North Island

New Zealand North Island

Auckland – Hobbiton – Rotorua – Ohope – East Cape – Gisborne – Napier – Hastings – Hawkes Bay – Greytown – Wellington – Tongariro National Park – Taupo – Whangarei & Tutukaka Coast – Russell – Paihia – Kerikeri – Cape Reinga – Opononi – Waipoua Forest – Auckland

Having enjoyed a road trip through the South Island of New Zealand in Dec-Jan 2014-5, we decided to go back and see the North Island in Dec-Jan 2015-16.

While not having quite the ‘wow’ factor of the South Island, the North Island has a different feel and plenty of spectacular places to visit – we loved it. Highlights include the thermal activity around Rotorua, Northland & Bay of Islands, the Hawkes Bay region, the iconic Pacific Coast Drive (State Highway 35), Wellington and Auckland.


By |2024-01-23T19:17:53+11:00January 12th, 2016|Categories: New Zealand, North Island, North Island|0 Comments

Apihara Kiwi Holiday Park & YHA Hostel

Apihara is located in Northland at the top of New Zealand’s North Island and we stayed here the night before we did a day drive to Cape Reinga. Ninety Mile Beach is a short walk away.

This is an attractive holiday park. It has a relatively small camping area with the unpowered sites toward the back of the park under tall pine trees, and the powered sites closer to the amenities.

There are also standard and self-contained cabins, motel rooms and a youth hostel.

Reception, dining and lounge are in one big open-plan area, with the kitchen in a separate room off to the side. The big lounge area has a rustic feel with concrete floors, a very large timber table and benches, open fireplace, sofas, a computer space off to one side and a table-tennis table in the middle of the room.

At Reception there are some handy food items for sale such as tin food, milk, snacks, etc.

Between the bathroom amenities and the kitchen/dining/lounge room, there is an open-air space with BBQs and a large outdoor timber table and benches.

Bathroom amenities are separate for men and women. There is a communal laundry. The amenities are clean and tidy and appear to be quite new.

Options for food nearby include Bidz Takeways & Supermarket, another small supermarket and the North Drift Café that serves very good food.

You can book tours at Reception for local activities plus tours to Cape Reinga.

By |2018-08-27T15:40:50+10:00January 8th, 2016|Categories: Accommodation Reviews, North Island|0 Comments

Russell Top 10 Holiday Park, NZ North Island

Russell is a very pretty place and so is the Top 10 Holiday Park. Set on a terraced hill a couple of blocks from the town centre and waterfront, this holiday park is one of the most attractive we have stayed in.

Powered sites are located at the top of the park and that’s where the big campervans are – with lovely views across the bay. The non-powered sites are located on the lower part of the park (together with additional powered sites) on an attractive, level grassed area filled with shady trees. In the centre of the upper and lower areas are the kitchen/dining room and the bathroom amenities. It is a good layout.

The kitchen/dining room is a very attractive building with a deck and big windows to take in the view of the gardens and the park. The kitchen bench tops are stainless steel. There is an upright cooker with oven and cooktop, about six 2-plate ceramic cooktops, plus three fridges and a freezer chest for bait only (fishing is big here!).

There are toasters, electric can opener, kettle, a Zip hot water tap and plenty of bench space.

There are six dining tables, a couple of baby high chairs and a small plastic table and chairs for small children.

The BBQ area is next to the kitchen/dining room and has three BBQs, a washing up basin and picnic tables.

The bathroom has plenty of showers, toilets and basins to cater for the number of people in the park. There are hooks, a hairdryer and separate power plug.

There is a laundry at the far end of the bathroom amenities.

All amenities are clean and tidy, and the gardens are very pretty.

Other accommodation in the park includes Villas, Cabins and Studio Units.

We can highly recommend a stay at the Russell Top 10 Holiday Park.

By |2018-08-27T15:40:51+10:00January 7th, 2016|Categories: Accommodation Reviews, North Island|0 Comments

Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park, Rotorua

Rotorua is famous for its thermal activity. The downside of all that thermal activity is that the sulphur odour can sometimes be a bit strong! We decide to stay 15 minute’s drive from the centre of town at the beautiful Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park.

As the name suggests, this holiday park is on Blue Lake – a very pretty setting. The park is actually across the road from the lake. It is an ideal place to canoe, there are bikes for hire, and a lovely walk around the lake.

It is quite busy during the school holidays however the amenities are excellent and the staff very friendly.

We can highly recommend Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park as an ideal base to explore the sights in and around Rotorua.

Accommodation Guru
30 December 2015

By |2017-01-23T13:21:42+11:00December 30th, 2015|Categories: Accommodation Reviews, North Island|0 Comments

Remuera Motor Lodge & Inner City Camping Ground, Auckland

Remuera Motor Lodge & Inner City Camping is a reasonably priced and conveniently located camp ground – just a 15-minute drive into the Auckland city centre and 10-minute drive to the beautiful suburb of Parnell. 

We had Bay 14 opposite the amenities that included a BBQ, picnic table, small common room, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. Facilities were very clean.

The owners were friendly and helpful on check in.

This establishment also offers 15 self-contained one and two bedroom motel units plus cabins and powered and non-powered campsites. The motel units are situated above the campsite.

At the top of the drive there is also a swimming pool for guests.

We enjoyed the natural setting of the campsite. It is a quiet and peaceful place.

For more details visit their website at

By |2019-06-03T16:42:46+10:00December 27th, 2015|Categories: Accommodation Reviews, North Island|0 Comments

Jet Park Airport Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Jet Park Hotel, AucklandJet Park Hotel is located about 5-10 minute’s drive from Auckland Airport. It is a 4.5 star hotel that is reasonably priced, clean and comfortable.

This was a convenient hotel for us to stay at the beginning of our road trip around the North Island as it was close to the airport and to where we would pick up our rental van.

We flew from Sydney to Auckland and on arrival at Auckland Airport we used the courtesy phone at the I-Site shop to call the hotel to request a courtesy pick up.


By |2019-06-03T16:45:23+10:00December 26th, 2015|Categories: Accommodation Reviews, North Island|0 Comments
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