The North Island of New Zealand is perhaps one of the most stunning, vibrant, and action packed places on Earth. Throughout the North Island you will find adventure around every corner, stunning scenery, and no end of amazing foods and activities to enjoy. It can feel so overwhelming to try and see it all in just a single trip! Especially if you are preparing for a trip through a campervan rental New Zealand excursion.
If you are planning correctly, 14 days is a decent amount of time to get all of the most exciting areas on your checklist. When you visit North Island, here is how you should best take advantage of your surroundings and get the most out of your 14-day road trip itinerary. With a bit of determination and a healthy amount of adventure, you can see everything you could ever dream of seeing in just two weeks.
Campervan Rental NZ, is the best way to see the North Island. You will be able to see every edge of the North Island, on your own terms. Once you have arrived in Auckland, and have got yourself into your campervan rental, you can get started!
Related Article – South Island New Zealand | Ultimate 14-Day Itinerary
Day One – Relax and Explore Auckland
Day one is likely going to be a more relaxing one. You have most likely just gone through a long day of travel and flights, and hitting the road will unlikely be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list. Once you go through your campervan hire Auckland process, you should take some time to explore Auckland. In and around Auckland you will find plenty of things to do from the Sky Tower to Waiheke Island just off the coast of the city. Spend your first night in Auckland, before hitting the road refreshed and ready to tackle New Zealand’s North Island.
Day Two – The Bay of Islands
Head north along the coast and stop at the beautiful coastal towns along the way. Between Mangawhai Heads and Whangarei are some amazing beaches that allow for free parking of your camper van. This lets you get out, enjoy the beaches immediately, and interact with the relaxed and laid-back locals. This drive will take about two hours, and will leave you with plenty to do with the rest of your day.
After spending a few hours relaxing by the beach, head up a bit further along the coast and make a stop in Paihia, The Bay of Islands. Here you will get the chance to experience the stunning upper jutting stone islands, beautiful local villages, and spend the night in your campervan for cheap.
Day Three – Cape Reinga
On day three, you will head up to the very northern tip of the North Island, at Cape Reinga. Cape Reinga is a stunning peninsula that is famous for it’s quaint little lighthouse tower, sand dunes, and striking color contrasts in the nature around you. Here you can camp up in the campervan, experience amazing hiking trails, and spend some time enjoying the beauty of the northernmost tip of New Zealand.
After spending the day hiking Cape Reinga, you will then drive back down the coast to Whangarei Heads to spend the night. Here you will find a gorgeous beachfront area known as Ocean Beach Car Park, where you can camp in the campervan for free.
Day Four – Karekare falls
Day Four you are going to want to wake up bright and early, and stock up on food and water as you won’t be having many chances to get them. You will head west to the beautiful area of Karekare beach. Here you will get the chance to see the Karekare falls, and take some of the most beautiful photos in your life. You can swim in the reservoir, and experience the colossal waterfalls up close and personally.
Just north of Karekare falls, you will find the Piha beach area. Piha beach is where you will find cafes, and restaurants to refuel yourself. In addition, you will have plenty of spots to park the Campervan and prepare yourself for the long drive ahead.
Day Five/Six – Coromandel
On day five, you will drive up to the Coromandel Peninsula. In Coromandel, you will find amazing historic landmarks and cute little attractions that harken back to the gold mining past that the city came from. Here you can find the Driving Creek forest train that will take you on a ride through the untapped wildlife; you can also drive a bit to the famous Hot Water Beach where you will be able to dig out little holes in the sand, and have your own hot mud bath!
The Coromandel peninsula is massive, and will take at least two days to fully explore. Make sure you see the village of Coromandel, Hot Water Beach, and Cathedral Cove while you are there.
Day Seven/Eight – Hobbiton Village
Day seven is going to be a long day of driving, and hiking, so make sure you are prepared. You will start the day off by driving a few hours to the striking little village of Matamata. Here you will find the legendary Hobbiton Village where the films The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit were filmed. This quaint and fantastical village is a must-see even if you aren’t a fan of the series–it’s just so cute!
After exploring Middle Earth and Hobbiton, you will head to Mount Maunganui just to the east. Mount Maunganui is a cannot-miss sight, and when hiked to the top you will find some of the most breathtaking views in all of New Zealand. In this little town you will be able to end your day.
On the eighth day, we recommend spending your morning/early afternoon in the village of Mount Maunganui. This quaint little town has plenty to see, taste and do; and if you were too tired to hike the mountain on day seven, now is your chance! You can also take the day to explore the city of Tauranga, and get it on all of the local activities and action here. We recommend that you spend another night here, and head out on day nine.
Day Nine – Taupo
On day nine, you will want to drive down to Taupo. Taupo is a lakeside village that has tons of exciting and high-octane activities to scratch your thrill-seeking itch. Taupo is home to volcanic landscapes, mountain biking, jet-boating, hiking, and more.
Make sure that on the way to Taupo, you stop at the thermal village of Rotorua. It is on the way from Mount Maunganui, and is a wonderful little village with deep maori history and thermal bath springs. You can easily spend a few hours here before moving on to Taupo.
Day Ten/Eleven – Tongariro National Park
Just on the other side of the lake from Taupo, you will find the gorgeous and vast Tongariro National Park. Here you will likely want to spend at least two days–this is due to the endless possibilities for exploration. Here you will find plenty in the way of natural beauty, and the national park is even home to three active volcanoes! One of which is the famous Ngauruhoe, which was used as Mt. Doom in The Lord of The Rings.
Tongariro national park is also home to thermal pools, rolling forest parks, and small villages peppered around the area. For those who enjoy being outdoors and hiking, Tongariro National Park might just be your favorite stop on the entire trip.
Day Twelve – Napier
On day twelve you will head to the coastal city of Napier. Napier is a gorgeous city set among the regional ‘wine country’ of the Hawke’s Bay. Here you will be able to enjoy fine dining, excellent wines, and beautiful seaside views from your Campervan. This is a great opportunity to clean yourself up from the road and hiking, and enjoy the finer things in life. Coming up on the end of your trip, you will want to spend it unwinding and laying back on a beach much like how you started. Napier and its vast beaches and vineyards are the perfect place to bring the hiking and mountainous portion of your trip to a close.
Day Thirteen/Fourteen – Wellington
Day Thirteen/Fourteen will be entirely devoted to the capital city of Wellington. This charming little city is much smaller than Auckland, but deserves at least two days to itself. This is because you will want to explore every nook and cranny of the city to get the full experience. In Wellington you will find fun attractions from the world famous Cable Car; the Ecosanctuary; and plenty of historic museums that give insight into the rich and exotic history of the North Island. Wellington is the ideal place to bring your North Island trip to a close; and will send you off with charming local culture, and plenty of relaxing and entertaining activities.
New Zealand’s North Island is a world of its own in many ways. Exploring the vast volcanic landscape, the endless beaches, and remote locations can feel like you have left Earth entirely. If you are interested in the idea of a Campervan Rental New Zealand trip, this is the best way to do it!