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Highway 6

Blenheim to Invercargill – 1021 km

Blenheim – Nelson, Nelson – West Coast, West Coast – Central Otago, Central Otago – Southland

Break time in the Marlborough Sounds

This is a long scenic drive that could be squeezed into two days, but as a holiday it can take a week or more. Typically anyone travelling this entire route will commence the journey at Picton after having crossed the Cook Strait on one of the ferries, or driven north from Christchurch to Blenheim on highway one.

If commencing this route from Picton, the more popular and very scenic route is Queen Charlotte Drive, It’s a shortcut across to Havelock. This road is very winding in places, but there

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Mackenzie Country

Big Sky Country

The Mackenzie Country located in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island is a vast alluvial grassland basin sheltered by the mountains of The Southern Alps in the west and the Two Thumb Range to the east. The region has higher than average sunshine hours and a low rainfall. The warm and welcoming spirit of this small region will make your visit a very enjoyable experience.

There are several large lakes including Pukaki, Tekapo, Poako, Ruataniwha and others which are fed by snow and glacial melt waters. The lakes are connected by a series of canals which serve to control water flows for hydro electricity and they now also serve as an excellent resource for salmon farming

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Christchurch - Queenstown

Approx 7 hours drive

Ralaia Salmon

Take highway one south from Christchurch from Hornby or Templeton where there is usually heavy traffic. After you pass the satellite town of Rolleston, you finally get the sense you are going somewhere.

The traffic often remains heavy and drivers really have to pay attention and although there are a number of passing lanes. The almost straight highway runs through farmland with occasional views of the alps. (If you have a extra hour to spare, take the Foothills Scenic Route to avoid highway one.)

About 30 minutes south from Christchurch you come Rakia after crossing the long concrete Rakia river bridge. There is a café, restrooms and you can

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Otago

The white stone city

The region is typified with classical architecture.

Situated in the South of new Zealand between Canterbury and Southland, with the Southern Alps to the West, Otago is a diverse region with almost every activity imaginable. The climate is from sub zero in winter to + 30 c in summer, there are dense forests, vast grasslands and gold mining continues.

The region can be divided into:

Dunedin, and the outer suburbs of: Port Chalmers, the main regional port where cruise liners frequently call and Mosgiel. North Otago with the towns of: Palmerston, Omarama, Oamaru. Alma, Maheno, Kakanui, Herbert (also known as Otepopo), Waianakarua, Hampden, Moeraki, Weston, Ardgowan, Windsor, Five Forks, Peebles, Papakaio,

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Waitaki

Canterbury or Otago?

The Waitaki Valley is situated in the central South Island. It’s full of small friendly towns, rivers with excellent fishing, unique geological formations and fertile agricultural areas. As it’s a little off the beaten track, it’s an excellent place to get away from it all and soak up some peace and quiet. However, if you want a little adrenaline rush, there are plenty of opportunities as there are many adventure activities on offer.

Duntroon with a population of 120, it’s a small but very welcoming town at the southern end of the Waitaki Valley near the juncture of the Waitaki and Maerewhenua Rivers which has some excellent fishing spots. In the Waitaki River you can catch salmon

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Wanaka

A popular resort town

Lake Wanaka

Not far from Queenstown, Wanaka township is a popular holiday resort situated on the south shore of lake Wanaka. Throughout the year the village is busy with holiday makers and members of the growing permanent population.

The region is primarily a farming area with tourism playing a major role. In summer the lake offers many recreation opportunities and in winter skiing at the nearby Cardrona Skifield is one of the most popular pastimes.

Activities include: Out door recreation with boating, skiing, hiking, mountaineering, fishing & hunting.

Other attractions include; puzzle world, a topsy turvy maze and collection of buildings will test one’s sense of time and spacial awareness. Every 2nd

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Oamaru

The White Stone City

Oamaru taxi

In Victorian times, this was a booming town with a busy port and rich agricultural land surrounding it. The wealth which flowed into the town allowed architects of the time to design magnificent colonial style buildings with arched windows, soaring Greek columns and intricate façades. Much of this magnificent architecture has been well-preserved, so walking through the historic area of Oamaru is like stepping back in time, especially as may locals wear period costume.

Most of these building are constructed from Oamaru stone, a type of limestone which is abundant in the area. Oamaru stone is an exceptionally pure kind of limestone. Its purity means that it is easily sawn to any shape

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Glenorchy

Time to walk some famous walks

Looking Beyond Glenorchy

Take an hours picturesque drive beyond Queenstown to the head of lake Wakitipu, and on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park you’ll come to Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley.

This is one of New Zealand’s more remote areas, the last vestige of civilization before heading off to your wilderness or alpine adventure. The most popular route departing from here is the Routeburn Track.

The area has become a more renowned as many scenes from The movie series, Lord of The Rings was filmed in the area, and the secret is out about Paradise. To find out you can drive there yourself, Paradise

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Dunedin

A vibrant small city

Visitors checking out Baldwin Street, reputedly the worlds steepest street.

Founded primarily by settlers from Scotland in 1848 by the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland. The town’s name comes from Dun Eideann, the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the Scottish capital. As such its common to hear the sounds of the bagpipes which feature in most city parades.

Dunedin is a university city situated by the sea where the University of Otago, (the oldest university in New Zealand), was founded in Dunedin in 1869.

Activities and attractions include: Visiting the Dunedin Botanical Gardens is to the north of the city which are renowned for the rhododendron displays in early spring.

For some early

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Queenstown

New Zealand’s Winter Playground

The Shotover Jet. Get quick thrill racing through the river gorges in these powerful boats with drivers who love to show off.

Queenstown could be called the ‘Aspen’ of New Zealand. This international resort town in Otago in the south-west of the South Island is built on the shore of Lake Wakatipu (an old glacial lake) and has spectacular views of nearby mountains.

This is a major centre for snow sports and people flock from all over the the world to ski at the four main skifields: Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone. Cross country and heli-skiing is also available.

Queenstown has so much for so many it often gets to the point

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