are hiking trails, guided cycling tours and wildlife cruises where you can hope to spot whales and the local dolphin population, rumoured to be around 500 strong. For a history lesson, head over to Waitangi, the place where the Waitangi Treaty was signed, considered the founding document of New Zealand. You can also choose to visit Pompallier House, and Pompallier Mission 1842 as well as the Russell Museum for an insight into the integration of Maori culture in modern New Zealand.
Paihia to Cape Reinga
Distance 228km - Driving Time 3 hours 19 minutes
Spend the day meandering up through the northern coast of New Zealand stopping at Whangaroa Harbour. This area is dotted with ancient volcanoes, lush green rainforest and home to many endangered plants. Take a camera, because the views from the lookouts are worth the detour. If you're interested in trying to catch a fish for your dinner, stop in at Houhora Harbour, where you will find two boat ramps, and plenty of supply shops for your bait, ice and other fishing needs. Snapper, trevally and kingfish are in abundance here, with the most recently recorded snapper caught weighing in at 10.3kg. From here, head up to Ahipara Holiday Park, set on 90 mile beach and the perfect base to explore Cape Reinga, the most north-western tip of the North Island of New Zealand. A site will cost $36 for two adults per night. Rich in Maori history, culture and tradition this area is a vast landscape of untouched wilderness. Activities on offer include surfing, kite surfing, quad biking, Blokart Riding, sand boarding, horse-riding and digging for shellfish (depending on conditions).
Cape Reinga to Baylys Beach
Distance 283km - Driving Time 3 Hours 50 Minutes
The journey back down the western coast of the north island will take you through rainforests, lakes and rolling hills. Stop in at Kaikohe, a small historic town that is a good place to unwind and grab a bite to eat. The Bank Bar offers a wide variety of snacks, meals and drinks for the weary traveller. Continue the drive down past Dargaville on to Baylys Beach set on the Kauri Coast, famous for its untamed wilderness and recreational activities. Baylys Beach Holiday Park is located within walking distance of the remote beaches along the coast. They also have quad bike hire available and a café next door. A non-powered site will set you back from $16 per adult per night.
Baylys Beach to Auckland
Distance 188km - Driving Time 2 Hours 28 minutes
From Baylys Beach, head back down towards Auckland. It's not a trip to New Zealand without stopping in at Sheep World where you can watch sheepdogs in action, learn about the shearing process as well as meet some of New Zealand's wildlife. Entry is $28 per adult and the shows run 3 times per day. From there, the drive back to Auckland is less than an hour away, where you can drop your campervan back to the Britz depot.