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helicopter tour over new zealand

How To Make The Most Of Your Winter Road trip

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For those in the know, winter is becoming the trendy time to travel in New Zealand. Escaping the crowds of summer, cheaper prices and a unique range of activities are only some of the reasons more and more people are choosing to travel over winter. So to help you squeeze the most out of your trip, we've put together a few suggestions to optimize your winter travels.

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Staying Warm & Comfortable

One of the most important elements to enjoying your trip is staying warm. From all that life experience you've garnered surviving multiple winters, you'll know that winter is only cold and miserable if you aren't prepared.  

Layer up your clothing - the key to staying warm is winter is to wear layers, as they allow you to add or remove them to adjust your body temperature for activities and weather conditions. There are three key layers; base, mid and outer - we love to incorporate merino as it provides the benefits of active clothing with timeless fashion. 

 

Stay in powered campsites - you'll be able to plug the campervan into power and utilise all the amenities of the campervan. You'll be able to use the heater (all night if you like) to keep yourself cozy which is well advised if you're travelling South Island mid-winter. 

 

Eat & drink warm - you've got access to everything you need in your campervan to cook up some warm winter meals - complement a warming soup with a cup of tea or whip together a hot chocolate just before bed.  

Where To Go & What To Do

As New Zealand is a long narrow country, conditions vary hugely from top to bottom. Dependent on the experience you want for your winter trip, there are a few locations to visit. 

Northland (north of Auckland) & Coromandel

Due to their location, closest to the equator, these locations are perfect for a winter getaway. Featuring long beaches, stunning coastal scenery and some quaint cafes, sunny winter days are the perfect time to get out and explore. It's unlikely you'll want to swim in the sea, but if you've ever dreamed of walking along a deserted white sand beach in New Zealand in the sun, then your dreams can come true this winter! 

Rotorua & Taupo

The perfect mix of culture and geothermal activity. Take the morning to enjoy a Maori cultural show at Te Puia, followed by a walk through their geothermal area inclusive of active geyser. If you're keen to experience the magical and mythical water for yourself, spend an afternoon relaxing in the naturally heated private pools on the side of Lake Rotorua. 

Image credit - Te Puia

Queenstown & Wanaka 

Winter capital of the South Hemisphere, Queenstown and Wanaka provide a great location with which to spend a few days. With 4 ski resorts split between the two towns, plus a resort for cross country skiing and dogsledding, your skiing needs are covered right here. If snow isn't your thing, then there are plenty of short scenic walks to take in (think views of snow-capped mountains and lakes) and plenty of wineries to try out. 

Image credit - Martyn Williams

West Coast

The glaciers. Amazing in summer, spectacular in winter. By far the best way to see them is to take a guided helicopter flight over them - something you'll remember for a lifetime. If heights aren't your thing you can still walk up to the bottom of the glaciers to admire them - or take a guided walk on the glacier itself, for the more adventurous.  

Image credit - Fox Glacier Guides

Inspired by the sound of this unique winter? Take a look at our New Zealand itineraries to include these key locations into your road trip.