Nice holiday parks in NZ?

Old May 20th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Nice holiday parks in NZ?

Hi,
We are currently planning a 3 week holiday in New Zealand (North and South islands) for December. We will have a motorhome and will be staying in holiday parks. We would love to hear from anyone who has done this, are there any REALLY NICE holiday parks we should not miss?
Thank you.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:00 AM
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We traveled through New Zealand in a campervan for 5 months with our 2 kids, staying in holiday parks almost every night. While these parks are very convenient and ubiquitous, in general, very few would be considered really nice. Usually the sites are a little too close together, and/or the sites are in a large clearing that is not terribly scenic. In general, Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds are nicer than private holiday parks, but tend to have fewer amenities.

My favorite would probably be DOC's Whakapapa Motor Camp, at the base of Mt. Ruapehu, situated in an evergreen forest, with wide spaces between sites.

Other nice North Island sites include the Kauri DOC Campground(s) and Opoutere Beach (Coromandel).

A nice South Island site is Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel.

Another alternative to consider is to periodically stay at farms or B & Bs. Many of these will also cater to campervans, rigging you up with an electric line, and letting you use their facilities. You might want to buy a copy of the New Zealand Bed and Breakfast Guide, which details pretty much all the properties available. We did this at least 5 or 6 times; our favorites were:
John & Maureen Hunt - Rotorua
Mike Cotton & Wendy Lynch - Wainui Lodge, Whakatane
Pam & Forde Clark - Eastbourne (suburb of Wellington); they run a great B & B booking service
John & Zelma Stanley - Takaka Hill (inland from Abel Tasman Park)
June & Murray Stratford - Progress Valley
Stephen & Kerri Janes - Te Anau

Have a wonderful time!
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 01:11 PM
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Thanks Alf, I wish we could go for 5 months too!
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Old May 23rd, 2003, 01:01 AM
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Check out
www.jasons.co.nz

All the info you need is here.
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Old May 23rd, 2003, 10:09 PM
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We spent 7 wonderful weeks in New Zealand in in Dec and Jan of this year. We found the Top Ten Holiday parks to be a very good value for the dollar. They are exceptionaly clean, in very nice areas and offer different forms of accomodation. We were tenting it about 50% of the time and the when the weather turned on us we would rent a cabin. The cabins can be a basic backpacker with just a bed and you use the commual facilities or you can get a motel room with all the comforts of home. They have a pass that you buy for $20.00NZ (to the best of my memory) and this gives you a percentage off in all their sites. They have a web site and I would strongly suggest looking it up. It is www.top10.co.nz I have an 8 page trip report if you are interested. Email me at [email protected] if you are interested. Have a great trip. Wendy
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Old May 26th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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MietteMeg, I agree with Wengod, the Top 10 camping grounds are almost always a sure bet when it comes to cleanliness, facilities etc - they have to be to be part of the chain. They are located all over the country so you won't have problems there. I should comment tho' that in our experience, they are rarely the most "central" campground in town - and can sometimes be a little off the beaten track, so be prepared to visit other grounds if necessary. To me, when travelling by motorhome, it is the location and scenery that is paramount.
Some places we have visited this year up the north of the North Island that I can recommend are:

- Kauri Coast Top 10 camp near Dargaville (they run guided night-time walks in a nearby Kauri forest where you have a high chance of seeing wild kiwi (rare anywhere else), wild eels, glow-worms etc). A worthwhile detour is to the Kai Iwi Lakes (camping also available but limited facilities) which is simply stunning even for us Kiwi's.

- Smiths Camping Ground in Paihia - not Top 10 but set in a private secluded bay just outside Paihia - beautiful.

- The Dept of Conservation campground at the very end of the Karikari Peninsula (Matai Bay) - absolutely gorgeous white sand, blue water and remote.

- Mt Maunganui Domain motorcamp (near Tauranga). Beautiful white sand beach at the base of the Mount - beachfront sites, steps from hot salt water pools, cafes, and a scenic walkway either around or up the Mount.

We also travelled around the South Island in a motorhome a couple of years ago and can recommend:

- Momorangi Bay in the Marlborough Sounds (scenic road from Picton to Nelson).

- Kaiteriteri Beach Camp near the Abel Tasman National Park.

I hope you enjoy yourselves as much as we did.

Cheeers,

nzers
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for your help everyone, we can't wait for our holiday!
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