Posted by Carter | Under Where to?
Wednesday Oct 5, 2016
Scenic Drives: South Island, New Zealand
If you love the outdoors and are bewildered and amazed by impressive landscapes, then New Zealand’s South Island is the ultimate destination for your next road trip.
This spectacular scenery on the South Island has to be seen to be believed, and the best way to truly see it is to rent a car in Christchurch and take to the road. By driving you get to stop when you want, take photographs when you want, and really find yourself immersed in the landscape.
Reference the map below for more information regarding all the incredible South Island destinations mentioned below
Begin your road trip with these incredible scenic drives through the South Island, New Zealand:
Drive from Christchurch to Queenstown
Take one of the most impressive routes through the South Island and pass some of the most spectacular sights when you drive from Christchurch to Queenstown. On your way through be sure to stop off at the mesmerising Lake Tekapo, a magical lake that is part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, which means it can also double-up as a skygazing spot. Next, take a rest up at the Lindis Pass, a incredible range of mountains that really are wonderful in every season. Finally, be sure to stop at the lakeside town of Cromwell, your last break before the relentless energy and stunning scenery of Queenstown. This drive is over 400 km but it will be the most incredible drive you can do on the South Island.
Drive from Nelson to Queenstown
Take the West Coast route and see some of the South Island’s most treacherous and unique sites, such as glaciers and pancake rocks. This route takes you over the South Alps and through the stunning town of Wanaka, which offers views of snow-capped mountains and an enormous lake; Punakaiki, which its unique pancake rocks and blowholes, that are literally just 20 minutes from the main road; and the quaint town of Franz Josef and its less-than-quaint glacier before reaching the adrenaline-pumping Queenstown.
Drive the Crown Range
Take the highest main road in New Zealand, the Crown Range, which reaches 1,121 meters high. The drive can sometimes be a challenge with steep inclines and difficult conditions, but it is well worth it for some of the incredible views and stops along the way. Be sure to stop off at Lake Wakatipu and at New Zealand’s oldest hotel, Cardrona hotel.
Blenheim to Kaikoura
If you prefer a shorter drive then choose the calmer trip from the heart of the wine country, Blenheim to the wildlife capital of Kaikoura, where you can find all kinds of sea creatures, including whales and dolphins. Take State Highway 1 through the foothills that follow the coastline, and through the picture-perfect Awatere Valley. Stop off in local towns and villages for crafts and local food, and Lake Grassmere saltworks, where the ponds are a coral pink color in summer.
Twizel to Mount Cook
Another short, but beautiful, drive takes you from the active base of Twizel, perfect for mountain climbing, hiking and horse riding, to Mount Cook, where you can find the highest peak in New Zealand. On route you will drive on the edge of Lake Pukaki, a turquoise pool of water surrounded by mountains.
Embark on South Island Scenic Drives with Kemwel
If you’ve been planning a trip to New Zealand, a South Island road trip is a top choice? An affordable car rental in New Zealand will enable you to set out and explore on any number of day trips and road trips, discovering all of the South Island’s majestic landscapes and attractions! Kemwel offers a number of exclusive travel deals on more than just rental cars; check out our great rates on airfare, comfortable hotels, and more.