Pick-up a campervan in Auckland and enjoy a stunning New Zealand road trip, while taking in two cracking England World Cup fixtures, in Wellington and Christchurch. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to enjoy England at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and also see one of the most beautiful cities in the world in a campervan.
Fourteen teams are coming to the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia and one country will be particularly desperate for success. England has hosted the tournament four times, made the final on three occasions, but is still to win the ultimate prize in the sport. And while England has shown inconsistent form in recent seasons, they are capable of beating anyone on their day.
Feb 20, England v New Zealand, Wellington Regional Stadium
Feb 23, England v Scotland, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
February 16-19: Pick-up your campervan hire in Auckland and head south
If you’re flying into Auckland around February 16, Motorhome Republic make it easy for you to collect your camper rental and embark on your England World Cup adventure. Just enter your details and compare all the top brands – the choice is then up to you.
While the ultimate goal is to enjoy two brilliant games of cricket, arriving a few days early gives you time to collect your campervan rental and take in the beauty of New Zealand’s North Island. Starting in Auckland, there are numerous ‘must-sees’ in the City of Sails. Skycity is renowned for world-class restaurants, a casino and the 328-high Sky Tower – you can even jump off it if you want to! There’s the buzzing nightlife of the waterfront Viaduct, or venture further afield to the gorgeous Waiheke Island. Just a short ferry ride away, the relaxed atmosphere, industry-leading vineyards and impressive scenery create a truly unique holiday haven. And while parking your campervan hire in the central city is very difficult, there are numerous sites that welcome motorhomes. Look to the North Shore in particular, or Warkworth and Manukau in the suburbs.
Auckland to Tauranga
When you’re ready to head south from Auckland, it’s time for Tauranga, around 200km (under three hours’ drive) away. If you wish, take a slight deviation east to Thames. The coastline on the Coromandel is spectacular and with the sun burning down, it’s a fantastic location with acres of sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery.
However, if you’re focused on Tauranga you won’t be disappointed. The heart of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga and the nearby Mount Maunganui are major travel hot-spots. Steeped in Maori history, Tauranga has a buzzing community, with Waimarino Adventure Park and McLaren Falls Park for those of you of an outdoor disposition. The nightlife also has quite a reputation, with a number of bars and restaurants within short walking distance. Mount Maunganui is slightly more laid-back and ‘The Mount’ itself accessible by foot. The views really are something else. And if you love to surf, you’re in the right place.
Camping and motorhome accommodation options in Tauranga/Mt Maunganui:
Golden Grove Holiday Park, Mt Maunganui: Look out for special deals, with free showers and a good central location.
Tauranga Tourist Park, Tauranga: Ross and Jeni will welcome you to this popular accommodation option with powered and non-powered sites.
Omokoroa Caravan & Motorhome Park, Tauranga: Specifically designed for motorhomes, there’s plenty of space here, with a free library and BBQs. But be sure to book well in advance. All of these sites book up quickly in summer.
Tauranga to Rotorua/Taupo
After chilling out in Tauranga, it’s time to get your adventure hat on and head further south to Rotorua. Around an hour away, Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourism destinations. From geothermal spas to quad biking, parasailing and white-water rafting, Rotorua entertains thousands of campervan renters every year. If you’re putting the stove away for the evening, you have a full selection of Asian, Indian and European restaurants, while bars such as Clarke’s, Brew and The Belgian Bar are perfect for a light tipple! If you can’t drag yourself away from Rotorua, here are some accommodation options:
Holdens Bay Holiday Park, Rotorua: Thanks to 52 powered sites there’s plenty of choice at this highly rated campsite. Clean and well-equipped, it offers competitive rates.
Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park, Rotorua: One of the more established NZ brands, Top 10 offer powered and non-powered sites, along with wireless internet and a dump station.
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park: Unique to New Zealand, this 4-star site has free thermal hot pools and park-like grounds. Just get in early and make sure the pools are open for your stay.
Rotorua to Taupo
It’s only another 80km south and you’re in Taupo. You may well require a night of accommodation here, as the lake, Polynesian Spas, museums, waterfalls, pubs and bars make Taupo an awesome summertime destination. Glorious on a summer’s day, New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, offers numerous on-water adventures, or you may just wish to chill out on the beach. Another ‘must-do’ is Huka Falls, a set of waterfalls where you can witness real hydro power. The high-speed excitement of a jetboat ride may also be tempting. If you do stay in Taupo, here are some options for your motorhome rental:
Lake Taupo TOP 10 Holiday Resort: A selection of powered and non-powered sites with plenty of space. Communal facilities are excellent – there’s event SKY TV on a 42” LCD screen.
All Seasons Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels, Taupo: As part of the Kiwi Holiday Parks group, these guys pride themselves on exceptional camping options. Friendly and highly rated.
Great Lake Holiday Park, Taupo: Around 3km from town, this is a gorgeous location in park-like grounds. Perfect for walks and mountain biking if you’re of an active disposition.
Taupo to Wellington
It’s time to set your sights on the massive Pool A, ICC Cricket World Cup fixture between England and New Zealand at Wellington Regional Stadium, one of the finest venues in New Zealand (also called the Cake Tin). No doubt when the England games were announced, this was a match that stood out for players and supporters. The Black Caps have an exceptionally strong one-day unit and are also hosts, so will probably go in as favourites. As a day/night game, there’s sure to be a cracking atmosphere with the sun setting and the lights going on. A full house is guaranteed for one of the most mouthwatering fixtures of the tournament.
Now your journey from Taupo to Wellington is your longest on the trip so far. Covering 372km in total, it’s a good five hours in your campervan rental at least. Therefore, you can either leave early on the day of the game or travel down to Wellington the night before. This is a great option, because Wellington is not only the capital of New Zealand, it’s also cultural nirvana with an eclectic nightlife, the Te Papa museum and a special atmosphere all its own. Many Kiwis believe there’s no better spot in New Zealand on a sunny day than Welly!
The home of government, the Beehive, Wellington prides itself on offering a completely different feel to the hustle and bustle of Auckland. The Rimutaka Ranges are in the distance, while Wellington Zoo, the Botanic Garden and Princess Bay are all worth a visit. But it’s likely that when you arrive in the city, the energy around Courtenay Place and the CBD will overtake you. Just chill out and enjoy one of the many fantastic bars and cafes on offer. And parking up for the night is easy, although you may have to travel away from town a wee bit:
Camp Elsdon, Porirua: Around a 30-minute drive north, this is worth the effort. Open all year long, it’s situated on 5.5 hectares of DOC land, surrounded by native bush.
Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park: In upper Hutt, this eco-friendly site offers 36 powered campsites at very good rates.
Capital Gateway Motor Inn: This four-star campervan park has been around ten years and is only five minutes from the Interislander Ferry.
Feb 20 to Feb 23: Wellington to Christchurch, via Picton, Blenheim and Kaikoura
You may wish to spend a night or two in Wellington after an exciting England World Cup fixture, but you only have a few days to enjoy the sights and sounds before the next game. From Wellington you are now heading to Christchurch, but first you need to make a couple of stops at some iconic Kiwi destinations.
When travelling from the North Island across to the South Island, you need to board the Interislander ferry with your New Zealand camper hire. Don’t worry, Motorhome Republic can take care of this for you – just talk to our customer service team about the cost and paperwork.
Once you have arrived at Picton in the South Island, collect your camper and hit the road. You may decide to take a look around and Picton is a delightful spot. Located close to the Marlborough Sounds, this stunning coastline encapsulates hills and bays – a real tourist spot. After soaking up the surf, drive around 30 minutes south to beautiful Blenheim.
Blenheim is the home of gorgeous food and drink, with wine-growing Marlborough delivering quality vintage. A sunshine hot-spot with 20+ wineries, you can really enjoy the good life here – just make sure you have a sober driver! A true outdoorsy region, perhaps play a round at Marlborough Golf Club or stroll through Pollard Park. When parking up your motorhome hire, here are some sites to consider:
Blenheim Top 10 Holiday Park: Offering special offers on wine trails and bike hire booking, this is an impressive choice with both powered and non-powered sites.
Spring Creek Holiday Park, Spring Creek: Located 5km north of Blenheim, this is a great fishing spot. Book in advance though, it does get busy at peak times.
For a cheaper option, there are numerous Department of Conversation sites in Marlborough where you can Freedom Camp, especially back towards Picton and towards Marlborough Sounds.
As you journey down the east coast of the South Island, Kaikoura is just 128km from Blenheim. Rated one of the premier Kiwi tourist destinations, Kaikoura is wildlife nirvana. The whale watching takes centre stage, but dolphins, seals and sea birds are all common visitors. From the Peninsula Walkway to traditional Fyffe House, a day trip may not suffice with your camper rental. There are numerous coastal walks to enjoy or organised marine tours to sign up for. Fancy a night in Kaikoura? There is a Top 10 site, along with various other holiday parks. There are also freedom camping sites, but only for up to two days.
Kaikoura to Christchurch
The final leg of your trip sees you travel around 180km (two-and-a-half hours) down to Christchurch. Take your time on the coastal roads and take in the gorgeous scenery on the way. It’s a day match, so you may wish to arrive the night before or set off early on the day itself – the first ball is scheduled to be bowled at 11am.
Not a traditional cricket fixture, there will still be no love lost as the old enemies take to the field. Scotland joined the ICC in 1994 and failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2011. England will start as hot favourites, but the atmosphere at Hagley Park Oval promises to be special.
And after more than 1000km, you will have arrived at your final destination – Christchurch. Don’t be surprised if you want to carry on travelling the South Island. It’s a remarkable, mystical landscape, with something different around every corner. You’ve come this far, so carry on driving!
Let MotorhomeRepublic.com get you there – we know campervans inside and out and cannot wait for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.