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Travel New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand is well renowned for its stunning natual landscapes, cultural heritage, and friendly people. It is filled with an abundance of adventure, great surfing locations, plenty of opportunities to relax, and countless locations to wine and dine. The North Island is home to just as many “must do’s” as the South Island and we’re here to outline a few of our favourite locations to visit. Travelling by car is hands down the best way to see the North Island, so hiring a car or a van would be our top tip to ensure you have a one-of-a-kind experience.  

Approximately 220 kilometers south of Auckland you will find Mount Maunganui, a small coastal town known for its stunning beaches and laidback atmosphere. Here you can indulge in an abundance of outdoor activities, from surfing and snorkeling to hiking and fishing – there’s plenty to do. Likened to the southern coast of California, The Mount is the perfect place to go if you’re searching for chilled out vibes and some great local food and drinks. Perch yourself on the white sand beach and watch the world go by whilst soaking up some warm sunny rays. 

If you head west for approximately 115 kilometers you will arrive in Hamilton. Hamilton is a hub for all thing’s tourism. Home to rolling green hills, grand limestone caves, spectacular coastlines and more, Hamilton is a must do spot on your NZ road trip. Not far out of town you can experience magic at Hobbiton – the location where the movie “The Hobbit” was filmed. Here you can explore their homes in the hill and dine like a Hobbit with an evening dinner tour. Another great activity close to Hamilton is the Glow Worm caves. Here you can explore the underworld by taking a boat tour through striking limestone caves twinkling with glow worms. Hamilton is also home to a number of museums and art galleries where you can go to admire the work of local artists.  

If you continue west, you will hit the picturesque west coast of New Zealand. Here you will find endless surfing locations, stunning coastal walks, and plenty of sleepy coastal towns. One of our favourites would have to be Onaero Bay. Situated less than 30 kilometers from New Plymouth you will be treated to stunning vistas and the coastal town vibe, without being too far away from the big town action. Check out the scenery either on foot or by car. Explore what the area has to offer. Not far south you will find the towering Mt Taranaki, Pukekura Park, Brooklands Zoo, and plenty of place to eat and drink! For more information on what to do in and around Onaero Bay click here!

If you head further south towards wellington you will find yourself in Masterton. Located in the Greater Wellington region of New Zealand, Masterton is the largest town of the rural Wairarapa region, separated from Wellington by the picturesque Rimutaka Range. Masterton is one of the earliest inland settlements of New Zealand and is well-renowned for its historical sites and lush parklands, including Queen Elizabeth Park, and its growing wine industry and culture. Serving a combination of sheep, dairy, fruit and cereal farms, the town is widely known as the ‘capital’ of New Zealand sheep shearing, hosting the annual ‘Golden Shears’, the World’s premier shearing and wool handling championship. 

New Zealand’s North Island is home to so many more adventures and experiences we highly recommended looking into a NZ road trip for your next holiday – especially since it is advised we holiday at home this year. 

Top 5 Benefits of Camping

Now more than ever, camping has significantly increased in popularity. The recent events of 2020 that has seen families confined to their homes for weeks on end, has led to a resurgence of people rediscovering the joys of camping. Not only is camping a great way to explore and experience the great outdoors, it also has many health benefits. We have highlighted our top five benefits that camping has for travelers.   

Benefit 1: Affordability   

Camping is a great way to explore what Australia has to offer. It’s an affordable option for those who are on a small travel budget as it is an inexpensive alternative to a more traditional holiday.  Camping can range from an unpowered, unmarked site for approximately $20/night through to a fully furnished cabin.  Accommodation options abound to suit everyone’s budgets and requirements. Apps such as Wiki Camps, allows travelers to research/locate accommodation that meets their budget.   

Benefit 2: Closer to Nature   

Camping connects people to nature and encourages travelers to immerse themselves in their immediate surrounds. An escape from the city allows for encounters with wildlife, peaceful sounds of birds singing, wind whistling through trees, waves crashing onto the shore as well as seeing stars away from the bright lights of the city. Often, campgrounds are situated close to bushwalks, hiking trails, and beaches meaning you have numerous experiences to encounter, right at your very own front door. According to the President of KOA (Kampgrounds of America), Toby O’Rourke, “with reduced barriers and the desire of campers to connect with nature and each other, it is no surprise that camping is fast becoming a fundamental component of an outdoor lifestyle. You must agree, getting closer to nature makes you feel refreshed and ready to tackle life again”.  

Benefit 3: Aids in a decrease of stress levels  

When you are camping, there is no having to stick to a schedule! You’ve got no place to be by a certain time, there’s very few interruptions, and no one is competing for your time or attention. There is less strain on both your mental and physical health as you are enjoying a slower pace of life. As most campgrounds have limited services, it’s a great time to unplug and unwind from the stresses of everyday life. Unique experiences like this will keep you healthy, happy and stimulated. 

Benefit 4: Increase family time  

Camping has the ability to bring family and friends together. With limited interruptions from devices, homework, and busy schedules, there’s more time to spend with one another strengthening relationships. Families partake in new experiences, share campfire stories, build on confidence, capabilities, and learn a host of new skills. The journey to the campground destination, is in itself, the perfect time to engage with those travelling with you. Sing-a-longs, games, books, movies, I Spy, number-plate bingo and a large variety of healthy snacks (hungry kids are not happy kids) will inevitably make for a fun-filled family road trip. Say goodbye to the “are we there yets?” 

Benefit 5: Increase in activity  

Time spent camping automatically increases your level of physical activity. Whether it is setting up your tent or caravan site, walking to the amenities block, visiting family and friends at their campsite, collecting firewood, hiking, fishing, boating or just exploring, these are all forms of activity that you wouldn’t usually do in your everyday life. Let’s face it. Many of us live a sedentary life. Camping is a prime opportunity, which allows us to experience a different world far removed from our hectic lifestyles. 

Below is a list of all Belgravia campsites. Be sure to book a campsite today for an unforgettable, life changing experience.  

BelgraviaPRO successfully transitions into First Sun Holiday Park and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park in Byron Shire

BelgraviaPRO has recently been awarded the tender to manage the First Sun Holiday Park and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park in the Byron Shire.

With a broad range of tourism and accommodation sites under its portfolio including the world-famous Hepburn Retreat in Victoria and the challenging remote Birdsville Caravan Park property in Queensland, BelgraviaPRO has repeatedly produced quality results from the sites that come under its extensive management dossier.

“We are proud of our partnership approach towards management of our tourism and holiday assets. We have taken the time to develop an in-depth understanding of the local area and we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to improve the guest experience at both First Sun and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Parks.” said Damian Gorman, General Manager of Business Development at BelgraviaPRO.

With an excellent track record in a variety of different environments ranging from high end resorts to remote outback locations, BelgraviaPRO is proud of its partnership approach towards management of its tourism and holiday assets.

By actively working with the local community to complement and support the local tourism industry, BelgraviaPRO is confident that First Sun and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Parks will strike an important balance between a focus on the tourist market and the local community.

Mr Gorman said, “We also believe that in partnership with Council, greater community outcomes can be achieved, in particular providing greater alignment with other tourist destinations and operators in Byron.”

BelgraviaPRO partners with more than 10 government and non-government organisations to operate over 25 holiday park destinations across Australasia.