There are many spectacular destinations. The choice is wide – beaches to dream about, walks that can fascinate, well-trod mountain ranges or simply great places to camp. One of these is at Ruatiti, just two kilometres north of Raetihi on the A4 and then about 22 kilometres inland. It is a free campsite in the fork of two rivers full of trout and a home of the treasured blue duck. Their presence is carefully monitored by Rufus Bristol. He takes a raft downstream during nesting time to keep an eye on the nest-sites dotted along the bank. The duck is unusual because it has a special beak that allows it to feed in fast flowing streams. A day, possibly two or even three is worth the effort of getting there. A experienced all this in my campervan hire NZ from Motorhome Republic.
The starting point however is most probably the Conservation Department’s yearly booklet which documents, a picture and a brief description together with giving the location, of all the camp sites under its management. These camps are cheap, as varied as is typical of North Island destinations and scattered throughout the island.
Another is the Holiday Parks yearly map which is a directory of the commercial camp sites. We find a mixture of these and freedom camping, DOC and Regional Council camp sites fit our purposes. Our van is ‘self-contained’ but requires fresh water every three days plus dumping at designated sites.
Hahei Holiday Resort on the Coromandel Peninsula earned ten out of ten from our Derbyshire relatives on a recent tour. There is a lovely beach with islands scattered both in the foreground and in the distance. Cathedral Cove, which was an additional attraction, has unfortunately collapsed quite recently, but there are plenty of places to visit nevertheless.
This note is simply an introduction, providing examples of our favourite spots. We have had our two berth Ford Transit van for six years. It doesn’t make us an authority but we have had time to get off the main roads and explore.