Spend a week-long road trip in South Island exploring some of the most scenic roads of New Zealand. Remember that driving might take longer than you expect as some roads are narrow; not to mention that you may end up stopping every 50 km for a photo shoot of the marvelous views. Here are some pointers to make your itinerary more exciting and fun-filled!
Day 1: Start at Christchurch and Go to Kaikoura
Start your drive north on the SH1 where you will witness the spectacular Pacific Ocean to your east and the foothills of Southern Alps to your west. If you’re lucky, you will also see some seals enjoying the sunshine on the rocks. Make your first night halt at Kaikoura, a small village known for its lobsters.
Day 2: Experience a Whale-Watching Cruise
Spend half of your day on this ultimate cruise where you can see sperm whales and even the rare dusky dolphins. The amazing commentary on board will give you detailed information about New Zealand’s sea life. You can also go for a whale watching flight or go swimming with the seals and dolphins.
Day 3: Drive to the West Coast
Rise early the next day to start your drive towards the West Coast. The road trip from Westport to Greymouth is known as one of the top 10 drives in the world. On the way, the road hugs the Tasman sea, makes its way through the dense rainforest and offers breath-taking views of the Southern Alps. You can stop at Punakaiki, a small but beautiful town, on the way.
Day 4: Drive from Punakaiki to Franz Josef
Walking on the Franz Josef Glacier is an absolute must on South Island and hence, you must head to the Franz Josef village on day four. You can either choose a glacier hike or an explorer tour from the helicopter depending on your preferences.
Day 5: Reach Wanaka
Drive to Wanaka to enjoy a beautiful lake-side stay. This place is known to be the adventure capital of the world so you’ll never run out of options to enjoy some thrilling experiences here.
Day 6-7: Go to Queenstown
Head to Queenstown for your sixth night and enjoy the beauty of the city and its natural charm. Milford Road is also one of the best drives in New Zealand and the perfect way to end your paradise journey in the country.
Once you have your car rental in New Zealand, your journey will be full of national parks, adventures, hikes, cruises, lakes and oceans all the way!