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New Zealand’s Top Five Must-See Beaches to Travel to During Your Motorhome Holiday

by Michelle Villamin | May 09, 2017

Scenic New Zealand beach on a sunny day with a blue sky

Motorhoming in New Zealand means driving amongst a huge variety of incredible natural landscapes, and our beaches are no exception.

Whether you’re driving your motorhome to the volcanic black sand beaches featured on the west coast of the country, or to the white sands of the east coast, everyone will find a place where they’ll want to take a moment to leave the comfort of their campervan and dip their toes in the salty goodness of our NZ beaches.

We’ve profiled our top five NZ beaches on both the North and South Islands to experience while motorhoming through the “land of the long white cloud”. Read about what makes the locals love them, and why you’ll love them too.

Hahei Beach

Approximately a three-hour drive in your motorhome from Auckland, you’ll find golden sand, a clear blue ocean, picturesque reefs and plenty of sun-filled activities. The variety of things to do at Hahei Beach makes it a popular summer destination on the North Island. Situated on the Coromandel Peninsula, Hahei Beach sits on the edge of the town of Hahei where there are a number of quaint cafes and accommodation options. Camping is also a popular activity, where you can watch the sunset from your campervan. Hahei is also a short drive, walk, kayak or water taxi ride away from the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Perfect for families, adventure seekers and those wanting a lazy day at the beach.

Piha Beach

Only a 40-minute (motorhome-friendly) drive from Auckland sits the iconic black sand beach, Piha. Sporting spectacular views and pumping surf, this beach is perfect for both adventurous types and for those looking to relax on the sand. Piha has easy beach access with amenities, and is manned by the Piha Surf Club. Make sure you head to the Piha Store for a coffee and locally famous pie for lunch before making your way up the Tasman Lookout Track to take in all that Piha has to offer.

Wharariki Beach

Located almost at the northernmost point of the South Island is this isolated beach, probably most famous for its Archway Islands off the shore. Park your motorhome nearby and access the beach by a 20-minute walk - the walk is quite easy and very rewarding. Travel there between March and May for the opportunity to see seal pups swimming at the southern end of the beach. Camp nearby and take your time to explore the beach caves or to just frolic among the sand dunes – this beach won’t leave you disappointed.

Mount Maunganui Main Beach

Mount Maunganui, also known as “The Mount”, hosts the perfect beach to kick your heels back and watch the kids paddle in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Relax on the white sand beach or consider taking up surfing at what is considered to be one of New Zealand’s best beaches. Only a one-and-a-half-hour drive east of Hamilton, and complete with a motorhome park offering million dollar ocean views, this is a great place to spend a weekend with friends or family and take in the laid-back culture that New Zealand offers.

Rabbit Island

Located on the South Island near Nelson, this island hosts some picturesque white sand beaches. Perfect for kids, the clear ocean is shallow and doesn’t get deep too quickly.

Drive your motorhome from Nelson and over the bridge to Rabbit Island. Take a picnic lunch to eat at a shady spot near the beach. This beach is the perfect mix of bush and ocean, while still being close to Nelson. Be sure to take some time out of your day to visit this relaxing beach gem.

These are just what we at Wilderness consider to be New Zealand’s top five beaches. They should get you started during your motorhome holiday in NZ. However, we strongly suggest you get out and explore for yourself or ask a local, because there are hundreds more incredible beaches around NZ that you could drive to in your campervan. Which beach will your motorhome take you to?

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  • Travelling in New Zealand
  • South Island
  • Planning your Motorhome Road Trip
  • Planning your Motorhome Rental Tips
  • NZ Travel Tips
  • North Island
  • Motorhome Road Trips
  • Motorhome Rental Tips
  • Coromandel

1 Comment

  1. 1 Carol Wilde 10 May
    My favourite beach is Kaiteriteri near Abel Tasman South Island, we have visited NZ twice and each time we've had an amazing time staying on the campsite directly opposite this beautiful beach.
    Just love your beautiful country, would love to come again!
    Carol Wilde

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