Beachfront sites - Ross Beach Top10 holiday Park

Campervan experiences

Top 10 things to experience in a campervan

For a campervan or motorhome holiday with great roads and beautiful destinations, the West Coast has more to offer than any other region in New Zealand.

Take your time, follow the scenic routes and meet the locals as you travel from one breathtaking destination to another. Go to sleep to the sound of the waves, find solace in remote places and fill your bucket with memories to last a lifetime.

1. Ōpārara Arches

Stay at the Last Resort and head out into one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. The Honeycomb Caves and Arch Tours in the Ōpārara Basin and rainforest. Guided tours are the only way you’ll get to experience this treasure. See ancient moa bones and visit an untouched part of New Zealand.

Westport, Karamea & Buller District

Oparara Arches

Tucked away in a corner of Kahurangi National Park, the Oparara has a magic all of its own, born of millions years of undisturbed isolation.

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Carters Beach TOP 10 Westport

Enjoy the relaxing peaceful stay at the Carters Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park, which is situated on the beachfront at Carters Beach. Just 4 kms south of Westport Township.

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2. Carter’s Beach

Stay at Carters Beach Top 10 and wake up to the sound of the waves and relax in the warm temperate climate of Westport. Carter’s beach is a popular swimming spot on a hot day; grab yourself a fishing license and head to the Buller River to catch dinner — reputedly home to the best brown trout in New Zealand.

The best value attraction in New Zealand has to be the Stockton Mine Tour with Outwest Tours. Book your ticket at the i-SITE — $20 per person will get you a six-hour off-road adventure.

Local Tip: buy a tin cup from the i-Site before you head off, pack water and your lunch – you’ll need both!

3. Punakaiki Beach

Stay at the Punakaiki Beach Camp and make the most of the Buller region, exploring Cape Foulwind Walkway and the seal colony, Charleston and Underworld Adventures. Check out the Kawatiri Trail, go up onto the Denniston Plateau and, of course, don’t forget to check out the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and visitor centre. Don’t leave without experiencing the Truman Track, probably the best coastal short track you’ll ever see…

Check out some lesser known epic experiences like the Punakaiki Cavern or, for something unique, Paddleboard the Pororari River, check out Fox River community and — right next to the beach camp — the Pororari Lagoon is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.


Underworld Adventures

Underworld Rafting: Is a “Cave Rafting Adventure” in the Paparoa National Park. Located in Charleston.

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Maruia Hot Springs

Immerse yourself in the ultimate outdoor experience at Maruia Hot Springs.

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4. Maruia Hot Springs

Maruia Hot Springs is often missed by hurried travellers who could best use some rest. Stay at the hot springs and disconnect for a few days with a day retreat or time in the spa, and exploring the lovely surrounding alpine countryside.

Check out Reefton ‘town of light’, the renowned Reefton Gin Distillery and stroll the main street shops for some local treasures.

5. Waiuta

Stay overnight in the real life ghost town of Waiuta, and immerse yourself in the long lost heritage of the coast. Combining Reefton, the Denniston Mine, and the Brunner Mine, will give you a great perspective of life on the Coast during the gold rush. In Reefton check out Black’s Point Museum, head out on any of the numerous mountain bike trails and don’t forget to try your hand at gold-panning at Slab Hut Creek – you might just strike it rich!

Tohu Whenua West Coast

Tohu Whenua - Landmarks that tell our stories

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Lake Brunner

Moana is a town that sits on the edge of Lake Brunner near Greymouth, West Coast.

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5. Lake Brunner

Check out Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill on your way over to the Coast. En route Lake Brunner is well known for trout fishing and beautiful walks. Stay a few days at the Greymouth Seaside Top 10 Holiday Park while you’re exploring the region. For some off-the-beaten track and great fun for young and old, go backcountry with On Yer Bike Adventures, or get on the Wilderness Trail cycleway.

Monteith’s is a good spot to get to know the locals or take a roadie to Blackball to check out the infamous Formerly the Blackball Hilton and the Blackball Salami Company before hitting the trails — from here, you can do a section of the Paparoa Track, New Zealand’s newest Great Walk. Check out Shantytown Heritage Park and learn the fascinating story behind the community that moved an entire town to preserve its heritage. All things heritage come to life on the Woods Creek Track, a short walk that follows in the footsteps of early gold miners.

7. Hokitika

Stay at Hokitika Holiday Park to make the most of the ‘cool little town’, as voted by Touropia. Check out the blues at Hokitika Gorge and the beach – hey, let’s make that, do more than just check out the beach, you can have a real toasty bonfire! Wildfoods or the Driftwood and Sand Festivals are epic times to be in town but it’s good anytime in Hokitika.

This town has a fascinating and rich history so follow the Heritage Trail to uncover some national secrets. Drop in on the locals at the quirky Westland Industrial Heritage Park, where you’ll find them busy restoring old machinery and relics of the mining past. A gold coin donation is all you need. Head to Goldsborough and pan for gold – there is plenty of it left in the hills.

Feeling hungry? Check out Fat Pipi Pizza for a Whitebait Pizza, Gatherer Wholefoods for some amazing plant-based delights and don’t overlook the Hokitika Sandwich Company for what might just be the best sandwiches in New Zealand. Go fishing for perch in lovely Lake Mahinapua or follow the Wilderness Trail, it will take you across two continental plates, to amazing Lake Kaniere. Don’t have a bike? Cycle Journeys or Kiwi Journeys will help with a hire.

Hokitika & Hokitika Gorge

There is plenty to do with a large artisan community, interesting history and mountains, the river, two lakes and the beach nearby.

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8. Ross & Ōkārito

Ross Top 10 Holiday Park is right on the beach at the end of the Wilderness Trail and next to the town that started the West Coast’s golden years, Ross. Make your way down to Harihari and check out the Coastal Walkway— an epic yet easy walk. Catch dinner in Lake Ianthe or in the Wanganui River.

The Whataroa River Campsite is great for those seeking solace. The White Heron Sanctuary Tour at Ōkārito explores New Zealand's only kotuku, white heron, nesting place. Ōkārito has plenty to offer with kayak trips, boat tours, and scenic walks like the Ōkārito Trig track. Get to know this tiny West Coast community, stay at Ōkārito Campground and treat yourself with coffee and baking at the local cafe.

Local Tip: Looking for a wilderness campsite? MacDonalds Campsite, 15km north of Franz Josef, is on the edge of lovely Lake Mapourika.

9. Glacier Country

Live life grand in New Zealand’s own Glacier Country. Stay at the Rainforest Retreat powered sites, and eat well at the many restaurants and dining spots. Waiho Hot Tubs are the perfect way to relax after a day exploring the sites. Franz Josef Wilderness Tours will take you to the best viewing spots.

Treat yourself to the best ice experience outside of the Himalayas, with one of the many helicopter tour providers — there has never been a better time to explore the glaciers. For something different try Heli Ice Climbing in Fox Glacier. There are many scenic walks leading to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular views. Head out to Lake Matheson to check out the café and the perfect reflection of the mountains – then to Gillespies Beach for more epic walks.

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers & Glacier Country

Rainforest Retreat

Nestled amongst native bush at the feet of the Southern Alps, Rainforest Retreat offers deluxe Tree House, Tree Lodge, Tree Huts and Park Motel accommodation, and a friendly and fun backpackers and holiday camp.

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10. Wilderness

Bruce Bay, Paringa, and Lake Moeraki abound with treasures too often overlooked. Stay at Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki where Gerry will show amazing, endangered wildlife that find sanctuary here. The many lakes are home to trout and delicious land-locked salmon. Discover the beech gap, a botanical anomaly that stretches from Lake Paringa all the way to Greymouth.

Local Tip: For lakeside wilderness camping try DOC’s Lake Paringa campsite.

This stunning region is the gateway to Haast and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Te Wahipounamu South Westland. Walk to Ship Creek, Monro Beach and Knights Point Lookout; take a scenic flight over the UNESCO park and into Milford Sound or land by a remote lake for the ultimate picnic. Carry on all the way to the end of the road at Jackson Bay, stay a while and indulge in a crayfish feast at The Craypot.