5 New Zealand road trips to go on this winter


Wanaka Blue Light - Antony Harrison
Wanaka Blue Light - Antony Harrison
With school holidays upon us, it's the perfect time to head off on a winter Kiwi roadie. 

Heading off on a New Zealand road trip? Take a trip up to winterless Northland, go skiing on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu or explore the charming gold mining town of St Bathans in Central Otago.

The MiNDFOOD team shares their favourite winter road trips around our beautiful Aotearoa. 


Treat yourself to some time away from home right at the tipping point of New Zealand. Cape Reinga lighthouse is the perfect spot to explore and cure that wanderlust you’ve been feeling for the past few months.

Catch the breath-taking views and enjoy the crisp, fresh air as you gaze far into the endless horizon.

Take a stop in Whangarei for some good eats at Serenity Cafe right in the town or some Thai for dinner at Sukjai Restaurant.

You can even cruise through 90 mile beach as you’re heading up for a sandy detour.

If you’re wondering where to stay when you visit Cape Reinga, get the tents up in Tapotupotu Campsite or book a lodge in Pukenui for a short drive to the Lighthouse.

Mt Ruapehu

Image: Joseph Michael. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Work up a sweat on the icy slopes of Mt Ruapehu. The snowy mountains are the getaway you’ve been craving, whether it’s skateboarding or skiing, you’re going to have the time of your life.

Go for a walk or get on that bike, Mt Ruapehu is the spot for an action-packed day and a snuggly night in a cabin with some wine.

On your way there, take a stop at Waitomo Caves and experience the magical glow worms that light your canoe’s path.

Central Otago

Oakridge Resort, Wanaka

Head down south to Central Otago for stunning views, rich heritage and an abundance of art galleries.

Make your way to Lake Wanaka for some boating and remarkable views you won’t be able to take your eyes off of.

St Bathans offers a tranquil retreat that will relieve you of all your stresses. Get a cottage with your partner for a romantic night and head off to explore the gold mines in the morning. 

Get some peace and quiet in this small town, and forget your workly woes.


Queenstown is the place to be this winter. It’s already freezing in Auckland, so why not head to Queenstown and have gorgeous views while we’re cold? 

There’s so much to do in Queenstown, no matter what tickles your fancy.

Get blown away by the Shot Over Jet, or get your inner foodie going with the Fergburger. You can even head over to Milford Sound for a day trip through the mesmerising water between tall mountains dusted with snow. 

Road-trip through all the little towns surrounding the main city and you’ll never be bored. Get your coffee fix in Glenorchy and goggle at the sight of one of Hollywood’s most famous filming locations.


If you’re trying to get away from the cold, Rotorua’s Geothermal and mud pools will be perfect. Warm up in these naturally hot pools with the family, or get a private spa for some alone time with you and your love.

Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa is one of the most popular wellness centres where you can soak in the hot springs or get a facial and massage to soothe your soul.

If you’re looking for something a bit more playful, head to Hell’s Gate to take a scenic guided tour through the erupting sulphur waters, before taking a dip in the naturally heated thermal mud and sulphur mineral water to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.

Read about more beautiful places to visit in New Zealand here.


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