Returned from the North Island of New Zealand one week ago.
Weather was pretty horrible, but can't pick n choose with mother nature.
We hired a campervan and travelled as far north as Kaitara, Ragland and New Plymouth on the west coast, across the centre to Lake Taupo, onto Hasting,Napier, Gisborne, then headed back north to Auckland viaWhakatane, Mount Maunganui, Waihi and lastly Thames.
We had 11 days on the road, which was great, terrific roads, windy and hilly but very good surfaces and condition.
With the exception of our last night we stayed in van parks with overnight fees up to $40 per night. The parks facilities were of a very good standard with excellent kitchens,with everything available to use in fee price. Washing machines and driers an extra fee.
Our most valuable tools were The Lonely Planet and maps and brochures from i SITE branches in every large town and city - the staff were so very friendly and informative, we couldn't fault them.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves were a true feature, amazing underground caves, accessed by foot and then small boat with the glow worms a beautiful specticle above us in the grotto.
Food was expensive in general, Australian wines were refreshingly inexpensive as opposed to the New Zealand ranges all available in the local supermarket which was very convenient for one stop shopping.
Diesel was $1.50 - $1.56per ltre.
Campervans are an inexpensive way to see the country, we toured the South Island 2yrs ago and were also very happy with that trip, both islands so very different from each other. We had plenty of time to travel to the places we had earmarked as "must see/do", so a max of 2 weeks woould be ample per island - enjoy !!