4 Week Roadtrip Itinerary through New Zealands North and South Island

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking landscapes and cultural wonders of New Zealand, as we guide you on a four-week campervan adventure from Auckland to the South Island and back. In this ultimate road trip itinerary, you’ll traverse rugged coastlines, traverse snow-capped mountains, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and history of Aotearoa.

Over the next four weeks, we’ll take you on a journey of discovery, from the bustling streets of Auckland to the serene beauty of the South Island’s fjords and glaciers. Whether you’re a nature lover, thrill-seeker, or culture enthusiast, this itinerary has something for everyone.

Prepare to be captivated by the majestic beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes as you navigate winding roads, explore charming towns, and camp under the stars in some of the country’s most scenic locations. With flexibility to tailor your adventure to your interests and preferences, this itinerary promises an experience of a lifetime.

So buckle up, pack your sense of adventure, and join us as we embark on an epic road trip through the heart of New Zealand, creating memories to last a lifetime. From Auckland to the South Island and back again, let’s explore all that this beautiful country has to offer, one kilometer at a time.


Day 1: Auckland to Waitomo Caves

Pick up your campervan from Camper4Hire in Auckland and make your way south to the Waitomo Caves region. Depending on what time you picked up the campervan, consider a stop at the Hamilton Gardens on you way and stay at a nearby campsite or holiday park for example the Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park.

2.45h / 192km


Day 2: Waitomo CAves to Tongarriro

Explore the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a guided tour before heading south towards the Tongariro National Park. Stay at National Park Village or close by and be prepared for an early start the next morning. 


2h / 140km

Day 3: Walk the Tongarriro Crossing

Discover the dramatic landscapes of Tongariro National Park. Embark on the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing, hike to Taranaki Falls, or explore the park’s other stunning trails. The Tongarriro Alpine Crossing takes about 7 to 8 hours and offers stunning views of volcanoes, emerald lakes, and unique landscapes. Make sure to bring warm clothes as it is quite windy at the top. 

Pro Tip: park the car at the end of the track and take a shuttle to the start of the track, so you don’t have to wait around once you are done (Booking essential!). To relax your sore muscles after the hike, head over to the Tokaanu Thermal Pools.

Hiking not your thing? Consider renting some bikes in Turangi and cycle along the river for beautiful views. 

Freedom Camping Otaki Beach

Day 4: Tongarriro to Otaki

Today is a bit of a driving day to cover some distance. To break up the drive, stop for a walk at Whitecliff boulders. Spend the night at the Otaki Beach Freedom Campsite and watch the sunset over the beach with a glass of wine in your hands. 


3.5h / 250km 

Day 5: Otaki to Picton

Head down to the Wellington Ferry Terminal to take the vehicle ferry over to Picton. Consider a stop at the Fishermans Table Restaurant in Paekakariki with gorgeous views over the cost. Once you arrive in Picton, check out the boat trips on offer to book in for the next day. Spend the night in Picton.

5h / 70km

Marlborough Sounds

Day 6: Picton & Marlborough Sounds

Explore the Marlborough Sounds/Queen Charlotte Track. The best way to do that is taking a water taxi out into the sounds to drop you off at the starting point and then choose a return pickup location depending on how much you want to walk. You can find some recommendations HERE.

Our recommendation is the 3h walk Resolution Bay – Furneaux Lodge.

Day 7: Picton to Kaiteriteri

A beautiful scenic drive through the Marlborough Sounds towards the Abel Tasman Park. Consider stopping in Nelson or Mapua for a coffee or lunch and fit in a kayak paddle in the afternoon. Spend a night in Kaiteriteri or close by. 

3.15h / 200km


Day 8: Kaiteriteri to Punakaiki

Book a boat cruise out to the Split Apple Rock, hang out at the beach or take a boat out into the Abel Tasman Park before heading towards Punakaiki.


Helikopterflug Fox Glacier

Day 9: PUnakaiki to Franz Josef & Fox Glacier

Explore the Pancake rocks & Blowhole before making your way towards Franz Josef & Fox Glacier. Stop in Hokitika for a wander at all the crafty stores. Book in a helicopter tour over the glaciers or consider a glacier walk. 

3h / 220km

Lake Matheson

Day 10: Fox Glacier to Lake Hawea

Wander around Lake Matheson to get a view over to Mount Cook, before moving on towards Lake Hawea. A great place to spend the night is the Kidds Bush Reserve Campsite right on the lake.

3.45h / 250km


Day 11: Lake Hawea to Wanaka

Just take in the beautiful views over Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. This is one of our favourites drives to just soak up the beauty.

Wander along the waterfront in Wanaka or consider renting a bike and cycle from the city center along the water front and the Clutha River towards Albert Town. Consider staying at Outlet Camp Wanaka or Glendhu Bay Holiday Park.

45min/ 42km

Herbstfarben bei einem Spaziergang entlang des Clutha River vom Outlet Camp Wanaka/ Wanaka

Day 12: Wanaka

Wanaka offers one of the most beautiful day walks. Depending on your fitness level, consider the famous Roys Peak with stunning views, or for an easier option, explore Diamond Lake and the Rocky Mountains that also offer amazing lake views. 



Day 13: Wanaka to Queenstown

Drive to Queenstown via Cardrona, stop for a stroll in beautiful Arrowtown. Consider taking the gondola up to Bob’s Peak for stunning views over Queenstown and Lake Whakatipu. Consider spending the night at Driftaway Queenstown.

1.5h / 70km

Tonklippen Omarama

Day 14: Queenstown to Lake Pukaki

In the morning head towards Lake Pukaki. Stop at the Clay Cliffs on your way to admire their stunning formations. Stay at one of the many freedom campsites along Lake Pukaki for the night or if you want to break up the drive, stay at the beautiful freedom campsite outside of Twizel with stunning views over Lake Ruataniwha. 


Sealy Tarns Track, Aoraki Mount Cook

Day 15: Aoraki / Mount Cook

Drive towards Aoraki / Mount Cook – one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand. Walk the Hooker Valley Track, a very easy and flat walk towards the glaciers or it you are wanting a bit more of a hike, consider the Sealy Tarns Track. Spend the night at the White Horse Hill Campground in Aoraki.

Day 16: Mount Cook to Christchurch

Make your way to Christchurch with a stop in Tekapo to get that iconic photo of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Spend the night

4.5h / 330km

Day 17: Christchurch / Akaroa

Spend the day exploring the city’s attractions, such as the Botanic Gardens, punting on the Avon River, take the gondola up to soak up the views over Lyttelton Harbour or head over to Akaroa. Consider staying at the South Brighton Holiday Park, offering convenient facilities and proximity to the beach.

Day 18: Christchurch to Kaikoura

Drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura, enjoying the picturesque coastal views along the way. In Kaikoura, embark on an albatross tour or dophing watching tour. Stay at a freedom campsite about 20minutes north of Kaikoura on the beach – if you are lucky, you’ll wake up with dophins swimming on the beach.

2.5h / 180km

Day 19: Kaikoura to Wellington

Take a leisurely drive back towards Picton and take the ferry back to Wellington in the afternoon. Stay either in Wellington at the Owhiro Bay Freedom Campground right on the beach or if you feel like driving a bit further, go up to Martinborough, a cute little town with lots of vineyards.

2h / 155km

Day 20: Wellington to Napier

Continue your journey to Napier, known for its stunning Art Deco architecture and thriving wine scene. Explore the local wineries in the Hawke’s Bay region or take a stroll along Marine Parade. For camping, consider staying at the Clifton Reserve Campground, offering basic facilities and beautiful ocean views.

4.5h / 325km

Day 21: Napier

Napier is renowned for its Art Deco architecture that transports you back in time. Explore the city’s streets and consider joining a guided Art Deco tour to delve deeper into the history and stories behind these iconic structures. If you can time it right, then the Annual Art Deco Festival in Napier is the event of the year. A trip to Napier wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the region’s renowned wineries. Consider scheduling a wine tour to explore multiple vineyards and sample a variety of exceptional wines. Check out more tips on Napier in our Napier Blog Post. 

Day 22: Napier to Taupo

Drive from Napier to Taupo, situated on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Visit Huka Falls or relax in the natural hot springs at the DeBretts Hot Springs. Stay at the Whakaipō Bay Recreation Reserve Freedom Camp just outside Taupo right on the lake.


Discover Rotorua's Wonders with Camper4Hire: Your Ultimate Motorhome Holiday Guide | Camper Miete Neuseeland

Day 23: Taupo to Rotorua

Head to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal wonders and Maori culture. Explore Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland or experience traditional Maori culture at Te Puia. Also check out more tips on Rotorua in our Rotorua Blog Post.

1h / 80km

Day 24: Rotorua to Waihi Beach

Drive from Rotorua to Waihi Beach, a picturesque coastal town known for its stunning beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Spend the day swimming, sunbathing, or exploring the local cafes and shops. For camping, consider staying at Bowentown Beach Holiday Park, offering beachfront camping facilities.

2h/ 115km

Day 25: Waihi Beach to Coromandel

Head to the Coromandel Peninsula along the east coast, famous for its pristine beaches and lush rainforests. Visit Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach, or the town of Coromandel. Stay at Matarangi Freedom Camping, right on the beach.

2.5h / 150km

Day 26: coromandel

Spend an extra day exploring the Coromandel Peninsula’s attractions. Take a hike in the Coromandel Coastal Walkway, relax on the beaches, or visit local art galleries and cafes. Enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of this coastal paradise. 

Day 27: coromandel to Auckland

Make your way back towards Auckland via Coromandel’s West coast, a stunning scenic drive right along the water. If you have time, take the slower router via Miranda Springs and Kawakawa Bay. Stay the night at one of Aucklands many campsites, check our recommendations out HIER.

3h / 200km

Day 28: Auckland

On your last day, spend some time exploring Auckland. Wander through the CBD, head to the Auckland Museum or take the ferry over to Waiheke and check our the many vineyards and the tranquil atmosphere before returning your campervan to us by 5pm. 

This 28 day itinerary showcases our recommended highlights of the New Zealand’s North and South Island. Feel free to adjust the itinerary based on your interests and add additional stops along the way. Enjoy the freedom of campervan travel and create unforgettable memories and don’t forget to tag #camper4hire on your New Zealand Campervan adventure!

Schafft Erinnerungen fürs Leben in einem unserer Wohnmobile, die in Auckland/Neuseeland zur Verfügung stehen. Buche dein Abenteuer mit Camper4Hire HIER

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