Whether you're roughing it or taking a trailer-load of creature comforts, get out there and enjoy!
Love it or hate it, camping is a Kiwi tradition that's cheap, fun and an experience for the whole family. Hardy souls still favour sleeping under the stars, cold dips and boiling the billy over an open fire. But these days camping is made a lot easier with modern gadgets, collapsible BBQs, portable showers and, the best invention yet, inflatable beds. Camping can now be done in comfort, if not style.
Top tips for young campers
1. Waihi Top 10 Holiday Park, Waihi, Coromandel: It's sited on one of New Zealand's safest beaches and has full facilities including a heated swimming pool and spa, gym, sauna and under-fives' family room.
2. Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park, Opotiki: A beautiful beach-side holiday park with a playground and jumping pillow (pictured). During the holidays there's a children's activity programme and lots of things for pre-schoolers to do.
3. Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) campsite, Northland (DOC): This is a great place to explore New Zealand's history and native fauna. Sited between forest and beach, this DOC campsite is not far from Cape Reinga and the area itself is steeped in Maori history. It's also an important area for endangered wildlife.
4. Spencer Beach Holiday Park, Christchurch: This holiday park is right next to the beach and there are some great activities for kids on site. There's a BBQ area as well as an adventure playground and mini golf, all next to Bottle Lake forest. It's a great place for young kids on bikes.
5. Goat Island Motor Camp, Auckland: A budget camping ground that's great for families. Set in 52ha of coastal land, it lies just north of Matakana. You can swim, snorkel, dive and there are stunning views and great play areas for kids (pictured below).
Are we there yet?
Being stuck in a hot, clammy car for any length of time can be frustrating for everyone, so try these games with your backseat passengers.
How to make damper
This is a great Kiwi favourite over the campfire at night. To make: