One of the best things about travelling by campervan is the freedom you have to soak in the view in places you wouldn’t normally spend time in if you were travelling by car.
We travelled in the The Suite from Wilderness Motorhomes, it’s one of the only motorhomes with a huge back window view which meant we could sit and enjoy breakfast, coffee or the scenery to our heart’s content. Here are our favourite spots from our recent South Island adventure:
1. Banks Peninsula/Akaroa
The drive over to Akaroa isn’t for the faint of heart as it’s windy and elevated, but the views as you reach the summit of the road and descend towards the harbour are gorgeous, looking out over farmland and the various bays of Akaroa harbour.
2. Hanmer Springs
After spending the night in a random field for $5 (thanks to a tip from a local), we woke early and headed ten minutes out of town to the Waiau Ferry Bridge viewpoint. It was the perfect place to park up for breakfast and to capture the panorama of the winding river far below.
3. Lake Camp/Clearwater
The night we spent at Lake Camp is one of the highlights of the trip for me. The calm and moody conditions at sunrise looking across to Mt Potts were truly memorable.
4. Wilson Bay
I think you’d be hard pushed to find a better view in Queenstown, away from the hubbub of the main town, than Wilson Bay. This has always been a favourite spot whenever I’ve been in the area. The calm and clear morning made it the perfect place to stop on this wintery day.
5. Peter’s Lookout
Anyone who’s been to Mount Cook knows this is a great spot to get a view of Mount Cook from afar. But to see it in such incredible early morning light on what turned out to be the best sunrise of the trip was an added bonus. I was in seventh heaven capturing the awesome lenticular clouds that formed above the mountain.
Love these camp spots?
6. Ahuriri Valley
We’d originally intended to stay the night in the valley but the road got a bit dodgy and less maintained the further in we traveled. We didn’t fancy getting stuck in there with no reception and no one around for miles! In the end we turned around at a beautiful wetland spot and I was able to capture the lovely sunset hues over the mountains.
7. Mt Cook under the Stars
Whenever I’ve been at Mount Cook, I’ve chosen to stay at White Horse Hill campsite. It’s right in the heart of the national park. You are literally surrounded with a 360 degree view of the mountains. It’s quite possibly my favourite campsite in the whole of New Zealand. White Horse Hill may be beautiful by day but it really comes alive at night under the stars. With so little light pollution, this really is one of the best places in New Zealand for stargazing.
I’m always mesmerised by the lakes dotted around the area so it’s pretty hard to pick a favourite spot. However, the morning we arrived here the clouds were all kinds of wonderful so I found it hard to pull myself away from this spot!
9. Bennetts Bluff
This is a famous lookout spot on the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road. One that’s very easy to pull over and enjoy the views even when driving a big motorhome like The Suite. The views in both directions down Lake Wakatipu are simply jaw dropping. If you can time your visit early or late in the day you might even have this spot with its stunning light all to yourself.
10. Let it snow
Ok so this technically isn’t anywhere specific to park but how beautiful does the Wilderness motorhome look surrounded by all that white powdery goodness? Just magical I think you’ll agree. So if you can time your trip to visit an area covered in fresh snow, I think you’ll be happy to park up just about anywhere!
Love these camp spots? Download Meghan's full 10-day South Island campervan itinerary to help plan your trip!