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Jay and Sarah explore the North Island

  • Day

​ Jay and Sarah's family went on an exciting roadtrip around the North Island of New Zealand.

It was an ultimate family goal to go away in a self contained campervan. Follow the journey of Jay, Sarah and their kids Aiyana(7), Aizaya(5), Arkiya(1) & nana Adrienne (52). Read their story below.

Travel

5 days

Best time of year

All Year Round

Route

Auckland to Auckland

Vehicle

Highlights

  • Lake Taupo
  • Huka prawn farm
  • Quality family time
  • Whakapapa ski fields

Day One Auckland to Hamilton
Distance: 133km Driving time: 2 hours

We chose to travel in the late night to Hamilton where we will pick up nana Adrienne (Sarah’s mum) to come along for the ride and have a weekend away for her birthday. Travelling at night in the Britz motorhome made travelling easy as there’s less traffic which makes an easy enjoyable drive.

We arrived just after midnight, and had already pre made the beds before we left so all we needed to do was jump in to bed and catch some zzzzzz. Tip of the day: travelling at night is awesome, as we found driving in traffic people tend to cut you off very regularly as you are seen as a slow campervan which can be very frustrating and quite an unsafe way to travel.

 
Day Two Hamilton to Whakapapa Ski fields

Woke up to a beautiful cool morning in Hamilton and packed the 6 Berth Britz campervan up with everything but the kitchen sink – bags of clothes, shoes, food, laptops & things to keep the kiddies happy i.e. colouring in books, reading books and toys. We were off to Whakapapa Ski fields which was quite a drive with 3 kiddies in tow. There were a few awesome conveniences about having the Britz motorhome was that it was spacious, plenty of room for all our belongings and for all 6 of us to lounge around when we were making a pit stop. We loved the aspect of having a kitchen on the go, we are huge foodies and it made our first day so much easier especially after a long 2.5 drive (which actually took 3.5 – after stopping a few times for coffee etc) to the Whakapapa village.

We were able to relax and take time to make and early lunch before catching the mountain shuttle up to the ski fields and enjoy the day which ultimately saved us money by not sitting at the cafe, AND allowed us to be comfortable in our own surroundings. The snow was absolutely amazing, what an awesome day to choose to come to the snow! We went tobogganing and missed out on the ski lessons – Dammit! But we will definitely come back next year. The sunset on the way back from the Whakapapa Ski fields on the shuttle across the Taupo Lake side was incredible! After a long day at the snow we returned back to our campervan, then to the Lake Taupo Top 10 holiday Resort.

*Please note, during June to October, road restrictions apply on all ski field access roads in New Zealand. .

 
 
Day Three Huka prawn park
Distance: 152km Driving time: 2 hours 30mins

We had an awesome second night sleep in the Britz Motorhome, the beds were comfy and plenty of space in the bed above. Parked at the Top 10 holiday park we plugged in and made us of all the lights and kitchen use in the motorhome. We are off to the Huka prawn park to catch a few prawns for lunch, Aiyana is really excited about this part of our trip – she has a love for fishing and everything outdoors.

Another bonus about the motorhome today, was that our little Arkiya truly didn’t want a bar of the whole day – he was tired and grumpy, poor me! So it was awesome to have Britz in the campervan to organise an early lunch, and get him ready for a quick nap in the back bed. Nana Adrienne wanted a nap as well by now, so I joined the crew at the huka prawn park while nana & Arkiya took a nana nap.After a couple hours, Aiyana caught the first and only prawn of the day! and by then it was time for us to depart and head off to our next destination. Next time we visit the Huka Prawn Park I would definitely set aside a few hours to catch prawns – I was overly confident we would surely catch hundreds! Haha

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Day Four Huka Prawn Park -Huka River Cruise
Distance: 118km Driving time: 1 hours 45mins

What an awesome relaxing attraction, we loved the part at the end where we went right up close to the huka falls – you can’t beat that view!Later on we traveled back to the Taupo top 10 resort, which was AWESOME! Resort style lagoon with built in bar – We are SOLD!

Tip of the day: When you have children, organise and research your getaway appropriately and set a schedule. This way you will know where and what you will be doing every single day and no time is wasted.

Day Five Lake Taupo to Auckland
Distance: 147km Driving time: 2 hours

What an awesome relaxing attraction, we loved the part at the end where we went right up close to the huka falls – you can’t beat that view!Later on we traveled back to the Taupo top 10 resort, which was AWESOME! Resort style lagoon with built in bar – We are SOLD!Tip of the day: When you have children, organise and research your getaway appropriately and set a schedule. This way you will know where and what you will be doing every single day and no time is wasted. Our Taupo getaway went by too quickly, and it was time to head home before a bit of sightseeing at the Taupo lakeside and our Marae. Off home we went, stopping off in Hamilton to drop nana Adrienne home before heading straight back to Auckland. Awesome and easy trip, the Britz 6 berth motorhome is a dream to drive, such a powerful motor – there was no lagging at all.

 

Road trip highlights

Where the best view was?

The Taupo lookout when you first arrive in the city has an awesome view of the snowy mountains in the background, and the lake centered.

Where you stopped for a picnic?

We loved our visit to Taupo especially as a winter getaway, there are so many awesome attractions for families to visit. We choose the most perfect day to visit the snow too!

What was your favourite experience/activity and why?

The Whakapapa Ski fields was our favourite experience especially because we dont get to see snow everyday, it was a beaming beautiful day with awesome sun and not very windy! 

Did you have a favourite Holiday Park you stayed in and why?

The Taupo Top 10 holiday resort, was more than we thought it would be! Such a beautiful family lagoon pool with a built in bar. We swam everynight till 10pm it was an absolute bonus to come back to everyday after sightseeing.

What would be your top tip for other campervan travellers?

It’s really handy to pack snacks i.e fruit, yoghurts, and ingredients to make sandwiches etc because eating on the go is a MUST! And it keeps the costs down of your trip as well becoming very convenient. Buying bottled water is also essential, and is really handy having it there for you to refill your drink bottles. In regards to driving – take it easy! Never be in a hurry to get anywhere, the campervan is such a joy to drive and enjoy.

Can you share a recipe from something you cooked in the campervan?

We made alot of awesome food in the campervan but it was very easy meals you could have ready within minutes. A winner was chicken filled pita pockets.

Coleslaw Salad

½ green cabbage (shredded, or cut finely)

½ purple cabbage (shredded or cut finely)

2 tbsp mayo

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

optional 1 grated carrot

Combine ingredients together in a bowl, then set aside to serve. This is a great salad that is easily refrigerated for up to a week, so an awesome go to salad during the week of travel.

Breast chicken 500g-­‐1kg of chicken – chopped into small cubes (or 200g per person)

Olive oil

1 onion chopped finely

1 garlic clove chopped finely

Heat a fry pan on to a medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and garlics for a couple minutes before adding the chicken pieces – cook till cooked through. Toast your pita pockets in the toaster, And add ingredients to your pita pocket including extra mayonnaise.

What is your greatest memory of the whole campervan holiday?

We loved driving to each destination in the campervan, it was always an easy exchange getting to each activity and being able to rest in the vehicle when we were finished for a quick snack and a small family gathering.

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