There are numerous reasons to follow New Zealand in a camper hire at the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Firstly, they have an exciting young team with some truly world class performers and play exciting cricket. And secondly, buying tickets for their Cricket World Cup 2015 fixtures means you get to sample the very best that New Zealand has to offer. This road trip incorporates two weeks during the heart of the Kiwi summer, with wine, stunning scenery, beaches and a journey into the gorgeous North Island. You drift out to the spectacular east coast, then head inland, before arriving in Napier, before travelling north again into Hamilton. And Motorhome Republic can get you there as we compare the best deals for motorhome rental online.
Feb 28, New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland
March 8, New Zealand v Afghanistan, McLean Park, Napier
March 13, New Zealand v Bangladesh, Seddon Park, Hamilton
Match One, February 28, New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland
One of sport’s most enduring rivalries, the Black Caps and arch enemies the Aussies will face off at Eden Park in what’s promising to be a day/night classic at the ICC World Cup 2015. Once you have picked up a World Cup camper or rental car, just head to Auckland and start savouring the atmosphere. Not only are these two countries hosting the event, they are also hotly fancied to do well and make the semifinals, so this group fixtures should be crucial. One of the many Cricket World Cup dates to mark in your calendar.
Where to stay in Auckland:
While campgrounds in the central city are few and far between, there are still parking options for your motorhome. Obviously if you are arriving a day or so before the game, you will need to book a site. And remember, the Cricket World Cup is a massive event and demand for accommodation will be incredibly high so book in advance. Also, trying to find a park near the ground on the day of the game will be pretty much impossible, so make other arrangements, such as public transport / taxi / shared lift.
There are numerous campervan sites available, so your choice depends on budget and location, and whether you want to be closer to the city for a quicker journey to the match or if you’d like a more scenic accommodation option. Here are some options:
Avondale Motor Park, 46 Bollard Avenue. Only 10km from the CBD, this is about as close as you can get to the city and Eden Park itself, which is a little way out of town. It’s a holiday, camping and caravan park with discounts for group bookings, a communal kitchen and TV room, with good facilities for young ones.
Takapuna Beach Holiday Park, 22 The Promenade. Takapuna is one of the most popular North Shore spots in Auckland, with great bars, restaurants, cinemas and a thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere. This park is close to the beach with extensive camping sites, a dump station and plenty of shops nearby. Only 45 minutes from the airport.
Manukau Top 10 Holiday Park, 902 Great South Road. A highly regarded facility, Manukau is less than 30 minutes from Eden Park in South Auckland. It has 40 spacious powered sites, alongside BBQ areas and laundry room. Very close to the airport, just 15 minutes away.
Big Bay Holiday Park, 271 Big Bay Road. Now the location may be intimidating, with an hour’s drive to the city, but this park is a stunning option. It’s quite small, but there are beaches galore, with fantastic wildlife and golf courses to enjoy. If this is too much of a trek, consider it as you travel south around the North Island. A real camping gem.
Match Two, March 8, New Zealand v Afghanistan, McLean Park, Napier
The eight-day trip south from Auckland to Napier covers around 400km, so you have plenty of time to really get to grips with the varied attractions of the North Island. Then at the end of it, you get to see a very rare fixture in sport: New Zealand v Afghanistan! Not exactly an established name in cricket, the sport has actually been played in the Middle East region for more than 150 years, but a national federation was only set up in 1995. It’s their first one-day World Cup, although they competed in the 20/20 version three times. New Zealand will of course be hot favourites, but won’t be underestimating the Afghan team, which has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, having beaten both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
New Zealand Cricket World Cup itinerary heads south
But before you witness the first-ever international match between the Black Caps and Afghanistan, you have eight days to lap up some of the most breathtaking coastal vistas the southern hemisphere has to offer as you travel New Zealand. You can of course vary your itinerary, but here is a rough guide to all the hot-spots.
You depart Auckland and head south on SH1 towards Pukekohe, then go onto SH2 just before Pokeno heading east. This will lead you to Thames via State Highway 25 and takes around 90 minutes. You are now in the Coromandel, which is renowned for beaches, hiking, watersports and Kiwi relaxation – it’s very difficult to leave.
After the busy, urban sprawl of Auckland, you now have to adapt to a more laid-back environment. Although small, Thames is perfectly formed. And if you possess an energetic disposition, the Kauaeranga Valley at Coromandel Forest Park is a short drive away. Here you can hike through the bush, with nature’s offerings aplenty. It’s also tourist-friendly, with numerous tracks to enjoy. You can step back in time at the Thames School of Mines and Mineralogical Museum or enjoy a slice of culture at the Thames Society of Arts Gallery. But Thames is all about breathing in the gorgeous Kiwi air and transporting yourself to an idyllic environment. If you decide to stay here, there are a few campervan sites available.
Where to stay in Thames:
Te Puru Holiday Park, 473 Thames Coast Road. Friendly and very busy during the summer months, powered sites start at less than $20 a night, although that may vary nearer the tournament, and there are fine facilities on offer including a good-sized kitchen, coin-operated showers, a playground and sporting options nearby.
Miranda Holiday Park, 595 Front Miranda Road. Twenty minutes south of Thames, this park has had very positive customer reviews and has a modern feel with plenty of extras – even a massage therapist. With day trips and various other specials in-house, you won’t go far wrong with your camper at Miranda.
Department of Conservation Campsites. This is an ideal budget option, with camping available in the Thames area, with a small fee sometimes expected. One example is the Whangaiterenga, Kauaeranga Valley site, which costs just $10 a night per adult ($5 per child).
Camper rental hits the beaches
Thames to Waihi, via Whangamata, 90km, 90 minute-drive
It’s now time to head to the east coast via State Highway 25 to Whangamata. This is less than an hour’s drive to another hidden gem of the North Island. Whangamata is especially popular with locals looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Auckland city. As you would expect, the golden beaches are well worth sampling, with 4km of glorious sand to chill out on. Cycle trails are also popular, along with other outdoor pursuits such as paddle boarding. Grab some lunch at Craig’s Traditional Fish & Chips, Soul Burger or the eclectic Lazy Lizard Cafe.
If you wish to stay the night, Whangamata Motor Camp is a great option, but we’re taking you just another 30 minutes down the road to Waihi. Another glistening coastal hot-spot, Waihi has a long history as a mining town, and with its Karangahake Gorge, native bush and picturesque scenery, you will want to park up and give yourself at least a day here.
For those of you seeking a cultural fix, the Maritime Museum is very popular, with Athenree Hot Springs taking away all the stiffness from driving. From waterlily gardens to off-road dirt-bike tours, there really is something for everyone. And accommodation is easy to find.
Where to stay in Waihi:
Waihi Motor Camp, 6 Waitete Road. A beautiful spot, with a rocky stream and landscaped grounds, the major golf course is also close by.
Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, 15 Beach Road. An established name in NZ, Top 10 deliver excellent facilities but can get very busy during summer.
Bowentown Beach Holiday Park, Seaforth Road. Bowentown is an absolute delight, with stunning views, and this park has many sites to choose from.
Waihi to Tauranga, 61km, around an hour’s drive
Moving south once more, we are heading towards a much busier town, with Tauranga a haven for young and old. There is a great nightlife scene with many bars and restaurants, while not sacrificing the natural beauty of the North Island.
You may stop often as you travel down, passing Shelly Bay and Tauranga Harbour. Just take your time… but Tauranga is well worth getting to. And with the surrounding attractions, you will probably want to stay a few days before continuing to Rotorua.
Tauranga is the heartbeat of the Bay of Plenty region, and coupled with a subtropical climate, its popularity is growing by the year. Water is everywhere, so whether it’s surfing, fishing, paddle boarding or just letting the sea breeze wash over you, those of an aquatic nature will be in heaven. The town is packed with eateries and cafes, so pack away the motorhome stove and indulge in some quality cooking.
Where to stay in Tauranaga:
Accommodation Te Puna, cnr Minden Rd & Auckland Waihi Rd. Spacious facilities are the order of the day, with powered sites along with cabins and chalets. Enjoy the swimming pool, table tennis and wireless internet.
Omokoroa Kiwi Holiday Park, 165 Omokoroa Rd. This is another impressive campsite, offering thermal pools and laundry. Kayaking and a golf course are also nearby. If you have a Kiwi Holiday Parks card, you can get a member discount.
Tauranga Tourist Park, 9 Mayfair St. Three-star quality and a harbourside location, this park is close to the city centre, with a TV lounge, recycling station and large, individual all-weather sites.
Another must-see while in Tauranga is Mount Maunganui. Called ‘The Mount’ by locals, this extinct volcanic cone can be scaled, with the views from the top truly breathtaking. Due to its increasing popularity with tourists, more cafes and bars have been opened and it’s become a fantastic spot for a night out.
Tauranga to Rotorua, 64km, around an hour’s drive
Once you’ve had your fill of the coastal joys of the North Island, it’s time to head back inland to Rotorua. A short drive south, Rotorua is one of the major adventure capitals of New Zealand. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll probably take an extended break here. Especially child-friendly, Rotorua offers something a little different for the campervan traveller than the average Kiwi town.
Lake Rotorua is impossible to miss and Kawarau Jet Boating will get your heart racing, as will white-water rafting. But it’s the geothermal sites that attract visitors from around the world. The likes of Whakarewarewa, Tikitere (Hell’s Gate), Waimangu and Waiotapu all showcase geysers, hot springs, boiling mud pools and hissing craters. Additional natural attractions include Tongariro National Park and Te Urewera National Park, so be sure to pack your walking boots. Mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, spas and volcanic activity sum up Rotorua in a nutshell.
If you have enough energy left to party in the evening, there are many bars and eateries to enjoy. Brew and the Pig & Whistle are very popular, along with the Belgian Bar and Pheasant Plucker. However, you’ll probably want to get an early night! So park up your Wold Cup campervan and head to one of these sites.
Where to stay in Rotorua:
Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park, 1495 Pukuatua St. An outstanding reputation means Top 10 can get very busy, with powered and unpowered sites and a central location just 1km from town. You can also top up on fresh water and have a swim.
Rotorua Family Holiday Park, 22 Beaumont Rd. Right by the water, this is a perfect spot for those wanting to fish. The games room is ideal for little ones, with a private spa room for the adults.
All Seasons Holiday Park, 50-58 Lee Rd. Renowned for its friendly reputation, All Seasons offers plenty of space for motorhomes and is just 10 minutes from town.
Rotorua to Napier, 220km, around three hours’ drive, game time!
It’s time to head for Napier and game two of your Cricket World Cup road trip. Now you will be passing through Taupo, but keep going, as you will be stopping here on your way back up the heart of the North Island.
McLean Park is the venue hosting the Cricket World Cup Black Caps v Afghanistan clash and is a fantastically quaint cricket ground, with a capacity of around 22,000. The atmosphere is likely to be buzzing, with New Zealand in town. While you’re down for the game, you will probably want to spend a few days in Napier. The Hawke’s Bay region has an enviable international reputation for delightful wines, so indulge in a few wineries. Just nominate a sober driver!
Napier is also blessed with 1930s Art Deco architecture and various events throughout the summer. The National Aquarium is well worth a visit, while Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony attracts thousands of visitors every year. The golf course there is also one of the finest in the world.
Just 20km south is the town of Hastings, where Kiwis tend to holiday more than international tourists. Again, there are 75 wineries in the region, the largest NZ water park, called Splash Planet, and many special events in summer. Check these out before you travel.
Places to stay in Napier:
Remember, demand for accommodation will be high on March 8 with the World Cup bandwagon at full pace, so book as far in advance as possible.
Kennedy Park Resort Napier, Storkey St. The region’s biggest holiday park, it has 92 powered sites and 78 non-powered sites. Entertainment includes a heated pool and pedal cars.
Eskdale Holiday Park, Yule Rd. A more rustic option, this campground is just 4km from Napier and has 20 powered sites. There’s a communal kitchen and fridge, toilet and shower and BBQ. Oh yes, and a trampoline!
Napier Beach Kiwi Holiday Park, 10 Gill Rd. The location is pretty self-explanatory, with powered sites that have delightful sea views. Four-star quality, this place is also ideal for families with communal facilities and a playground.
Affordable WestShore Holiday Park, 88 Meeanee Quay. Plenty of extras here, with linen and towel hire, book exchange, DVDs for hire, an internet kiosk and bike rental. Good value, there are plenty of well-appointed sites.
Napier to Taupo, via Kaweka Forest Park, 141km, around two hours’ drive
You will have sampled glorious wine, enjoyed some World Cup cricket action and will now be ready to embark on the final leg of your three-match road trip. Your next destination is back up through the central North Island to Taupo. But first up you may wish to stay at Kaweka Forest Park. Rafting, canoeing, fishing, Mangatutu hot springs and tramping are just a few of the attractions. If you want to get back to nature, then this is the place for you. And there are a number of designated campsites on the way. Check with the Department of Conversation, while informal camping is also allowed – just clear away everything before you leave.
One day is definitely not enough for Taupo, so look for a couple of nights’ accommodation. First up on the ‘to-do list’ should be Huka Falls and the gorgeous waterfalls. And Aratiatia Rapids are just 10km north of Taupo – they featured in the Lord of the Rings films. The amazing Lake Taupo is a great drive, with a number of lookouts along the way, while the Botanical Reserve is a scenic paradise. Much like Rotorua, there are also geothermal volcanic attractions and hot pools. The Hole in One Challenge is the ultimate golfing test along the waterfront and do you have the stomach for the Taupo bungy?
Young and old are drawn to Taupo, thanks to the variety of nightlife and restaurants. Tuwharetoa St is always buzzing with bars and clubs, including Mulligan’s Pub, Jolly Good Fellows (where the breakfast is to die for), Vertigo Nightclub and Plateau Restaurant and Bar.
Places to stay in Taupo:
All Seasons Kiwi Holiday Park, 16 Rangatira St. A thermal mineral plunge pool isn’t the only attraction here, with an adventure playground, private campsites and a laundry.
Motutere Bay Holiday Park, 2819 State Highway 1. Powered and non-powered sites are reasonably priced and you can hire your own linen. It’s around 32km south of Taupo on State Highway 1.
Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, 76 Napier Taupo Rd. Very close to Lake Taupo, DeBretts has an outstanding reputation as a five-star accommodation option.
Match Three, March 13, New Zealand v Bangladesh, Seddon Park, Hamilton
As you move towards your final destination, you approach one of the key locations for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Matamata is a very easy deviation from Hamilton, just 45 minutes to the east, and worth a stop. The guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set is fascinating, whether you’re into the films or not.
But Hamilton is the ultimate finishing point and another David v Goliath clash as NZ take on Bangladesh – the Cricket World Cup schedule for the Black Caps is a truly international line-up. However, the Bangladeshis have qualified for five World Cups in total and reached the second round in 2007. They have also registered ODI victories against all the cricket super-powers and have even managed to beat NZ on eight occasions. Fans will bring a sea of colour, music and atmosphere to Hamilton, so it promises to be a special time.
But it’s time to also relax and enjoy what Hamilton has to offer. Waikato Museum, Hamilton Gardens and Skycity Hamilton casino illustrate the eclectic mix of things to do here. And if you have to drop your motorhome back in Auckland, it’s a couple of hours back up State Highway 1.
Places to stay in Hamilton:
Hamilton City Holiday Park, 14 Ruakura Rd. Just 2km from the city centre, this park has everything the motorhome traveller needs, whether you’re a family or a small group.
Mighty River Domain, 601 Maungatautari Rd. Although this is around 30 minutes from Hamilton CBD, its Lake Karapiro location is worth the extra kilometres alone. Great for outdoor pursuits, there are 60 powered and 80 non-powered sites.
So after two weeks and three World Cup matches, your itinerary has come to an end. Make sure you contact Motorhome Republic and book for this amazing road trip. You won’t regret it!
Check out more great itineraries for a Cricket World Cup road trip, as well as our Motorohme Republic CWC guide HERE