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5 ways to eat like a king in Auckland

By Auckland / New Zealand /

Heading to Auckland, New Zealand but want to know where to find some of the best places to eat?

Here are five eateries in Auckland where you can eat like a king.

Kazuya (pictured)
Kazuya is one-of-a-kind, offering European cuisine with Japanese influence. Chefs use low temperature to roast meat over several hours, while fish is prepared using traditional Japanese methods. The restaurant is famous for its evening degustation menus. Here, you can pick up a main for $35, or add on another $10 to bring it up to three courses.

The French Café
The French Café was born out of a partnership between Simon Wright and his wife, Creghan. Their menu is “driven by the seasons” while passion for providing an outstanding meal is what drives the chefs to produce the finest food. This gorgeous café on Symonds St, Aucland consistently wins awards and ranks among the best restaurants, according to international and domestic food experts.

Vinnies by Geoff Scott
Geoff Scott uses a unique combination of French cooking techniques along with indigenous and classic Kiwi flavours to create ‘Haute Kiwi’ cuisine for diners. Native timbers, raw steel, spot lit tables and ever-changing local artwork decorate the restaurant. Its delicious menu changes regularly, but one of the drawcards for locals and visitors alike is the restaurant’s extensive selection of whiskeys available at the back bar.

Jervois Steakhouse
For one of the best steaks in New Zealand, meat-lovers should head to Jervois Steakhouse in Ponsonby. Staff have described it as “the steakhouse to end all arguments”. This premium steak restaurant uses fresh local cuts, with the menu specifying the meat’s breed and feed.

Described as “Auckland’s finest country restaurant” with great food and sweeping views of the Bombay Hills countryside, Bracu is located just 40 minutes from central Auckland. Set on the Simunovich Olive Estate, chefs grow food in the estate’s gardens and serve up scrumptious Mediterranean style food on the restaurant’s beautiful veranda.



5 Adventure activities on the North Island

By New Zealand / North Island /

From climbing bridges to trekking through alpine wilderness, New Zealand’s North Island is home to many exciting activities, which are often overlooked by travellers in favour of the South Island’s outdoor adventures.

Here are five adventure activities you must try up north.

Auckland Bridge Climb
New Zealand’s only bridge climb is based in Auckland. Your tour guide leads you up the bridge, highlighting some of the bridge’s architectural features. The one and a half hour tour also allows you to spot the city’s iconic landmarks before you reach the summit, where incredible 360 degree views await.

Rafting on the Kaituna River (pictured)
White water rafting at its best awaits on the Kaituna River. You’ll be bumped around as your guide takes you across the river at high speed and launches over waterfalls, which are several metres high. This thrilling but safe activity keeps you on the edge of your toes but is also loads of fun.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park, which is famous for its dramatic scenery. It’s volcanic peaks and the amazing views make the Tongariro Alpine Crossing one of the world’s best one-day treks. The 19km journey is steep in some parts, but the scenic views are rewarding.

Waitomo Caving
Exploring the underground Waitomo caves is like entering another world. Waitomo Adventures’ Lost World 7 Hour Epic tour takes you river caving, swimming, climbing and also abseiling through the caves. Other tours take you to see beautiful glowworms, or you can even go black water rafting in the caves.

Snorkel the Poor Knights Islands
More than 20km off New Zealand’s Tutukaka Coast you’ll find the Poor Knights Islands. The islands are 11 million years old with volcanic origins, treating travellers to spectacular arches, tunnels and drop offs. There are impressive underwater caves and unique, tropical fish that have made the rocky reefs below the surface their home.



Where to take your campervan in New Zealand

By New Zealand /

Wellington is the perfect place to start your campervan trip across New Zealand. The country’s capital city is located at the bottom of the North Island and isn’t far from the top of the South Island.

Pick up your New Zealand hire campervan and drive to these incredible places.

Milford Sound
It’s one of New Zealand’s most famous natural attractions, with its dramatic peaks overlooking beautiful coastal scenery. Hike to the mountain tops, or perhaps cruise or kayak along the famous Mirror Lakes. Wherever you go in Milford Sound, take your camera with you, because at every turn incredible natural beauty awaits.

Franz Josef Glacier
The Franz Josef Glacier is only a few kilometres from the town of the same name. It’s one of the world’s most accessible glaciers, with several lookouts and hiking trails. However, it’s definitely worth taking a guided ice walk over the 12km long glacier, which descends from the top of the alps into a rainforest close to sea level.

Bay of Islands
The beautiful Bay of Islands is made up of nearly 150 islands, plus enough sandy beaches and hidden bays to make you feel as if you have your own private space. The Bay of Islands is home to marine life, such as whales, dolphins and penguins, which can be spotted on many wildlife tours.

Cape Reinga
No visit to New Zealand is complete without stopping by the country’s northwesternmost tip. This vast and pristine region is surrounded by rolling green hills. Then there’s plenty of beautiful coastal views along Ninety Mile Beach. The region is also rich in Maori culture and tradition.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Rotorua’s famous tourist attraction is known as the world’s youngest geothermal system. There are many eco tours through this geothermal park, where you can explore volcanic craters and steaming lakes. You can also take a boat cruise or go hiking, which will last you from 40 minutes to several hours.



Driving through New Zealand’s north island

By New Zealand / North Island /

A drive through New Zealand’s north island in a campervan is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Head to DriveNow to hire a campervan in Auckland, then make your way to these fascinating areas.

Bay of Plenty
The beautiful Bay of Plenty is home to New Zealand’s only active volcano, White Island. You’ll have a chance to explore the island and learn about the country’s volcanic workings. While in the Bay of Plenty, take in the sights of Tauranga Harbour with a kayaking trip, join a night-time glow worm tour on Lake McLaren, or swim with wild dolphins on a boat trip.

Experience Wellington’s vibrant street culture, and its lively city markets, walking and biking trails and superb dining scene. The city is also filled with museums, galleries and parkland, making Wellington an interesting destination with lots to see and do. One of Wellington’s highlights – not to be missed – is the Mount Victoria Lookout, which looks upon the city and its surrounds.

This is your chance to experience Middle Earth! Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton movie set, where the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit stories came to life. During the tour, true LOTR fans will spot where certain scenes took place, but you’ll also be treated to spectacular views of the Kaimai. Under the region’s rolling hills, you’ll also find a fascinating system of caves and underground sink holes.

Rotorua is an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers, with its crystal-clear waters and exciting mountain biking trails. You can also experience a taste of traditional Maori culture, by heading to a village on the edge of Lake Rotorua. Head a little bit further to Hot Water Beach, on the shores of Lake Tarawera, to experience Rotorua’s volcanic and geothermal activity!

Lake Taupo
Visit the Huka Falls, which transports water from Lake Taupo in the Waikato River. To see the falls firsthand is a sight you’ll never forget. The Huka Falls drops 220,000 litres of water every second! Afterwards, you can enjoy a relaxing walk along Lake Taupo, which can also take you through native forests, if you choose to do so.



Driving through New Zealand’s south island

By New Zealand / South Island /

New Zealand’s south island is home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. Hire a campervan in Christchurch and drive through some of these incredible regions.

The Alpine Pacific Triangle comprises of three incredible areas. Head to the Waipara Valley, where you’ll encounter award winning wineries. The area is best known for its rich and spicy Pinot Noirs and Rieslings. You can then expore the thermal waters along with native forests and limestone hills in Hurunui. Then there’s the waters off Kaikoura, where majestic Humpback whales and orcas are frequently spotted.

One of the most popular attractions for tourists is watching yellow-eyed penguins surf into the beach along the scenic Otago Peninsula. Also worth exploring, is Dunedin’s incredible architecture. Travel around the city and take in all the sites it has to offer. Don’t miss the country’s most photographed building, Dunedin Railway Station, which was constructed in 1906!

Queenstown and its surrounds captivate visitors from all corners of the globe. The snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and outdoor adventure activities so often seen on postcards are all found in Queenstown. Kayak across Lake Wakatipu, go bushwalking, skiing, white water rafting and canyon-swinging – these are just a few of the adventures to be had here.

The amazing Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail takes you past glaciers, mountains, golden highlands and vineyards. Another popular attraction, which is located in the middle of the Waitaki region’s coastline, is the mysterious Moeraki Boulders. The sight of these two metre high, spherical boulders scattered across the beach at sunset is a photographer’s delight.

There’s no shortness of pristine beauty in Fiordland. The region has crystal-clear lakes, lush forests and tumbling waterfalls – each as breathtaking as the other. Cruise the glacial waters of the south island’s biggest lake, Te Anau, or around the famous Milford Sound. Take a tour to the glow-worm grotto near Lake Te Anau, where the caves are geologicall active. Wherever you go, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences in Fiordland.



Places to park your campervan in Wellington

By New Zealand / Wellington /

Pick up a great campervan deal from Wellington and visit some of the exciting attractions the city has to offer.

If in need of some ideas of great places where you can park your campervan in Wellington, read on.

Wellington’s Kiwi Holiday Park
This family run holiday park is tucked away in the scenic parklands of the Akatarawa Valley in Upper Hutt. It’s set on 32 hectares of peaceful native bush and parkland, surrounded by wildlife and a river running through the area. It’s location makes it an ideal setting for a relaxing stopover when heading to or from New Zealand’s South Island.

Camp Elsdon
This family-friendly camp overlooks the magnificent Porirua Harbour and is surrounded by native bush. There’s are many fantastic bush walks and bike tracks around Camp Elsdon, and they’ll treat you to amazing, panoramic views of Porirua, Wellington and the South Island.

Wellington Waterfront Motorhome Park
Drive straight off the ferry from the South Island and into the Wellington Waterfront Motorhome Park. It may not have the recreational facilities you’d find elsewhere, but it’s convenient location – close to major tourist attractions, cafes and bars – makes it a great place to base yourself when exploring Wellington.

Paekakariki Holiday Park
About half an hour from Wellington City, Paekakariki Holiday Park sits on 11 acres of park-like grounds. It boasts full park amenities, and it’s only a 10-minute walk to the lovely township of Paekakariki. There are also dog friendly campsites available – so why not bring every member of the family along?

Capital Gateway Motor Inn
It’s touted as “the best location to enjoy New Zealand’s capital city”. The Capital Gateway Motor Inn is located just minutes from the city centre and the waterfront, so you’re close to all of the city’s main attractions. There’s also a cosy bar and restaurant open every night of the week.


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Where to visit in Queenstown with your campervan

By New Zealand / Queenstown /

Queenstown is one massive adventure waiting to happen. Rent a campervan from DriveNow and visit these amazing places when staying around the city.

Queenstown Hill Walk
It’s a fairly easy walk, but there are amazing views once you reach the top. Drive to Belfast Street in Queenstown before hiking through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapunui. Stunning views overlooking Lake Wakatipu await during the three hour return journey. You’ll also learn about Maori history, Queensland’s gold rush and how Queenstown became the Adventure Capital of the World along the way with information signs.

Walter Peak High Country Farm
Experience the beautiful Lake Wakatipu by cruising across it in a vintage steamship, before disembarking at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here, you’ll help feed adorable farm animals, watch a sheep shearing display and join horse treks or cycling excursions.

Camp and canoe at Moke Lake
Moke Lake is touted as one of the best camping spots in all of New Zealand, but it’s often overlooked in favour of Lake Wakatipu. However, beautiful Moke Lake sits in the mountains nearby, and is a perfect spot to bring along your own canoe or kayak. If you’re daring, why not go for a swim? Just make sure you bring a wetsuit!

Skiing The Remarkables
Located in the Remarkables mountain range is a popular ski field, which is just over half an hour’s drive from Queenstown. The north-facing slopes are a great spot for beginners learning how to ski or snowboard. However, the terrain is varied, which means The Remarkables is also an adventure paradise for experienced skiiers. Not to mention the amazing views!

Chard Farm winery
Close to Queenstown is Chard Farm, which was established in 1987. It makes them one of the pioneers of wine in Central Otago, producing fine cool climate wines. Sit down to a wine tasting like no other at Chard Farm. It specialises in Single Vineyard pinot noirs and Chard Farm’s philosophy is that people prefer drinking wines with interesting flavours, rather than simply tasting special wines.


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Places to park your campervan around Christchurch

By Christchurch / New Zealand /

No visit to New Zealand is complete with stopping by Christchurch. A campervan is the perfect tool to explore Christchurch city and surrounds. Hire a campervan by browsing DriveNow’s specials, and park your campervan at some of these fantastic holiday parks.

Amber Kiwi Holiday Park
This small inner city holiday park is just 4km from Cathedral Square. It sits on landscaped grounds, making it a peaceful setting for a holiday with the family. With a relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere, it’s also close to all the attractions Christchurch’s CBD has to offer.

Waikuku Beach Holiday Park (pictured)
Waikuku Beach Holiday Park sits only 100 metres from a surf and swim beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards during summer. There’s also a forest separating the holiday park from the beach, with several walking trails. Not to mention the flying fox, basketball court and golf course nearby, offering plenty of entertainment for children.

Rakaia River Holiday Park
Less than an hour south west of Christchurch is Rakaia River Holiday Park, set amongst the trees and surrounded by tranquil walking trails. Fishermen also say it’s one of the best places to camp in New Zealand. It’s located right next to the Rakaia River, which is said to be one of the country’s best salmon fishing rivers.

North South Holiday Park
Located just minutes from Christchurch International Airport is this relaxing, tree-lined holiday retreat. Its location makes for a wonderful base from which to explore the CBD and surrounding attractions. With powered sites available and a range of facilities, such as a swimming pool and outside lounge, it’s a great place to relax after a busy day of exploring the area.

Alpine Pacific Holiday Park
Drive two hours north of Christchurch and you’ll discover nature at its finest in Kaikoura. There are coastal walks, marine life encounters, with snow capped peaks in the distance. Alpine Pacific Holiday Park’s tranquil setting also makes it the perfect place to base the family as you explore this pristine area.