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Surrounded by some 15,000 kilometres of coastline, New Zealand boasts some of the best bays and beaches in the world, each with their own unique characteristics. Here we look at some popular ones you can enjoy while on one of our New Zealand motorhome holidays.
The landscape of the North is much flatter than its Southern sister. More densely populated than the South, the North is popular with tourists and offers a much warmer climate than the South.
Bream Bay is a great first stop to experience a New Zealand beach while venturing south on our New Zealand Discovery tour. When Captain James Cook sighted New Zealand for the first time in 1768, he exclaimed that the bay was teeming with bream. It's now believed he saw snapper - a popular fish in New Zealand and Australian cuisine, but the name stuck. Bream Bay covers 22 kilometres with stunning views out to the horizon.
Bream Bay comprises multiple beaches, perfect for gentle walks. Popular all year round are the Waipū Caves, a 2-kilometre walk that takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
As you drive south on our Wonders of New Zealand tour, you'll drive through Napier South which looks out onto Hawke's Bay. This region is well known for its food and wine and is a great place to rest and recharge.
Port Sandy Beach is a popular spot with swimmers along the North of Napier Hill. The water temperature here can be very warm, some 20c at times.
Back to Captain Cook, who aptly named the bay after being unable to stock up on supplies for his crew. What supplies he may not have been able to get are surely made up by the stunning scenery with incredible sunsets. Popular activities include wine tours and shark cage trips - not for the faint of heart!
Moving further south towards Wellington as part of our New Zealand Caravan tour, Island Bay is a popular area, especially for swimming and snorkelling. Take a snorkelling trip to the wreck of the HMNZS Wellington, which was sunk to create an artificial reef or take a walk along Red Rocks - formed 200 million years ago and see a fur seal colony.
Offering hikers many opportunities to stretch their legs, the South Island has incredible waterfalls and dense forests. The South Island is more mountainous than the North, with a more remote feel. With cooler temperatures than the North, the wildlife also differs with a wider variety of marine life, including dolphins and penguins.
Known for its clear waters, making it a popular place for swimming and fishing, Cable Bay is great to try your hand at windsurfing. Take a walk along the Cable Bay Walkway, a 2.5-kilometre coastal walk that is an excellent way of seeing various wildlife.
Cable Bay also has a vineyard which you can visit and even book a private dining experience. A standard wine-tasting experience is just $15NZD and takes around 30 minutes.
Carrying on further South on our New Zealand Rail and Road tour, Bruce Bay offers visitors a more wild and windswept beach than others. The sights and sounds of everyday life are very much absent here, making it a wonderful place to take a gentle stroll and contemplate the next stage of your motorhome holiday.
While on our South Island Discovery tour, take a moment to view one of New Zealand's most popular tourist attractions. Formed by the collation of mudstone and worn by coastal erosion over millions of years, the Moeraki Boulders are unusual. Sizes range from a few small pebbles to enormous spheres spanning over 2 metres in diameter. The Maori consider the site sacred, and they have their own stories of how these were formed.
Winding along the east coast of Southern New Zealand is Pegasus Bay. Frequently visited by dolphins - there's even a Facebook group dedicated to this - Pegasus Bay is a great destination for marine wildlife lovers. With a sandy beach and stunning blue waters, it pays to take some time out along this beach and enjoy the views.
Situated in Waiaopu valley, Gore Bay is well known for its rich Maori history. The historically significant Te Ana-au Caves, with an ethereal light provided by glowworms, is well worth a look. Birdwatchers will be happy in Gore Bay, with some 150 species of birds visiting this area. If you fancy more of a hike, try the Tweedies Gully Track in the Tararua Forest Park. This trail will see you through dense forests with many waterfalls and streams.
Located in the Abel Tasman National Park, Goose bay has beautiful golden sand beaches surrounded by stunning green hills. Recreational activities here include swimming, kayaking and sailing, with hiking through the hills also a popular choice.
These are just a small sample of the bays and beaches along the island of New Zealand. With many rivers making their way into the heart of the islands, you can be sure that any bay you visit will have amazing views, wildlife and activities for you to enjoy.
Our holidays are bespoke and can incorporate any trips you wish to make. Contact us today to find out more! Talk to our experts if there are any excursions you want to book.
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