One of the best ways to get around Australia and New Zealand is by driving a campervan. It gives you the freedom to explore the country and visit hard-to-reach places.
To help you during your next visit to Australia and New Zealand, VroomVroomVroom has come up with a list of the best holiday and caravan parks where you and your family or friends can stay. Whether you prefer a beachfront location or a mountain-side setting, you’ll definitely find a place where you can have an awesome time!
Before hopping in your campervan hire, it is important to consider the weather. In Australia, it’s advisable to travel during autumn and spring seasons when the temperature is moderate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the same places during winter and summer. (If you live in Earth’s Northern hemisphere, remember that these are reversed down under!) Some Aussie states still have warm weather even in winter months. So it is best to check for the latest weather reports before planning your next travel holiday.
The peak tourist season in New Zealand is summer, but spring and autumn tend to be the perfect time to go on a road trip. It will be amazing to see the flowers bloom and the leaves change color as you drive by!
Where to go on a campervan holiday in Australia and New Zealand
Great Ocean Road Tourist Park
Address: Cnr Great Ocean Road and Irvine St, Peterborough, VIC 3270, Australia
Voted as Victoria’s Favourite Holiday Park in 2015 by Turu and Woman’s Day readers, Great Ocean Road Tourist Park boasts of its superb location near the Twelve Apostles. The remarkable limestone stacks are just a short drive away as well as other attractions including The Great Ocean Walk, Otway Fly, Tower Hill, and the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. There is a wide selection of cabins to choose from such as the Riverfront Cabin and Spa Cabin. They also have powered and unpowered sites for those who are planning to go camping.
Creeksyde Queenstown Holiday Park
Address: 54 Robins Road, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Queenstown is the self-proclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand, and no tour of the South Island is complete without some time there. With its stunning lakeside location surrounded by movie star mountains, it is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. You might expect campervans to be relegated to the edges of town in this glamour spot, but not if you park up at Creeksyde. This park has been in operation since 1987, positioned just 400 metres from the town centre alongside Horne Creek. The grounds are dotted with quirky sculptures made from recycled materials.
Creeksyde is proud of its environmental ethos, it is platinum certified by Earthcheck, one of the world’s most credible benchmarking and certifiers for the travel and tourism sector. Throughout the grounds are clearly labelled recycling stations, in the communal kitchens, a ‘help yourself’ bin encourages those at the end of their trip to leave excess food for other campers, food scraps are composted, and left behind belongings donated to charity. The all- weather sites are on permeable surfaces, so that rainwater returns to the land and flows back to the adjoining fish spawning creek. The park was originally purpose-built for campervans, but now has a range of accommodation, including tent sites and cabins. There are four outdoor barbeque areas, and a choice of kitchens. There is a spa and sauna, and a bike-wash area when you return splattered, from the cycle trails.
BIG4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park
Address: 1 Patey Drive, Renmark, SA 5341, Australia
The holiday park has won numerous awards for its accommodation and facilities including the Tourist & Caravan Parks category at the South Australian Tourism Awards in 2014. Enjoy breathtaking views of Murray River from the comforts of your villa, cabin, caravan or camping site. There are numerous activities awaiting guests at Big4 Renmark Caravan Park such as the resort pool, waterpark and splash play area, jumping pillow, water bee, canoe hire and pedal bike hire, and game room. They also have a basketball ring and tennis court for sports enthusiasts.
Jackson’s Retreat Holiday Park
Address: 4464 Otira Highway Jacksons 7832, New Zealand
Jackson’s Retreat is the only campground on Otira State Highway 73, strategically linking the city of Christchurch with the mystical West Coast and the glacier region. Its nearest town is Greymouth, 45 minutes away. The park is set on 15 acres, with 360 degree views of snow-capped mountains, brooding rainforest and the ever changing Taramakau River. You can also see the famous Tranz-Alpine railway.
The West Coast is famous for its extreme weather conditions, particularly heavy rains in the spring, and searing heat in summer. At Jackson’s they have come up with a great solution, building under cover camping barns. The covered space is large enough for campers to move easily around their vans, and manoeuvre mobile barbeques into place. Neither will you lose the views, each covered space has a large window.
The camp joins the Ngarimu walking track, which leads to a disused quartz mine, and waterfalls. Bikes are available to explore further afield. At night, glow worms can be spotted on the track. You can fish for whitebait or salmon on the river, or for trout in nearby lakes.
Lake Placid Tourist Park
Address: 82-100 Lake Placid Road, Caravonica QLD 4878, Australia
If you’re planning to take your furry friend with you on your next holiday, then Lake Placid Tourist Park is the perfect choice. The pet-friendly caravan park is situated right amidst a tropical rainforest and offers a range of cabins as well as caravan and tent sites that will suit anyone’s budget. The tourist park has easy access to the city centre and many world-class attractions such as The Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail.
Tapotupotu Department of Conservation Campground
Address: Tapotupotu Road, Tapotupotu Bay, New Zealand
This truly is the ‘top’ spot to camp, Tapotupotu is the northernmost campground in New Zealand. Situated beside a glorious sandy beach and lagoon, it is a five minute drive, or three hour walk via a coastal track, to Cape Reinga/ Te Re Rerenga Wairua. Visit the famous light house, and consider an important Maori myth. It is believed that the spirits of the dead leave Cape Reinga to make their journey to the traditional homeland of Hawaiki. There is another natural phenomenon here, from the lighthouse you can see the clash of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Famous 90 Mile Beach is also nearby.
Tapotupotu is a Department of Conservation campground so facilities are more basic than a commercial park. There are toilets and cold showers, but you will need to use your camper’s cooking facilities or carry a gas stove to sizzle those snarlers on the beach. Its remote location is part of the attraction, but organisation is required; the nearest shops are at Houhora, just under an hour away, and it is an hour and a half back to the main centre of Kaitaia.
Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park
Address: 114 Victoria Street, Victor Harbor, SA 5211, Australia
Victor Harbour Beachfront Holiday Park is also pet-friendly but make sure to contact them first for approval. Enjoy a beachfront setting in Victor Harbor and the magnificent views of the beautiful Encounter Bay. Kids will surely have a blast playing in their pool and jumping pillow. The holiday park is just an hour away by car or campervan hire from the city of Adelaide which makes it a great day trip destination.
Is your favourite caravan park or holiday park included in our list? If not, please share your recommendation with our other readers in the Disqus comment box below!
Thanks to Carolyn Cossey, who is a big fan of glamping and an adventure-seeker by heart, for sharing the top campsites and holiday parks in New Zealand.
If you enjoyed this article, then check out the World’s Most Magnificent Camping Destinations and our Infographic on Holiday Camping Tips. If glamping is your thing, we have listed down some of the Best Glamping Spots in Australia.