Places & Spaces: New Zealand At a Snail’s Pace

Camper-vanning: the best way to see New Zealand’s huge landscapes at your own pace.

Slow travel is a growing phenomenon/mindset, along with slow food and slow fashion, the idea being to take your time, enjoy the journey, spend more time visiting fewer places: the opposite of 20-cities-in-10-days.

In a country like New Zealand, you need time to absorb the mind-blowing landscapes around you: “dramatic” isn’t even the word. Go tramping (New Zealand speak for hiking) in these phenomenal outdoors to spot the cinematic locations used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano. And what better way to appreciate these wide open spaces, where you can easily avoid seeing other humans for days, than by hiring a camper van and  around at your own pace, stopping when you want, sleeping at campsites in the most beautiful spots imaginable?

Not to mention waking up to views like these – all are locations of campsites with motorhome access run by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. You’ll forget what cities even look like.

Maitai Bay, Karikari Peninsula (North Island)

Tapotupotu, Kaitaia (North Island)

Lake Tarawara, Rotorua  (North Island)

Otamure Bay, Whananaki (North Island)

Waikaremoana Lake, Te Urewera National Park  (North Island)

Te Iringa, Kainmanewa Forest Park (North Island)

Nelson Lakes (South Island)

White Horse Hill, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park (South Island)

Lake Gunn, Fiordland, (South Island)

Ahuriri Valley, Canterbury (South Island)

Photos: Darren, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Oliver Ross, rankers, honeheke, snailtrail

Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.


Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.