Camping in winter can be as exciting and enjoyable as in summer. Campsites usually offer special rates over winter and the crowds have disappeared from popular sights.
It might be a tad colder but motorhomes these days are usually equipped with independent diesel heating or some other source of reliable heating that keeps you warm. If that’s still not enough to warm up, I can highly recommend to visit some hot pools. What’s better than soaking in a hot mineral water pool whilst seeing your breath?
One of the best experiences I had so far was at Hanmer Springs, a resort town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island.
The little town, 90 minutes drive from Christchurch is famous for its hot pools. How good does Cascade, Rainbow, Aqua Therapy and Rock Pools sound? We spent around 2.5 hours at the facility, exploring the different pools. You can enjoy the scenic mountain views during the day or come after dark for more coziness and a romantic touch. For some extra relaxation book a spa treatment on site.
We parked our motorhome right outside and were able to change into warm jumpers and track pants straight away whilst firing up the diesel heating and enjoying fresh oven baked pizza from their very own restaurant.
My all-time favorite when it comes to North Island weekend getaway is a quick trip to the Mount!
Over the years I developed my own little routine. We park up at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, nestled right at the foot, unpack, which includes setting up snacks and wine followed by a hike to the summit. After enjoying views and vinos it’s only a quick stroll to the Hot Pools next door. If you’re a Holiday Park guest you can enjoy the salt water pools at a discounted price. The facility offers 3 main and a children pool, as well as massages. Due to the close proximity to the campsite it’s easy to get changed after warming up. Pro tip: head over to “Turkish To Go” right across the street from the pools for some tasty Kebab dishes, best enjoyed in your cozy camper with a movie. Winter camping done right.
If in Rotovegas I make sure to visit Waikite Hot Pools.
The ‘Living Waters’ of Waikite Valley is the only thermal pool complex of this size in New Zealand using only 100% pure natural geothermal water.
The beautifully landscaped pools overlook the boiling Otamakokore Stream and out across the Waikite Valley through native bush. Enjoy nature’s ambience at its best during the day or soak under the stars at night and take in the fresh country air.
The facility has an adjoining campsite that allows you to jump straight back into your motorhome whilst still feeling warmed up. The pools and campsite are located outside of Rotorua, so make sure you have food on board to cook in your motorhome kitchen or pay a visit to the Café at the pools.