The Pacific islands of New Zealand are peppered with absurdly beautiful sights we are deeply turned on by: epiphanic coastal panoramas, the lushest landscapes, and battered rural tracks yearning to be explored. There are also winding roads with many places worth pulling your Apollo campervan hire over for.
Yet embedded beneath all these obvious draws are attractions so rare you would be hard-pressed to find them anywhere else, and therefore, mustn’t miss.
Traditional Māori Feast
Carve out some time from your campervan hire adventures to immerse in the Māori culture that is deeply rooted in New Zealand’s history and identity. The indigenous group’s traditions, way of life, and even cuisine are some of the country’s most unique draws, best experienced in a marae. There, you must witness the traditional hangi cooking, which involves wrapping food in leaves and cooking them in a pit in the ground. Three or four hours later, partake in a traditional Māori feast of delectable, off-the-bone meats and smoky root vegetables. It’s an experience you won’t likely forget.
New Zealand was an easy shoo-in when they were selecting filming locations for The Lord of the Rings film series. After all, it boasts dramatic and enchanting landscapes that seem to fit perfectly with Tolkien’s vision. Luckily for LOTR fans as well as travellers seeking unique experiences, many of those filming locations are open to visitors. The most recognisable of these are the Shire and Hobbiton Movie Set, the Rivendell Set at Kaitoke Regional Park, and the herculean Putangirua Pinnacles that served as the Paths of the Dead in Return of the King. To visit a few others in the South Island, simply take your car or campervan hire on the ferry across Cook Strait from Wellington.
While it might not be the most epic attraction in the country, Baldwin Street has got that quirky appeal that kitsch lovers appreciate. Also more famously known as World’s Steepest Street, this residential street in the city of Dunedin is said to have been the result of shoddy urban planning. This street is so steep, in fact, that many visitors like to perform gravity-defying poses on its slope. Over the years, its become a tourist attraction as well as an Instagram sensation, making lemonade out of lemons. The street hosts a number of fun events yearly as well, including a bouncing chocolate candy race.
The Māori believed them to be ancient gourds and eel baskets washed ashore from Āraiteuru, the legendary canoe that brought their ancestors to New Zealand. To others, however, the Moeraki Boulders are more telluric in nature rather than mythological. Whatever their origin was, these prehistoric boulders scattered about on Koekohe Beach are a breathtaking sight to aesthetes, beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. If you’re driving along the coast of North Otago, it’s certainly a place worth dropping your anchor in if only for a little while.
Wai-O-Tapu’s Devil’s Bath
Travellers driving around the North Island, whether by car or in a campervan hire, would do well to include Wai-O-Tapu in their itinerary. Sure, the site gets a ton of visitors every year. But it’s also been declared as one of the world’s most surreal places, a well deserved merit. The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is home to multicoloured geothermal pools as well as erupting geysers. It’s most unique attraction, however, is Devil’s Bath, a sulphur lake with electric green water that is almost alien-like. It might not be as active as its neighbours, but it is arguably the most bizarre looking.
Author: Article submitted by Apollo Camper NZ | apollocamper.co.nz