New Zealand – Driving the South Island View Basket

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Tourism New Zealand

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Discover something amazing around every corner

New Zealand Tourism's special guide to unforgettable South Island driving holidays

Fly into one of three South Island destinations and then take one of the amazing drives detailed in this self-drive guide.

Breathtaking scenery, thrilling adventures and world class food and wine. It’s all just around the corner on a South Island road trip. These are just some of the amazing journeys you can take. Use this guide for inspiration and create your own road trip adventure today.

Life in the slow lane – Christchurch to Nelson

Hot springs, whale-watching, delicious seafood, world-class wine, pristine environments … you’ll be spoilt for choice when meandering north from Christchurch to Nelson. Head from the city to the eco-haven of the Marlborough Sounds, taking time to experience rural retreats, world-class wineries, hot springs and foodie heaven.

Wild encounters – Nelson to Wanaka

It’s remote and rugged but also richly rewarding. The route down the South Island’s isolated west coast from Nelson to Wanaka is a journey like no other, taking visitors through dramatic landscapes of cliff faces, glaciers and alpine territory.

Amazing journey – Wanaka to Queenstown

Travel from Wanaka to Queenstown and enter a fantasy world of spectacular views, heart-pumping pursuits and extraordinary food and wine. Experience the home of Middleearth in all its glory, indulge in the craziest pursuits imaginable, go wine-tasting amid wide, open vistas … It’s all there to enjoy from Wanaka to Queenstown.

Southern comfort – Queenstown to Milford Sound

The drive from Milford Sound and Fiordland to Invercargill and the coastal road to Dunedin in New Zealand’s deep south, takes in some of the South Island’s most stunning vistas.

Magical history tour – Dunedin to Christchurch

The Dunedin-to-Christchurch route offers great seafood, lovely views and a window into a wondrous – and wealthy – past world. Dunedin’s Flemish Renaissance style railway station and Oamaru’s neo-classical buildings are just two clues that the Dunedin-to- Christchurch region was once among the wealthiest in the land.

Eat play live - the Calendar

From music festivals to flower shows, there’s an event for everyone on the South Island. The South Island is New Zealand’s playground, as evidenced by the number and variety of festivals, activities and shows on offer.

This brochure covers the regions and holiday types listed below. Click on the links to see more free travel brochures covering the regions and holiday types you are interested in.

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