Majestic mountains, ancient glaciers and turquoise lakes await you on this road trip. From the coastal city of Dunedin, this southern route detours inland before returning to the coast, finishing in Christchurch. With your Dunedin Airport car rental you can complete this journey in just a couple of days.
Built on the back of gold rush riches, Dunedin’s well preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage deserves some exploration. It has many iconic buildings, as well as wild beaches and the famous Speight’s brewery. From Dunedin, get ready to encounter Lake Benmore, Lake Aviemore and Lake Waitaki. Their brilliant colours will have you reaching for your camera.
The Moeraki Boulders near Oamaru are worth a stop. These are some of New Zealand’s most amazing natural wonders. Perfectly rounded, they lie on the beach perfectly placed for visitors. Further along at Moeraki Lighthouse, fur seals and yellow eyed penguins gather on the rocks there. Omarama itself is a small town in the Mackenzie region. Golfing, gliding, horse riding and fly fishing are popular. Look out for the giant merino sheep statue.
Detour to the bottom of Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. The Sir Edmund HIllary Alpine Centre is informative, especially before heading off on any of the walks. Nearby Tasman Glacier (again, the largest in New Zealand) has great views from the posted lookout, or you can take a boat right up to the ice itself. Lake Tekapo’s clear cerulean waters are a photographer’s dream. Go walking and hiking or relax in a hot pool. It comes alive at night in a different way with clear skies and dark nights, perfect for star gazing.
From Lake Tekapo you can detour into Methven. In winter it’s a humming ski town and in summer has a lively cafe scene. Biking, golfing, hunting and fishing are popular activities. Cross the Rakaia River at the gorge bridge, and then it’s an easy last stretch through the patchwork fields of the Canterbury Plains and onto Christchurch city.