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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Approx 7 hours drive
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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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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A popular resort town
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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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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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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Home to some great walks
Mt Aspiring National Park borders Fiordland National Park in the Southwest New Zealand to comprise the World Heritage Area known as Te Wahipounamu. The Park covers 355,531 ha and was established 1964. Mt Aspiring (the mountain) is a complex of impressively glaciated mountain scenery centred on Mount Aspiring (3,036 m), which is New Zealand’s next highest peak to Mount Cook.
The park spans a large area, from the Haast River in the north to the Humbolt Mountains in the south. Large valleys, carved out by ancient glaciers, dissect the high mountain ranges and Mt Aspiring itself is viewable from near Wanaka and Haast.
Mt Aspiring is known by Maori as ‘Tititea’
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An alpine experience
Within the Southern Alps of new Zealand, Aoraki, (or Mount Cook) at over 12,000 feet (3,754m), is the highest New Zealand mountain and within the surrounding Aoraki National Park, there are over 140 mountains exceeding a height of 2000 metres making this a mecca for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Established 1953 as an alpine park which not only contains New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki – Mt Cook, it also has the longest glacier. With a focus for mountaineering, ski touring and scenic flights, the park is an area of outstanding natural beauty.The Mount Cook and Westland National Parks have together been declared a world heritage area. The mountain heights are strictly for experienced climbers and even then,
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