Colin and his friend set off from Auckland to explore the central North Island, visiting Rotorua, Lake Taupo and Raglan. With luging, jet boating and an 8 hour hike, it's fair to say their camper holiday was action packed! Here's their customer story...
4 - 5 days
Auckland to Auckland
Best Time of the Year
- Huka Prawn Park
maui Ultima in front of geothermal valley
Auckland to Lake Taupo via Rotorua
Distance 302km - Driving Time 4 hours
Our journey began in the rolling green hills outside of Auckland down to Rotorua. After packing some bits and pieces from the supermarket into the van (we didn’t need some of the essentials as the team at maui had already thought of some of them) me and my friend, both of us in our early 30s, headed off. Our first stop was in Rotorua where we flung ourselves down the side of a mountain on go karts – known as luges in New Zealand. What a treat, although be careful on those corners – they can really bump you if you’re not in control of the brake!
We then headed down to Taupo to experience the hot springs in Wairakei Terraces to wind down and relax. There was a slight bit of rain which only added to the heat of the pools, causing steam to rise and surround the pool areas – it made for an awesome atmosphere. We then headed down to a quiet area by the lake for our first night in the van. The first night was extremely windy and rainy but the van, with all the soft furnishings provided, made for a cosy hideaway from the elements outside.
Huka Falls - Credit Graeme Murray
The next day we visited geothermal areas and jumped aboard the Huka Falls Jet – speeding along at 80KM/h was exhilarating, the driver was extremely adept at driving around the weeds, rushes and wildlife. The Huka falls were incredible to see, all that water crashing down into the river is a real sight.
Following this we took the van over to the dam, which was just a few moments up the road. The water came down in spectacular fashion as we watched from a high viewing platform. After the event we bounded down the hill to jump back into the van, turned on the music by attaching the phone to the USB input to the dashboard, and headed on down to National Park.
The second night was in a tranquil spot by the mountain. We plugged the van into the electricity point with ease and settled down early for the Alpine crossing the following day. The following day we woke up late by 35 minutes! After the initial panic we found we could make it on time – I suppose that’s the joy of having everything in the van in one place – if you need to get somewhere quickly it really is no drama whatsoever!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing - Credit Camilla Rutherford
Lake Taupo to Raglan via the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Distance 190km - Driving Time 2 hours 30 minutes
The Alpine crossing was spectacular – initially cold but the views were breath-taking and it was well worth the 8.5 hour tramp. We experienced all manners of environment – scrub bush, snow, volcanic heated areas, peaks and valleys, pools of water, tropical rainforest – I don’t think we had ever seen such a diverse range of environments in one walk before!
The guides were also very knowledgeable, providing information on geology, Maori culture/stories, the history of the area and the local flora – it made the walk so much more interesting when hearing the stories.
We then finished up and took the van up to Raglan for the evening where we settled in for the night.
Surfers in Raglan
Raglan to Auckland
Distance 140km - Driving Time 2 hours
We arrived into Raglan the night before when the stars were shining brightly in the sky. We, therefore, didn’t realise the beauty we would awake in the morning when the sun rose. Raglan provided a treat for the eyes, with superb surf and a beach that stretched on for miles. We sat in the campervan, coffee in hand, with soft music playing out of the van's speakers while watching the surfers catch their waves – the scene was a juxtaposition of serenity from the scenery and force from the crashing of the waves.
We spent the last day exploring Raglan and sampling delicious meals on offer at an array of cafes.
Next day we headed back to Auckland to drop off the van. The drop off was super easy and the team at the office were wonderful and quick so we could catch the convenient shuttle back to the airport. We will certainly be booking again and are already discussing the next time we book a van.
*Please note, minimum hire periods apply and are subject to change.
Inspired to do a North Island adventure? In order to get started on this journey, book a maui campervan today. Or check out our latest deals and specials here.