Six of New Zealand’s most scenic campsites

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Gareth Meade
22 Sep, 2021
4 Minute(s) to read

Stay in one of New Zealand’s most scenic campsites

Ah, New Zealand. Land of majestic mountains, flowing rivers, crystal clear lakes and breathtaking beaches. Whether you’re taking a road trip around the North Island or the South, wake up to some of New Zealand's most scenic landscapes every morning.

North Island

The North Island of New Zealand has beautiful beaches, spectacular lakes, and impressive mountains, so no matter what scenery you’re after, you’re sure to find it. If you're planning on picking up a motorhome, you can do so in Auckland, Wellington, or Taupo and hit the road.

While on your Taupo exploration, enjoy riding a sailboat in Lake Taupo and even get close to a Maori carving showcasing NZ heritage.
Skiers on the ski field at Whakapapa.

Whakapapa Holiday Park - Tongariro National Park

Let the sound of native birds sing you to sleep, and wake to one of the most spectacular sights in the North Island: the three peaks of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe, and Mt Ruapehu. Tongariro National Park is an explorer’s dream; take to the mountains (summer or winter!), trek through native bush, and discover cascading waterfalls. Powered and unpowered sites are available, as well as cabins and a lodge. Visit the Whakapapa Holiday Park website for more information.

Top 10 Holiday Park, Blue Lake - Rotorua

Rotorua may be famous for its geysers and thermal activity, but tucked into the surrounding hills are the striking twin lakes of Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Rotokakahi (Green Lake). When you open your door in the morning you’ll be greeted with the shimmering waters of Tikitapu, mountains rising up from all sides, and perhaps even a little sulfur smell; don’t worry, you’ll get used to that quick enough. Visit the Blue Lake Holiday Park website for more information. 

This colorful crater lake is called Champagne Pool in Waiotapu.
It’s not often you can park your motorhome or pitch your tent right on the edge of a grassy green hill overlooking the never-ending horizon of the North Island’s west coast.

Belt Road Seaside Holiday Park - Taranaki

It’s not often you can park your motorhome or pitch your tent right on the edge of a grassy green hill overlooking the never-ending horizon of the North Island’s west coast. But in Taranaki, you can. Spend your days lounging in the sun by the stunning Tasman Sea, and watch the sunset over the shores in the evening.

Other North Island suggestions

routeburn track hike

South Island

Whether you’d prefer to camp under towering mountains, or emerge from your RV to tranquil lake views, New Zealand’s South Island has it all. If you're planning on picking up a motorhome, you can do so from Queenstown, Christchurch, or Dunedin and begin your adventure.

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Punakaiki Beach Camp - Punakaiki

Fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves crashing on the shore, and wake to magnificent limestone cliffs. Just a minute’s walk down to the beach, and a short drive away from Paparoa National Park and the famous Pancake Rocks, it’s safe to say this campsite has some of the best views on the west coast. Visit the Punakaiki Beach Camp website for more information.

Rocks at Punakaiki beach.
Franz Joseph glacier.

Franz Josef Top 10 Holiday Park - Franz Josef

Few places in NZ have scenery like that of Franz Josef. Step out of your tent or campervan into another world. Surrounded by spectacular mountains and towering glaciers, Franz Josef is a dazzling place to make camp. With the remarkable Fox Glacier right on your doorstep, taking a walk or tramp beside pristine icy rivers is so irresistible you might find yourself booking a few extra days. Visit the Franz Josef Top 10 Holiday Park website for more information.  

Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park - Wanaka

The town of Wanaka is a popular place with tourists and locals alike, and it’s easy to see why. Stand in awe of the breathtaking mountain ranges in the distance, swim in the sparkling crystal waters of Lake Wanaka, and spend an afternoon wandering through the delightful township nearby. 

Other South Island suggestions