Best Road Trips In New Zealand

December 17, 2015

Famed for its themed roads, New Zealand is an excellent location for a road trip that you will never forget. Each road trip has something different to offer in terms of scenery and while there are plenty of ways to explore the country, a hire car is often the preferred option for tourists. If you are looking for some inspiration for a New Zealand road trip, here are five suggestions:

The Thermal Explorer Highway

The thermal explorer highway will take you through Hawkes Bay, Hamilton, Auckland and a multitude of other places; there is plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation or high octane activity, depending on which you prefer. Some of the sites you can expect to witness include: the local lakes, geysers, mud pools, and caves.

Hawkes Bay is best known for its wineries and its restaurants; if you consider yourself a food and drink connoisseur, this is the ideal place. There are specific trails to follow — all you need is a rental car or bike, however there are bus trips available as well.

Lake Taupo is particularly well-suited to people who like adrenaline pumping activities like skiing and bungee jumping, but there is also plenty of spectacular scenery and volcanoes, national parks, and snowfields to see.

Queenstown – Christchurch

As there are so many different places to visit, it is recommended that you take as long as possible to make the most of your time on this route.

The main attractions to look out for are the gardens, national parks, mining towns, rainforests, glaciers, and beaches. The journey is also famed for its landscapes, lakes, and rivers. The major tourist attractions include: the botanic gardens, the Avon River, and the Cardboard Cathedral.

You will find ample opportunities for sight-seeing in Queenstown, which is known for its exotic lakes and canyons, as well as its ski resorts; once you have found a reliable hire company like Apex car Rental, your schedule is your own!

Auckland – Wellington

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Auckland and Wellington route, but if you have the chance, a road trip is perhaps the best. The waterfalls and beaches make up just some of the striking scenery that Auckland has to offer; the views on their own might be fulfilling enough for some tourists, although if you can, plan your road trip so you can see as many of the local attractions as possible.

If you are using a vehicle hire firm, take some time to enjoy the climb up Mount Victoria or visit the Red Rocks Reserve, the Kaitoke Regional Park, the forest parks, or the volcanic cones in Auckland.

Dunedin – Christchurch

In addition to the picturesque scenery, there are plenty of stop-off points for you to enjoy as you travel. Major landmarks and attractions include: the seaside village of Akaroa, the Otago Peninsula (which is known for its wildlife), Larnach Castle, Tunnel Beach, and the Dunedin Botanic Gardens.

You will find some good family-friendly attractions, such as the Oamaru Penguin Sanctuary, and there are a diverse range of activities to indulge in like a hot air balloon ride will enable you to enjoy the views from afar.

Tamaki Drive

While it might not be considered long enough to be a road trip on its own merit, this location is ideal as part of larger driving vacation; if you are thinking of Auckland as a destination, it is worth making the effort to travel along the Tamaki Drive coastal road.

It is just five miles long, but there is some beautiful scenery, and there are plenty of landmarks along the way, including Bastion Point and Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. It is a great area for families, thus take a hire car and enjoy the best of the local bays, beaches, and reserves with your lovely family for memories to last a lifetime!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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