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Hawke's Bay

Looking for a New Zealand campervan holiday destination that ticks the boxes for sunshine, adventure, great food, and perhaps a little history and culture? You can’t go past Hawke’s Bay. This stunning region offers a taste of the good life amidst some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Whether you’re into adventurous hikes, wine tasting, or family fun, you’ll find plenty of great things to do in Hawke’s Bay.  

The appeal of the Hawke's Bay region lies not only in its charming townships such as Napier and Hastings but also in its natural attractions. The Hawke’s Bay weather is among the best in New Zealand, boasting plenty of sunshine that ripens grapes in its world-renowned vineyards and warms its expansive beaches. This climate makes the region a year-round destination for visitors looking to explore the outdoors whether on bike trails, on foot through its scenic reserves, or along its stunning coastlines.

Travelling by campervan allows you to take in everything Hawke's Bay has to offer at your own pace. Wake up to ocean views, spend your days discovering local markets or touring iconic wineries in Hawke’s Bay. In the evenings, enjoy relaxed sunset meals prepared in your campervan kitchen. And with plenty of Hawke’s Bay accommodation for campervan travellers, you’ve got the freedom to explore far and wide.

 

Why explore Hawke’s Bay by campervan

Exploring Hawke's Bay by campervan offers an unparalleled opportunity to dive deep into the region's offerings at your own pace. From the freedom to wander through the sunlit vineyards of Hawke’s Bay to parking along the coastlines near Napier, your campervan allows for a flexible, immersive travel experience. 

Travelling by campervan comes with heaps of perks that make the trip even better. Fancy cooking up some local produce from a roadside stall? You've got your own kitchen right there. Tired of hauling suitcases in and out of hotels? That's not an issue when your campervan acts as your base. You can also pack all the gear you need for outdoor fun – like hiking packs or surfboards – without worrying about space. And let’s not forget the convenience of having your own bathroom, which means no more hunting for public restrooms. It’s all about making your holiday as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.

 

Things to do in Hawke’s Bay

Hawke's Bay is a playground for explorers, foodies, and culture enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in the rich history and Art Deco architecture of Napier. Sample some of New Zealand's finest wines. Or simply explore the natural beauty of the region's landscapes and coastlines. Whatever you’re keen to see and do, there's something here for everyone. 

Things to do Hawkes Bay Things to do Hawkes Bay

Things to do Hawkes Bay

From Art Deco delights to world-class wineries, there's no shortage of unforgettable places to visit in Hawke’s Bay. And there’s...
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 Popular Hawke’s Bay road trips & itineraries

Located on the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island, Hawke's Bay is easily accessible from major cities including Auckland and Wellington. Setting off from Napier, the heart of Hawke's Bay, you can delve into the area's renowned Art Deco architecture, explore the dramatic cliffs of Cape Kidnappers, or indulge in a tasting tour through its famous vineyards. Whether coming down from Auckland or making your way up from Wellington or even the South Island, Hawke’s Bay is perfectly poised to offer an unforgettable New Zealand road trip. 

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Great savings on your New Zealand road trip

Apollo offers a fantastic selection of deals and specials for those looking to explore New Zealand by campervan. From hot deals and last-minute discounts to long-term hire benefits, you’re sure to find a deal designed to help you make the most of your campervan adventure. 

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Apollo Campervan branches

Auckland

Departing from Apollo Auckland, you’re perfectly positioned for a half-day drive to Northland & the Bay of Islands. This route ensures a seamless blend of scenic beauty and local culture, culminating in the stunning landscapes of Northland.

Christchurch

The drive from Apollo Christchurch to Northland & the Bay of Islands sets you up for a scenic multi-day journey across the South Island, including the picturesque ferry crossing at the Cook Strait, and into the North Island. 

Queenstown

Keen to make the most of your road trip and explore as much of New Zealand as possible? Book your camper with our Queenstown branch and take your time heading northward over an epic 10-14 days taking in some of the great southern highlights along the way. 

Auckland City Skyline

Auckland

New Zealand’s multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture.

 

Christchurch City, New Zealand

Christchurch

 One of the world’s most unique destinations.

 

Queenstown

Breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

 

Helpful tips for visiting Hawke's Bay

 

Climate and seasons in Hawkes

Hawke's Bay is known for its consistently warm and dry climate, making it a favoured destination throughout the year. The region's weather complements its reputation as one of New Zealand's premier wine-growing areas, with long, sunny days that nurture vineyards and invite outdoor adventures.

  • Summers (December to February) in Hawke's Bay are typically warm and dry, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. This is the perfect time for beach outings at places like Waimarama or Ocean Beach, and for enjoying al fresco dining in Napier or Hastings. The warm weather also makes this a peak season for exploring the region’s numerous vineyards and wineries.

  • Autumn (March to May) brings cooler temperatures and the landscape bursts into vibrant colours, especially in the vineyards where the leaves change hues against a backdrop of crisp blue skies. The mild weather is ideal for hiking and cycling through the region's parks and reserves.

  • Winter (June to August) sees cooler days with temperatures generally between 10°C and 15°C. Although colder, the days are often clear and sunny, providing perfect conditions for visiting indoor attractions like the Art Deco buildings in Napier or the Hawke's Bay Museum.

  • Spring (September to November) rejuvenates the region with fresh blooms and gradually warming temperatures. It's an excellent time to witness the orchards in blossom and to enjoy the late spring events that celebrate the region’s produce and wine.

Hawke's Bay's sheltered position in the rain shadow of the central mountain range means it receives less rainfall than many other parts of New Zealand, but packing a rain jacket is still advisable. The pleasant climate in spring and autumn, along with the vibrant seasonal changes, make these particularly delightful times to visit.

 

 

What to pack?

Preparing for your campervan adventure in Hawke's Bay calls for smart packing to make the most of the region's sunny climate and abundant outdoor activities. From relaxing on its beautiful beaches to touring its famous wineries, here’s what you should consider bringing along:

  • Outdoor gear: Hawke's Bay's varied landscapes, from coastal paths to vineyard trails, demand versatile outdoor gear. Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing to keep cool during warm days, and include a layer or two for the cooler evenings – perfect for enjoying a night under the stars. Sturdy walking shoes are a must, whether you’re exploring the streets of Napier or hiking the trails at Te Mata Peak.
  • Campervan add-ons: To enhance your campervan experience, think about including a few extras. A portable barbecue is great for cooking up local produce as you enjoy panoramic views of the bay, and additional camping chairs and a table will make your setup outside the van more comfortable and inviting.
  • Sun protection: Given Hawke's Bay's reputation for being one of the sunniest areas in New Zealand, good sun protection is essential. Pack a high-SPF sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun, ensuring you can safely enjoy the great outdoors throughout your trip. For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

 

Attractions and day trips in Hawke's Bay

 

Napier

A city reborn from the 1931 earthquake, Napier is renowned for its beautifully preserved Art Deco architecture. Strolling through the city, visitors can enjoy vibrant street art, boutique shops, and waterfront cafes that make Napier a cultural gem worth exploring.

Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers is famous for its dramatic coastal cliffs and as the home to the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. A guided tour offers a chance to see these magnificent birds up close and enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Te Mata Peak

Te Mata Peak provides panoramic views of Hawke's Bay and is a must-visit for anyone wanting to capture the beauty of the region from above. Hiking trails range from easy to challenging, catering to all fitness levels.

Wineries

Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's oldest wine regions, famed for its Bordeaux blend reds and rich Chardonnays. Visiting local wineries for tastings and tours is an indulgent way to experience the area's gourmet offerings.

Art Deco Tours

Take a step back in time with an Art Deco tour in Napier. These guided tours, often available on foot or by vintage car, highlight the city's unique history and architectural heritage, celebrating the style that defines the region.

Beaches

Ocean Beach and Waimarama Beach are pristine stretches of sand perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and long beach walks. Both beaches offer a tranquil escape with stunning ocean views, ideal for a relaxing day by the sea.

Havelock North

Havelock North is a picturesque village known for its artisanal food scene, boutique shopping, and the lush Te Mata Park. Its charm and scenic setting make it a delightful stop for those exploring the greater Hawke's Bay area.

 

Where to stay in Hawke's Bay with a campervan

When it comes to finding the perfect spot to park and rest in Hawke’s Bay, there's no shortage of picturesque, comfy campgrounds. Here are a few worth checking out:

Napier

Wider Hawke’s Bay

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

The best family-friendly restaurants in Auckland.

Planning to book a campervan hire for a New Zealand road trip to the City of Sails? If you’re looking for some good family restaurants in Auckland to enjoy while you’re there, we’ve got you covered. 

In this handy guide, we’ve rounded up the best family restaurants in Auckland.  From the bustling Auckland Viaduct to quaint corners of the city, we've pinpointed places that cater to every palate, ensuring your campervan holiday is peppered with memorable dining experiences. Whether it's a quick bite or a special meal, these spots promise satisfaction for all ages.

 

Why you should explore Auckland with your family

Sitting near the top of the North Island, Auckland is New Zealand's largest city. It’s also a playground for families seeking a blend of urban excitement and natural wonders. With its stunning beaches, beautiful parks and reserves, world-class attractions, and excellent holiday parks, there’s something on offer for ages and stages. 

The city's family-friendly vibe also extends to its diverse range of eateries. From cosy cafes and tasty takeaways to ethnic cuisine and fine dining, you won’t have to go too far to find great family restaurants in Auckland.

 

What’s the best way to explore Auckland?

When it comes to discovering Auckland's treasures at your own pace, nothing beats the freedom of an Apollo campervan. In fact, our great range of campers are tailor-made for family adventures with spacious interiors, comfortable beds, and essential on-the-go facilities.

Whether you’re travelling with tots or teens, you’ll find the comfort and convenience of an Apollo campervan is hard to beat. Littlies can take a nap or use the bathroom whenever they need to – no worries about heading back to the motel or hunting out a public bathroom! And older kids will benefit from a change in routine, switching off devices, and enjoying some quality family time. There’s something about campervan travel that brings a family together in the best possible way! 

READ MORE: Check out our top 10 tips for campervan road trips with kids.

 

The best family-friendly restaurants in Auckland

Feeling peckish? Park up the campervan and tuck into one of these top family friendly restaurants in Auckland. 

 

Federal Delicatessen

For a slice of the Big Apple right in the heart of Auckland, Federal Delicatessen on Federal Street is your go-to. This spot brings the authentic deli experience down under, making it a fantastic option for families craving a taste of classic American cuisine with a Kiwi twist. The laid-back atmosphere, combined with a menu brimming with comfort food, makes it an inviting place for both adults and kids.

One of the standout dishes worth trying is the Salmon Latkes - crispy potato pancakes topped with lox, crème fraîche, and dill, perfect for sharing. And for the sweet-toothed, the NY cheesecake is a guaranteed hit. 


Mexico Britomart

Nestled in the heart of Auckland's bustling Britomart precinct, Mexico Britomart offers a lively and colourful dining experience perfect for families looking to spice up their meal times. Celebrating the fresh and vibrant side of Mexican cuisine, this restaurant is a feast for the senses, from its eclectic decor to its flavour-packed dishes.

Families will appreciate the welcoming atmosphere and the menu's variety – even the pickiest eaters find something to love! A must-try is their range of soft tacos, customisable with fillings to suit all tastes. With gluten-free and vegan options aplenty, Mexico Britomart caters to every dietary need, making it one of the best family restaurants in Auckland. 


Azabu

Tucked away on Ponsonby Road, Azabu Ponsonby is a gem that brings a slice of Tokyo to Auckland. Known for its award-winning Japanese cuisine, Azabu makes dining out with the family an adventure in culinary exploration. The restaurant's modern twist on traditional Japanese dishes, combined with a vibrant atmosphere, makes it an exciting choice for family meals.

Azabu's menu, rich with Nikkei-influenced dishes, offers something for everyone. A standout for families is the selection of sushi and sashimi, prepared with the freshest local ingredients. 


Non Solo Pizza

In the mood for pizza? You can’t beat Non Solo Pizza. This beloved spot, located in the historic suburb of Parnell, is renowned for its warm ambience and a menu that pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of Italy. 

The wood-fired pizzas, with their crispy bases and flavourful toppings, are a hit among kids, while adults can indulge in the array of pasta dishes, succulent steak, roasted pork belly, or chicken cotoletta. Yum! The inviting garden bar and the lively dining room provide the perfect backdrop for family meals.


Burger Burger

Who doesn’t love a good burger, right? Our top pick for mouthwatering, tummy-filling burgers the whole family will love is Burger Burger. With locations sprinkled across Auckland, this burger haven is known for its commitment to quality, serving up gourmet burgers that are sure to please. The casual, vibrant atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a relaxed family dinner, where everyone can unwind.

Burger Burger's menu is a testament to their love for burgers, offering a variety of options from classic beef and cheese to more adventurous choices. One of the crowd-pleasers is the Lasagne Topper burger, packed with lasagna, pancetta, pesto mayo, and parmesan. Paired with their famous hand-cut fries and a side of homemade aioli, it's a meal that promises satisfaction in every bite. And you can add extras to any burger so that it’s made just the way you want it. 


Ortolana

Known for its commitment to fresh, local produce, Ortolana is a charming bistro that brings the essence of the garden to your table, making it a special spot for families who appreciate the farm-to-table concept.

Located in the heart of Britomart, Ortolana's inviting atmosphere and open kitchen design allow families to enjoy a meal in a setting that feels both intimate and inclusive. The menu, rich with dishes that highlight the season's best, offers something for every palate. From morning brunches with freshly baked scones to leisurely lunches featuring artisanal pasta, Ortolana definitely belongs on the list of top family restaurants in Auckland.  


Prego

Another Ponsonby Road family favourite, Prego is a cornerstone of Auckland's dining scene, offering a slice of Italy right in the heart of the city. Since 1986, this licensed Italian restaurant has been serving authentic Italian cuisine coupled with warm, award-winning service. 

Prego's menu offers a wide array of dishes that cater to various dietary needs, including halal meats and vegan options upon request. Families can dive into a range of pizzas and pastas, with gluten-free options available, ensuring a satisfying dining experience for all. 


Mekong Baby

Also located on Ponsonby Road, Mekong Baby offers a unique dining experience that transports families to the heart of Southeast Asia. This bustling restaurant and bar is celebrated for its innovative take on fusion cuisine, blending traditional flavours with a modern twist. 

The menu at Mekong Baby is simply mouthwatering, with flavoursome dishes designed to be shared and savoured. Families can enjoy a variety of offerings, from succulent meats to fresh, zesty salads. A standout dish that's sure to be a hit with all ages is the braised pork belly, perfectly balanced with tangy Asian slaw. 


Baduzzi

Situated in the bustling North Wharf area on Auckland’s waterfront, Baduzzi is known for its exceptional service and a menu that pays homage to the rich traditions of Italian cuisine, all while embracing the spirit of Aotearoa.

Baduzzi is a fantastic choice for families, thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and a menu that caters to all ages. The restaurant prides itself on its handmade meatballs – choose from crayfish, wild red deer, slow-cooked lamb, or vegetarian options. You’ll also find a tasty selection of handmade pasta, succulent seafood, and delicious desserts. 


Bao & Noodle

Located on Lorne Street, Bao & Noodle is a culinary gem serving up authentic Chinese cuisine. Bao & Noodle is particularly appealing to families due to its focus on traditional recipes and high-quality ingredients, like their Sichuan peppers sourced directly from Sichuan. 

The restaurant's open kitchen allows diners to watch as chefs skillfully prepare handmade dumplings, adding an element of entertainment to the dining experience. With menu highlights such as DanDan noodles and sauced pork buns, Bao & Noodle offers dishes that are sure to captivate the taste buds of both young and old, making every family meal a memorable one.

 

Where to stay with your family in Auckland

Finding the perfect Auckland holiday park or campground is key to a memorable campervan adventure. Whether you're after the simplicity of a council campsite or the full suite of amenities offered by holiday parks, Auckland has plenty of great options to suit every family. 

For a detailed look at the top picks, dive into our guide to the 10 best family-friendly campgrounds near Auckland. From beachfront retreats to chilled-out bush settings, discover the ideal base for your family's exploration of this vibrant city and its stunning surroundings.

 

Looking for things to do with your family in Auckland?

With your accommodation all set, it's time to fill your travel itinerary with exciting activities. The city is brimming with family-friendly attractions, from museums and galleries to lush parks and thrilling adventure activities. Whether you're looking to immerse in the local culture, enjoy the great outdoors, or simply have fun, Auckland has something for everyone. 

Get inspired and start planning your family's adventure with our guide on 15 family-friendly things to do in Auckland

 

Ready to book your Auckland family road trip?

From the vibrant flavours of Southeast Asia at Mekong Baby to the authentic Italian fare at Baduzzi, Auckland’s family friendly restaurants each offer a unique taste of the city’s diverse food culture. Ready to try a few out? Book your Apollo campervan online today, pick it up from our convenient Auckland branch and start planning your unforgettable, flavour-filled Auckland road trip now!

 

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