Discover New Zealand East Coast

If you’ve ever been to New Zealand, you know it’s full of gorgeous landscapes and fascinating destinations. One such area that is highly recommended for travel in a campervan hire is the gorgeous New Zealand east coast.

New Zealand East Coast Destinations

East Coast of the North Island

New Zealand East Coast. Taupo, North Island.
Lake Taupo, North Island. Flickr: alh1 / CC BY-ND 2.0

It’s difficult to choose where one should go in New Zealand and even on the east coast. As small of a country as it is, it is chock-full of must-see locations. If you are road tripping on the North Island, these following spots on New Zealand east coast are worth your time:

Bay of Plenty

As you would expect, the east coast is full of beaches that you will want to see. The Bay of Plenty is one such beach where you can be sure to enjoy nature; fun in the sun; and partake of the vibrant atmosphere that this area of New Zealand is known for. Here you will find white sand beaches, clear water, and plenty of things to do. From jet boating to exploring the local towns, a visit to the Bay of Plenty will be a fun-filled one.


Art Deco: National Tobacco Company Building
National Tobacco Company

In Hawke’s Bay, this city is an iconic art deco destination that draws many a visitor every year. With unique architecture, beautiful weather, and plenty of vineyards, Napier feels like one has stepped into the 1930’s in a place that feels European in some ways. Yet, with its abundance of Maori influence and features, there is no denying that Napier is one of New Zealand’s best spots around.

Te Urewera National Park

Panorama of Lake Waikaremoana from Panekiri Bluff

If nature is what you seek then nature is what you will see when you visit the Te Urewera National park. A gorgeous area with a lake (Lake Waikaremoana), hills and lush forests, it is a place that you won’t want to miss out on. If you are a nature lover looking for a place full of picture-worthy spots on the east coast, this is it.

Lake Taupo

Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay on Lake Taupo in North Island, New Zealand
Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay on Lake Taupo

Let’s just say that you can’t visit the east coast of New Zealand in a campervan hire without including Lake Taupo as one of your destinations. While not exactly on the coastline of the island, this large lake is definitely within reach if you’re road-tripping the North Island east coast and worth your time. From fishing opportunities to beautiful scenery, it’s an idyllic spot for you to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the beauty of New Zealand.

East Coast of the South Island

Banks Peninsula, South Island. New Zealand East Coast
Banks Peninsula, South Island. Flickr: Jocelyn Kinghorn / CC BY-SA 2.0

The south island is just as beautiful as the north island, just a bit different when it comes to scenery and landscapes. The following spots are some of the best areas that you will want to visit while on your road trip:


Humpback Whale, tale, Kaikoura Coast, New Zealand
Humpback Whale, Kaikoura Coast

Kaikoura is a great place to go for marine life fanatics. It’s where you can go whale watching and be rewarded with several different types depending on the time of year. Sperm whales fancy this area all year around, so you are sure to get lucky nearly any time that you decide to visit. You can also observe dolphin and other underwater life in the area. The gorgeous Kaikoura coast is breathtaking with the mountains in the background overlooking the ocean. It’s a gorgeous area that we are sure will amaze you in more ways than one.

Cook National Park

Yet another fascinating natural destination, Mt. Cook national park is a highly-visited destination. Just imagine the pictures you can capture of the extremely gorgeous Lake Pukaki with the mountains towering above you. While some may say that this area is more on the west side than the east side, the only way to start your experience in the park is from the east coast, so it’s worth pointing it out as an east coast highlight.


Hoiho, Yellow-Eyed Penguin, Porpoise Bay, Catlins, New Zealand
Hoiho (Yellow-Eyed Penguin), Porpoise Bay, Catlins: Flickr: Shellie / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Would you like to visit penguins in the wild? Oamaru is a fantastic place to do so. With New Zealand’s reputation as penguin haven, it’s no wonder that locals take kindly to their friendly neighbors. Penguins are in heaven in this area and those who love penguins must include this destination on their list of places-to-see on New Zealand east coast. There are also national parks and waterfalls to be explored in the area, so be sure to plan some time for hiking as well.

New Zealand will never disappoint wildlife fans and adventure seekers. It’s full of fun places to explore by hiking and animals are truly welcome in this country. From penguins to whales, New Zealand’s east coast is home to many creatures. What are you waiting for? Get packing and head out on a road trip in a campervan hire New Zealand. It will be an experience that you will remember for years to come.

About JaiTadeo

Jai started writing poetry and short stories at 7 - her grandmother being her very first editor and number one fan (until today). Now in her early thirties, she writes travel blogs and yes - still dream to travel to every country in the world before she's 40.

Other posts by the Author

Leave a Reply