A motorhome road trip between Christchurch and Auckland allows you to explore many of New Zealand’s most notable locations. You’ll jaunt through coastal communities, where you will be able to enjoy picturesque beaches. You’ll also encounter opportunities to hike and bike, cultural events that allow you to explore local culture, and scenic landscapes unique to the region. As a result, your 17-hour drive from Christchurch to Auckland is going to take much longer, thanks to plenty of must-see spots along the way. Before you hop into your motorhome hire New Zealand and hit the road, devise an itinerary that suits your unique tastes. Consider these top spots located between Christchurch and Auckland as you plan an unforgettable road trip.
Hamner Springs is just 90 minutes away from Christchurch, making it an early stop in your road trip to Auckland. Park your motorhome hire New Zealand here for a day spent outdoors. Hanmer Springs is best known for its thermal pools and spa, making this spot a relaxing pit stop on your road trip. Mountains and forests surround this tourist-friendly town, creating a stunning landscape. In addition to enjoying local shopping and cuisine, you can find countless outdoor activities, whether you want to hike, bike or swim. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is a can’t-miss during your visit. Here, you can take a dip in rock pools, sulphur pools, and aqua therapy pools. You can even enjoy a private thermal pool experience. One- and two-day passes are available, allowing you to enjoy this unique setting to kick off your road trip.
Picton sits on the north coast of New Zealand’s South Island, an area you’ll pass through on your way to Auckland. Known as the Heart of the Sounds, Picton functions today as both a fishing village and a port, thanks to its waterfront location. It’s no surprise, then, that outdoor, water-based activities abound in the area. Here, you can hop aboard one of many cruise lines in the area and tour Marlborough Sound by boat. You can also visit the Kaipupu Point Wildlife Sanctuary in Picton Harbour, which features a variety of native birds. Picton also boasts several walks and tracks perfect for outdoor exploration. Most notably, the Queen Charlotte Track spans an impressive 71 kilometres and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s top tramping tracks.
Enjoy metropolitan amenities when you visit Wellington, perhaps best known for its impressive culinary scene. Foodies will delight at the array of enticing restaurants in the city’s compact downtown. Likewise, nightlife is plentiful in the area, as are cultural activities such as plays and concerts. Before you hit the town, be sure to visit Mount Victoria, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city. Thanks to its coastal location, Wellington offers plenty of outdoor activities as well. You can stroll along the waterfront or stake out a spot at Houghton Bay, one of the city’s top beaches.
Rotorua has plenty to offer its visitors, from outdoor adventures to cultural activities. Rotorua boasts an impressive 18 lakes and three rivers, making it a haven for anyone who loves the water. You can enjoy fishing, swimming, and paddleboarding on the area’s many waterways. Rotorua even features natural hot pools, which are worth checking out during your visit. Outdoor adventure isn’t limited to the water, however. Explore the natural beauty of the area on a canopy tour or treewalk.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this uniquely New Zealand phenomenon. Spend an evening touring the caves with a guide, learning about these glowworms. Then, watch as thousands of glowworms emit their luminescent light and brighten the night sky. Your tour will take you on a boat through the Glowworm Grotto, where you’ll enjoy a front-row seat as this phenomenon unfolds.
As you approach Auckland, you have another opportunity to enjoy a coastal scene and all of the water activities and amenities that go along with it. The Coromandel is just a 90-minute drive from Auckland. In fact, a passenger ferry connects the two regions. This region includes nine main towns. Thanks to its coastal location, The Coromandel is home to several popular beaches, including Hot Water Beach, New Chum, and Cathedral Cove. Other activities include cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail and hiking through Karangahake Gorge.
A journey from Christchurch to Auckland begins on New Zealand’s South Island and takes you across the Cook Straight onto the North Island. Along the way, you can relax on some of New Zealand’s most pristine beaches, enjoy metropolitan cuisine and nightlife, enjoy a boat tour of picturesque locations, and even see thousands of glowworms light up the night. As a result, you will have plenty of spots to park your motorhome hire New Zealand, get out, and explore during your journey. These pit stops won’t simply break up a long drive; they will also allow you to explore New Zealand’s unique landscapes and adventures.