If you’re planning a visit to the South Island of New Zealand, driving is a must! Although incredibly beautiful year round (especially when the landscape is covered in crisp, white snow), my favourite time of year to visit would have to be spring/summer – the orchards are in full bloom, water activities are in full swing, hiking season is at it’s peak, baby lambs frolic about in fields, ice cream never tasted better and the weather offers the perfect conditions for a road trip.
I’ve made the trip down from both Christchurch and Dunedin to Wanaka a few times now and I look forward to it every time I go back to do it again! The ever changing landscape, quaint little towns to stop in, views of Mt Cook (on a clear day), plus incredible spots to stop stretch your legs (such as Lake Tekapo) make for one unforgettable trip.
This last trip, we weren’t driving as far or as often, however having a hire car was an absolute blessing and allowed us to make a few trips between Wanaka and Queenstown, got us up the mountain to Cardrona Ski Resort and off road in the National Park (thanks to some incredible driving and patience from Ashlea).
We hired our trusty little Yaris from Go Rentals in Queenstown. The car was just what we needed, for quite a competitive hire rate, and the team there was incredibly helpful – especially when we dropped in after a few days to have a chip repaired in our windscreen – thank you insurance!
We drove to Cromwell and Bannockburn, Arrowtown and Queenstown and on our last day made a short trip out to Glenorchy. This was my first time out this way and the scenery here blew me away – you NEED to add this to your list if you’re going over. Only a short drive out from Queenstown, the winding roads offered some of the most breathtaking views we saw.
Here are some of my favourite moments from our time in (and out of) the car. See if you can spot it snowing when we pulled over on the Crown Range in the video!
Would love to hear from you if you’ve got some ‘road tips’ from NZ you’d like to share.