Top 10 South Island Road Trips of All Time

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

We count down the list of our favourite South Island Roadies, everything from a few days to a couple of weeks, we’ve got your insider’s guide!

New Zealand’s South Island is a veritable playground of adventure, with new experiences and awe-inspiring vistas everywhere you look. It is aptly named Te Wai Pounamu, the waters of greenstone, in te reo maori, the indigenous language of New Zealand, as the waters flowing throughout its valley and mountain ranges feed the land and paint the area a deep, brilliant green in many locations. From Golden bay to Queenstown to the deserted West Coast, it’s easy to run out of adjectives when presented with such incredible splendour around every turn in the road.

Faced with such a wealth of road trip opportunities, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start, but we’ve got you covered with ten road trips you can connect into one large loop, or tick off a few at a time as you take in everything Te Wai Pounamu has to offer. From the big attractions to lesser known side trips, a road trip via rental car or campervan will provide memories that last a lifetime.

We’ll be updating this list as we continue to hit the road and find the hidden gems out there ready for you to explore.


Picton to Christchurch via Kaikoura

Our South Island classic. If you can only spare a long-weekend, this is our highest recommendation. Every family has done it, but feel free to put your own unique spin on it!


Picton to Christchurch Via Nelson and Golden Bay

If you’re after something with a slower pace and stunning views, we’ve curated this 7 day trip to cater for a relaxed week full of long walks and beach visits.


Nelson to Christchurch Walking the Abel Tasman National Park

Another trip for the walkers in your life, this 5 day trip takes you through arguably the most scenic track in the country, the Abel Tasman National Park, the walk will take you from bush to beach, all the while you can enjoy the calm sounds of the birds and the waves.

Christchurch to Reefton, Returning Via Arthur’s Pass

Famous mining towns, hot springs, and even a snow-capped mountain or two, this 2-3 day trip could easily be enjoyed over a weekend, you could even treat yourself to an extra day in the hot springs, either way, relax in luxury along this trip.


(COMING SOON) Christchurch to Akaroa, Returning Via Banks Peninsula Bays

(COMING SOON) Christchurch to Mt Cook, Returning Via Omaru

(COMING SOON) Christchurch to Queenstown via West Coast and blue pools

(COMING SOON) Queenstown to Milford Sound, Return

(COMING SOON) Queenstown to Invercargill and Stewart Island/Rakiura, return

(COMING SOON) The South Island Circuit, Christchurch to Christchurch

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