What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand | Apollo NZ
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Nelson & Marlborough

Craving artistic flair, golden beaches, and a taste of adventure? Look no further than the Nelson and Marlborough region. Sitting at the top of New Zealand's South Island, this area is packed full of natural beauty, culinary excellence, and cultural richness. It’s easy to see why it makes the perfect destination for a New Zealand campervan holiday. Nelson, often hailed as New Zealand’s ‘sunshine capital’, radiates a warm, inviting atmosphere complemented by its vibrant arts community, historic architecture, and bustling markets. Nearby, the tranquil Marlborough Sounds offers a playground for kayaking, fishing, and scenic cruises. Wine enthusiasts will relish visiting Marlborough's famed vineyards, where tasting world-class wines becomes a memorable part of the journey.

A road trip through Nelson and Marlborough in an Apollo campervan means every day is a new adventure, crafted just to your liking. With the flexibility to explore hidden gems, from the secluded coves of Golden Bay in Nelson to the enchanting Marlborough Sounds, your journey can be as laid-back or as action-packed as you desire. The convenience of travelling by campervan, complete with a kitchen, bed, and bathroom, means that the beauty of Nelson NZ and the Marlborough Sounds are yours to enjoy in your own time. Whether you're soaking up the sun on Nelson's beaches or sipping on exquisite sauvignon blanc in Marlborough, travelling by campervan offers a truly unforgettable experience. 

 

Why explore Nelson & Marlborough by campervan

Travelling in a campervan, especially through beautiful areas like Nelson and Marlborough, turns a simple holiday into a series of unforgettable experiences. It's your adventure, at your pace, surrounded by the comfort and convenience that only campervan travel can offer. With a campervan, you're not tied down. You can linger over a long lunch in a Nelson café or decide to spend an extra day tasting wines in Marlborough because you've fallen in love with the scenery.

The journey itself becomes part of the fun when you're in a campervan. It's about making spontaneous stops at breathtaking lookouts, enjoying your morning coffee in the middle of postcard-perfect views, and finding your own special spot to watch the stars. Stumbled upon a hidden gem in Golden Bay or found a hiking track in Marlborough you’d like to tackle? With a campervan, you have the freedom to explore it as much as you like.

 

Things to do in Nelson & Marlborough

Nelson and Marlborough are rich with activities and attractions, offering something special for every kind of traveller. For families on holiday, there are endless opportunities for fun, from exploring the sun-drenched beaches of Nelson to the interactive and educational experiences in the region's museums and galleries. Food enthusiasts will revel in the culinary journey through Nelson and Marlborough, from the fresh seafood of the coastal areas to the exquisite flavours of the region's renowned wineries. Whether you're indulging in a leisurely lunch at a vineyard in Marlborough or sampling local artisan produce at a Nelson market, your taste buds are in for a treat. Adventure seekers and nature lovers won't be left wanting either. With activities like kayaking through the Marlborough Sounds or hiking the trails of the Abel Tasman National Park, the great outdoors is your playground. And for those looking to unwind, the charming towns scattered throughout the region offer a peaceful retreat with their unique boutiques, cafes, and galleries.

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Popular Nelson road trips & itineraries

Nestled at the top of New Zealand's South Island, Nelson and Marlborough are prime starting points for some of the most picturesque road trips in the country. Kicking off from Nelson, you can weave through the scenic drives that unveil the artistic townships, golden beaches, and lush national parks. Heading into Marlborough, the journey continues through rolling vineyards and along the majestic Marlborough Sounds. Whether you're venturing from the urban buzz of the North Island or the rugged landscapes of the South, these regions promise memorable campervan road trip adventures tailored to every interest. Here are a few worth checking out:

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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

Christchurch

The drive from Apollo Christchurch to Nelson takes you along some of the South Island’s most scenic coastline. There’s a fair bit to see and do along the way, so be sure to take your time and perhaps plan an overnight stay in Kaikoura. 

Queenstown

Keen to make the most of your road trip and explore more of the South Island? Book your camper with our Queenstown branch and spend a few days heading northward taking in some of the great southern highlights along the way. 

Auckland

The North Island is packed full of sights and experiences, so why not tick off a few with a road trip from Apollo Auckland to Nelson? This journey includes crossing the Cook Strait by ferry offering the opportunity to travel through the pristine Marlborough Sounds. 

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 Nelson & Marlborough

 

Climate and seasons in Nelson & Marlborough

Nelson and Marlborough are renowned for their inviting climates, making them year-round destinations for visitors. Nelson, often celebrated as the sunniest city in New Zealand, enjoys a mild maritime climate that complements its outdoor lifestyle and vibrant arts culture.

  • Summer (December to February) in Nelson are warm and sunny, with temperatures typically ranging from 20°C to 25°C, perfect for enjoying the region's stunning beaches and outdoor dining. In Marlborough, the warmth accentuates the beauty of the vineyards, making it an ideal time for wine tasting and scenic tours.

  • Autumn (March to May) in Nelson are warm and sunny, with temperatures typically ranging from 20°C to 25°C, perfect for enjoying the region's stunning beaches and outdoor dining. In Marlborough, the warmth accentuates the beauty of the vineyards, making it an ideal time for wine tasting and scenic tours.

  • Winter (June to August) brings cooler weather, with daytime temperatures hovering around 12°C to 15°C. It's a great time to enjoy the region's art galleries, museums, and cosy dining spots, with the occasional crisp, clear day perfect for outdoor adventures.

  • Spring (September to November) breathes new life into the regions, with blossoming gardens and warming temperatures. It's a beautiful time to witness the region's natural beauty, from the awakening vineyards in Marlborough to the blossoming landscapes in Nelson.

Both regions enjoy relatively low rainfall compared to other parts of New Zealand, though it's always wise to pack a light rain jacket just in case. The transitional seasons of autumn and spring offer a spectacular display of nature's beauty, making them particularly rewarding times to visit.

 

 

 

What to pack

Heading out for an adventure in Nelson and Marlborough with your campervan is an exciting prospect, and packing smart can enhance your experience. The region's welcoming climates and diverse outdoor activities mean you'll need a mix of gear to comfortably enjoy everything from sun-soaked beaches to leisurely vineyard tours. Here’s a rundown of what to bring along.

  • Outdoor gear: The stunning landscapes of Nelson and Marlborough are your playground, so come prepared with versatile outdoor gear. Lightweight, breathable clothing will keep you comfortable during the warm days, while a layer or two for the cooler evenings ensures you can enjoy those starlit nights by the campfire. Durable walking shoes are essential, whether you're hiking in Abel Tasman National Park or exploring the coastal trails.

  • Campervan add-ons: Enhance your campervan living with a few thoughtful extras. A portable barbecue can elevate your dining under the stars, while extra camping chairs and a table (these can be added to your campervan hire) can make your outdoor setup more comfortable.

  • Sun protection:The New Zealand sun, particularly in the Nelson region, known for its high sunshine hours, calls for diligent sun protection. Pack high-SPF sunscreen, a quality pair of sunglasses with UV protection, and a hat to shield you during those outdoor adventures. Remember, sun safety is key, even on overcast days.

For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

 

 

Nearby attractions and day trips from Nelson

 

Farewell Spit

Farewell Spit is a striking natural feature located at the northern tip of the South Island, renowned for its extensive sandbar and rich birdlife. This area serves as a bird sanctuary where visitors can observe a variety of migratory birds in their natural setting. The iconic lighthouse at the spit's end also provides a picturesque backdrop for visitors exploring this unique and protected landscape.

Takaka

In the heart of Golden Bay, Takaka is a vibrant town known for its artistic community, quirky cafes, and nearby natural wonders like Te Waikoropupū Springs. A day trip to Takaka can be as relaxing or adventurous as you like, with options ranging from exploring local art galleries to hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Rabbit Island

Just a short drive from Nelson, Rabbit Island offers vast sandy beaches, picnic spots, and cycling trails. It's an ideal place for a family day out, where you can enjoy swimming, beach games, or simply bask in the tranquil atmosphere of this coastal gem.

Lord of the Rings film locations

For fans of the Lord of the Rings series, the Nelson region offers the chance to visit some of the trilogy's filming locations. Take on a day trip to explore the diverse landscapes that were transformed into Middle-Earth, from the rolling hills to the lush forests, each offering a glimpse into the magical world of the films.

 

Where to stay in Nelson & Marlborough with a campervan

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

Nelson

Marlborough

 

 

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ blog

What to pack for a winter campervan adventure in New Zealand.

Kicking off a New Zealand road trip in a campervan this winter? You're in for a real treat! In this helpful guide, we'll share all the essentials of what to pack for your New Zealand winter holiday. From the must-have gear to keep you warm and cosy, to the essentials that will make your campervan hire experience smooth and enjoyable, we've got you covered. 

Whether you're planning a South Island road trip to explore the snowy wonders or a North Island itinerary filled with winter festivities, preparation is key! 

So, let's dive into the ultimate campervan checklist for your winter road trip in NZ. 

 

Why you should take a winter campervan trip in New Zealand

A winter campervan trip in New Zealand is truly something special. As the cooler months roll in, the landscapes shift into a stunning spectacle of snow-dusted beauty, offering a quiet and intimate setting that's hard to find at any other time of the year.

Start your day with a freshly made morning coffee with views of majestic, snow-draped mountains. Spend the day exploring townships, museums, and trails, before relaxing the evening in a soothing hot pool under the stars. It's the kind of experience that turns a simple trip into a soul-enriching adventure.

For those who thrive on adrenaline, winter in New Zealand is a playground. The season offers unbeatable activities, from carving down world-class ski slopes to glacier hikes that make you feel like you're on top of the world. Whether you're a seasoned snowboarder or looking to try something new like ice climbing, winter is the perfect time to embrace these thrilling experiences.

One of the best parts about travelling in winter is the peace and quiet. The campgrounds and popular tourist spots are all quieter, and sometimes cheaper too! And of course, a camper gives you the freedom to chase the snow, find the best spots, and do it all at your own pace, making every moment of your New Zealand road trip uniquely yours. 

 

What comes with an Apollo camper?

Choosing an Apollo campervan for your New Zealand winter adventure means you're setting yourself up for a holiday that's not just about the stunning views and thrilling activities, but also about comfort and convenience. 

Apollo ensures that your camper hire experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, providing you with all the essentials you need for a cosy winter getaway.

Inside every Apollo campervan, you'll find a well-equipped kitchen kit and a range of general equipment designed to make your life on the road easy and pleasant. Here's what you can expect:

  • Cooking equipment: Whip up your favourite meals with the provided pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Whether it's a hearty breakfast to start your day or a warm dinner after a day of exploring, you'll have everything you need.

  • Eating utensils: Enjoy your meals in the comfort of your camper with the provided plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. It's like having a mobile dining room with the best views in town.

  • Pegs and clothesline: Keep your adventure gear fresh and ready with the handy pegs and clothesline, perfect for drying clothes on the go.

  • Fire extinguisher: Safety first! The included fire extinguisher is there for your peace of mind, ensuring you're prepared for any emergencies.

  • Bucket and hose: These versatile tools are great for a variety of uses, from washing dishes to a quick clean-up.

  • Broom and dustpan: Keep your space neat and tidy with these cleaning essentials, making your camper feel like a home away from home.

To ensure you're wrapped in warmth and comfort throughout your journey, Apollo provides personal kits with complimentary items such as sheets, blankets or duvets, pillows and pillowcases, and bath towels.

And if you're looking to enhance your campervan hire experience further, Apollo offers additional gear for hire. From plug-in heaters to keep you extra toasty, to outdoor tables and chairs for those scenic pit stops, child booster seats for the little adventurers, and bike racks for cycling enthusiasts, you have the option to tailor your trip to your preferences.

With Apollo, every detail is taken care of, so you can focus on soaking up the winter wonders of New Zealand from the comfort and warmth of your camper.

 

What to pack for your campervan road trip

Here are a few ideas on what you'll need to pack to make sure you're snug, safe, and ready for an unforgettable campervan adventure.


Warm clothing

New Zealand's winter can throw all sorts of weather your way, so layering up is the way to go. Start with some good thermal underwear – it's a game-changer for keeping warm. Add a warm fleece jacket for that middle layer and top it off with a waterproof jacket to fend off any rain or snow. Don't forget your beanie and gloves to keep your head and hands warm, and a pair of sturdy, waterproof boots are essential for those crisp winter walks. To help you prepare for the day ahead, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast ahead of time. 


Ski gear

If you're keen to hit the slopes or explore the snowy landscapes, bringing along your ski or snowboard gear is a great idea. Helmets are a must for safety, and if you're into snow hiking, snowshoes can make the experience even better. And if you don't have your own gear, no worries at all – most places near the slopes have rental options available, so you can easily gear up for your snowy adventures.

NEED SOME INSPO? Check out our 14-day winter road trip itinerary.


First aid kit

It's always smart to have a first aid kit on hand for those just-in-case moments. It could be anything from scrapes and scratches to headaches or an allergic reaction. The good news is that all Apollo campervans come with a first aid kit. This will cost $50 only if opened and it means you’ll be prepared for any accidents along the way. 

So, whether you bring your own or use the one provided, it's all about peace of mind while you're out exploring.


Cooking extras

While your Apollo campervan is kitted out with the basics for whipping up some delicious meals, there's always room to add a personal touch to your campervan cuisine. Consider packing a few extras to elevate your cooking game:

  • Portable BBQ: Perfect for grilling up a feast under the stars. There's nothing like the aroma of a good BBQ to make a winter evening feel special.

  • Coffee plunger: For coffee aficionados, starting your day with a freshly brewed cup can make mornings in the great outdoors even more delightful.

  • Favourite ingredients and condiments: Bring along those special spices or sauces that you love. They can turn a simple meal into something extraordinary. Note: If you’re travelling to New Zealand from another country, it pays to check what foods you can bring into New Zealand before you start packing. 


Entertainment

After a day of exploring, there's nothing quite like winding down in the cosy confines of your camper. To keep entertained during those chill evenings, pack some of these essentials:

  • Books: Whether you're into thrillers, romances, or travel guides, a good book is a perfect companion for a quiet night in.

  • Board games: Compact board games or card games can provide hours of fun and are a great way to bond if you're travelling with companions.

  • Laptop or tablet with movies: Download your favourite films or series for a movie night in your home on wheels. Just remember to bring headphones if you're sharing the space!


Navigation and communication

Staying connected and on the right path is crucial for a smooth campervan road trip experience. 

  • GPS device or offline maps: Even if you're planning to go off the grid, having a reliable way to navigate is key. Offline maps can be a lifesaver in areas with spotty reception. A good tool to help you do this is the thl Roadtrip app. This handy app is packed full of everything you’ll need to prepare for and enjoy your campervan road trip. Download on the App Store or Google Play.  

  • Charged mobile phone with a New Zealand SIM card: For local calls, internet access, and emergencies, a mobile phone with a local SIM card is invaluable.

  • Travel itinerary: Share your travel plans with a friend or family member. It's good practice for safety and they can also offer suggestions for your trip.


Personal items

When you're packing for your campervan road trip, it's the little personal touches that can make all the difference. Here's what you shouldn't leave behind:

  • Toiletries and medications: Essentials like toothpaste, shampoo, and any prescriptions you need should be at the top of your list.

  • Sunscreen and lip balm: The winter sun can be deceiving. Protect your skin and lips to avoid any discomfort.

  • Hot water bottle: For those extra chilly nights, a hot water bottle can be your best friend, keeping you warm and toasty.


Headlamp or torch

A headlamp or a sturdy torch is a must-have on any campervan adventure. Whether you're navigating around your campsite or exploring after dark, having a reliable source of light is essential for safety and convenience.


Power bank

In today's connected world, keeping your devices charged is more important than ever, especially when you're on the move. A high-capacity power bank ensures you can keep your phone, camera, and other gadgets powered up, even when you're far from a power outlet.


Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is a must, no matter the season. A durable refillable water bottle is not only environmentally friendly but also ensures you have access to water wherever you go. Fill up at water stations along your route and keep hydration at hand throughout your journey.

 

Ready to explore New Zealand in a campervan this winter?

New Zealand's winter landscape offers a unique blend of beauty and adventure, making it the perfect backdrop for your campervan journey. 

With an Apollo campervan, you have the freedom to explore this winter wonderland at your own pace, all while enjoying the comforts of home.

So, are you ready to hit the road and discover the magic of New Zealand in winter? Book your Apollo campervan online today and start planning the ultimate winter escape. Whether you're chasing snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, or cosy nights under the stars, an Apollo campervan is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure.

Don't wait any longer. Your New Zealand winter journey begins with Apollo.

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