Sunday, 12 August 2012

Two days in Queenstown....

By peter-moore  - Flickr
Two days in Queenstown is a far cry from enough time in the beautiful town but sometimes that might be all we can get.  If you're doing a motorhome trip and want to see other beautiful places in NZ, then you may be in and out quickly.

So what is there to do in this beautiful town on a quick trip? A lot, and I'll let you in on my favourites.

First of all a place to park your Camper and spend the night at.  Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park is a 500m walk from the shores of Lake Whakatipu and a 100m walk from the town centre.

The Remarkables Ski resort, Queenstown, New Zealand
By Sam Berry Photo - Flickr
If you want to spend the whole day up the mountain skiing or snowboarding, there are several ski fields in the area to tickle your fancy.  You could spend half a day or a full day up the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, travel a little further to Cardrona or do some jumps and shakas at Snow Park.

If you want to spend a little more time doing the activities in Queenstown, here are a few.

A hearty breakfast always begins the day well.  Halo is my favourite, located on the corner of Camp Street and Earl Street.  It doesn't have lake views but is nestled next to an old anglican church.

P1020051 SS Earnslaw, Queenstown
By ianw1951 - flickr
A walk down to the lakeside after this will do you well.  From here you can decide if you want to do a Parasail, take out a kayak or partake in some other water sport or take a ride on the Earnslaw, the Lake's famous ship.  She will paddle steam you across to the other side of the lake where you can see the farm animals, have an agriculture show, go for the Walter Peak Horse Trek or have some delicious tea and scones.

Whether you do it on your first day or your second, make sure you stop in at Patagonia Chocolates -  a delectable cafe with delicious chocolates and hot chocolates.

The shops are lovely to take a walk and browse through with so many NZ made items, beautiful clothes and The Remarkable sweetshop - where you can buy the perfect gifts to take home to loved ones.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy
By aaronKoo - Flickr
Take a drive over to the shotover river where you can be thrilled on the Shotover jet as it races around the river, or take the plunge and do a bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge - location of the world's first bungy!

Back in Queenstown, the gondola awaits to take you up those beautiful mountains that Queenstown strands in the shadow of.  Marvel at the stunning views of Queenstown and the distant mountains as you ascend 450 metres up the mountain.  At the top you can take a ride in the luge or explore the  terrain and hurdle through the trees on a mountain bike.

By peter-moore - flickr
If you like a bit of mini golf, at the foot of the Gondoloa is an outdoor mini golf course and a very exciting indoor mini golf.  Try beat the records!

If you've still got time, Arrowtown (about an hours drive away) is a pretty and quaint gold mining town that is definitely worth the visit.

Now that should be enough to fill in two days. My dinner recommendations to end the day with are Ferg's Burgers on Shotover street, Queenstown, Pog Mahone's on Rees street (for a pub meal) or Avanti Cafe in The Mall street.

Pick up a Campervan from Queenstown or drive in from somewhere else, but make sure you check out this beautiful and fun town.  Give campervan hire sale finder a visit to book your camper!!

Have a look on for more Queenstown ideas or other NZ destinations. 

Have a fun roadie and have fun in Queenstown!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Surf New Zealand's waves!

Piha Beach, New Zealand
Piha Beach
By Mr Photo NZ - Flickr 
New Zealand has some exceptional surf breaks and beautiful beaches and beach towns to match.  Pick up a Campervan and do a tour of the North Island's West Coast beaches with your buddy and your surfboards.

Begin the surfie's tiki tour (scenic tour) in Auckland with a campervan and readily waxed boards.  If there's only tow of you and you don't mind sharing a bed, you can get some cheap Backpacker campervans, or if there's more of you pick up a 4 berth or even 6 berth vehicle.

Surfer's 2 +1 berth
Surfer's 4 berth with toilet and shower 

Take your campervan north and more north (if you want the abridged version road trip skip this part) to Ahipara.   It's a 4 hour drive so you could break it up and have a surf at Te Arai (take Mangawhai road turnoff from state highway road about 1 1/2 hours from airport.

Te Arai Beach
By Ranger Gav - Flickr
Ahipara, now a three hour drive away, is at the southern end of 90 mile beach on the West coast. It is 14 km from the town of Kaitaia. At the southern end of Ahipara beach is Shipwrecks bay which has has a number of wrecks visible at low tide.  The Bay is very popular with surfers and a beautiful place to stay.

Park the Camper after a tiring surf and stay at :

Ahipara Viewpoint.
Ahipara Bay
By NZ Frenzy - Flickr
After you've spent some time at Ahipara go for an explore of Ninety mile beach and Cape Reinga.  If you've got a 4WD vehicle you'll be able to drive the length of the beach and cruise on to the sand dunes.  These are a lot of fun and it's always a highlight to slide down on a bodyboard, tabogan or piece of cardboard.

On the way back down to Auckland, stop for a shaka at Pakiri beach surf spot. There's a camping ground there too. If you get sick of surfing for a day you can take a leisurely horse ride. 

Pakiri Beach
By Piotr Zurek - Flickr Commons
Above Piha
Piha Beach
By Chris Gin - Flickr
Closer to Auckland is Piha Beach.  It's about a 40 minute drive west and don't be suprised (or burn you feet) on the black sands. They are the result  of a high iron content, of volcanic origin.   Piha is very popular with surfers and is a notorious beach for big waves.  The  beach has a couple of convenience shops, a delicious cafe with great coffee, and a camp ground.  

Awesome Piha
Piha Waves
By Glenn Reeves - Flickr

Spend a couple of days riding Piha's waves before jumping on the road south.  Today you can head to Raglan.  This surfie town has an awesome vibe. Jump off the bridge in town and do some bombs into the water, eat and drink at the great eateries in town , play a spot of tennis, hire paddle boards or kayaks and of course head to Manu  or Whale Bay.

Spend the night at:

Raglan, New Zealand
By crayon_pony_fish - Flickr

Campervan's are a great way to travel.  You can fit your surfboards and take you beds everywhere you go.  Stop beach side and pull out your camp stove or if you've got a bigger vehicle cook up a big breakfast in your campervan after the morning's surf . You don't need to have an agenda and can stay as lng or short as you like without having to book motels etc.  Campervans are the perfect way for a keen surfie to travel.  

Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen in Summer, the NZ sun is harsh if you're not prepared.

Find the perfect campervan for your surf trip at Campervan Hire Sale finder before they all get booked out for summer! 

Surf's up!!