Gorgeous NZ South Island road trips

The South Island of New Zealand is famous for adventure activities (think bungy jumping and jet boating), rugged mountain landscapes, wild coastlines, historic towns and endless natural beauty.

You can rent an RV and stay at any free camping site along the way or pick up a sedan and stop at a bed and breakfast, mountain lodge or five-star hotel. Here are a few of the options for the road trip of a lifetime.

The Great Alpine Way

This coast-to-coast route traverses the Southern Alps — an incredible showcase of pristine mountains and rivers. From Christchurch, the 255km route follows State Highway 73 west across river plains, before rising to traverse through Porters Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Park.

Highlights include the impressive Waimakariri and Otira River gorges, driving along the Otira Viaduct and exploring natural wonders like the Castle Hill Rocks and Cave Stream Reserve. Once on the West Coast, you have the option to drive north to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.

Christchurch to Dunedin via Lake Tekapo

The scenery on this route is simply mind-blowing. Get ready for towering mountains, turquoise lakes and the sweetest little church you’ve ever seen — not to mention friendly, down-to-earth locals and rare wildlife. Stargazing above Lake Tekapo and taking a boat ride to see the Tasman Glacier are some of the unforgettable experiences this route offers.

Queenstown to Milford Sound

The road to Milford Sound is as much a scenic experience as the fjord itself. Get your camera ready for this world-renowned journey. This short road trip takes you to remote — but still accessible — locations set amongst breath-taking landscapes.

Get more information and itineraries from RACQ Travel. You can also contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.