New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the best places on earth for road tripping. It needs no introduction since the landscapes tell you everything. From spectacular coastal line to rugged mountain ranges, mesmerizing sceneries are abundant in this country.
For an ideal plan to hit the road, these 10 Best road trips in New Zealand will inspire you much
Auckland to Wellington
This is the best if your reason for the road trip is to explore some of the country’s attractive volcanic sites such as the geysers of Rotorua, Lake Taupo crater, bubbling mud pools to mention but a few. Aside from that, the route takes you through the wine regions of Martinborough. Therefore it’s no surprise that this 12-day expedition is a favorite for most wine lovers.
Deep South of the South Island (Catlins)
Dramatic fjords, dreamy lakes and giant glaciers make up the unending charms in New Zealand’s South Island. This route is the best to soak you into all that the region offers. Once you are in the country, you shouldn’t do anything else other than hiring a campervan and take this path at your own pace. Some of the stops not to miss are the Catlins (home to the yellow-eyed penguin), Dunedin (great place to admire the Edwardian architecture and discover New Zealand’s Maori heritage) and Milford Sound (known for the world’s most fascinating lakes).
Auckland to Taupo
For an insight into New Zealand’s remarkable natural scenery, Auckland to Taupo is the best route to take. This path gives a little bit of everything that can impress someone who seeks new discoveries. Other than scenic views of the Bombay hills, you still have more to relish including the walking trails in Cambridge, geysers and volcanic craters along the Thermal Explorer Highway.
From Auckland to Bay of Islands
Of all road trips in New Zealand, the loop of the Bay Islands is rated the best for those who are limited by time but still need to have a glimpse of what the country has to offer. It will immerse you into the city vibes of Auckland, the sheer beauty of the Northern coastline and wine tasting on Waiheke Island. This trip is possible all year round, but for thrilling views try to partake the adventure in July or August when the North Island is still lovely, and South Island is covered in snow.
Auckland to Napier via Pacific Coast Highway
Starting from Auckland to Napier via the Pacific coast highway, this drive is a dream for most trippers. With its all-embracing views, awesome hikes and relaxing stops, this trip won’t disappoint you. Make sure to include Coromandel, a classic destination that is cool and easy to reach from Auckland. It has a shortage of activities, but its gorgeous natural scenery can make you create your hiking excursion. Extend the adventure with a drive from the charming town of Thames to explore the rolling hillsides, pretty coastlines and sandy beaches along the way.
Auckland is a good base to rent a car or browse backpacker campervans for sale – a very good value to start your road trip
Forgotten World Highway
Built on colonial bridle paths, this 93miles stretch isn’t for the faint-hearted and great for those who wish to unearth some of the country’s hidden spots. It starts from Stratford and winds through a river gorge, a scary one-lane tunnel and rugged mountains. Once you choose this road trip, get to know that the only place you can stop for a night stay is Whangamomona town.
Christchurch to Queenstown
Here is another breathtaking journey to appreciate. It starts from the seaside town (Greymouth) down to the south to explore the hilly coastlines and the dramatic Southern Alps before you reach the Queenstown. This seven days expedition includes multiples draws like the notable Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, picturesque valleys and more. If you still have more days in Queenstown, some activities like bungee jumping and skydiving can keep you occupied and excited.
The Great Coast Road (Westport to Greymouth)
Are you after New Zealand’s coastal scenery? The Great coast road is undeniably the best answer. Starting from Westport to Greymouth, this trip has plenty of things to do and see. You may be delighted by the panoramic views of the picture-perfect rock formations, seaside sunsets, snowy Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea, but don’t forget to stop off in Punakaiki for the famous Pancake rocks.
From Queenstown to Te Anau and onward to Milford Sound
If you are still hankering for more after the Christchurch to Queenstown route, this two-hour drive (Te Anau to Milford Sound) is a great fit to satisfy you. It takes you through the country’s vivid landscapes via Milford Sound, one of the World’s most famous highways. The awe-inspiring views of mirror lakes, plunging waterfalls, pristine rainforests, mountain ranges and striking cliff faces can’t allow you to finish the drive without stopping for some pretty photo-shoots. Remember to bring good quality cameras with you.
Christchurch: going to North (loop)
The road trips to take in New Zealand are abundant. If you prefer the one that will treat you with a blend of wildlife, wine tasting and seafood, Christchurch (going to the north) loop is your way to go. It starts from Christchurch and heads northwards to the seaside town of Kaikoura, a great stop for fresh crayfish and whale watching. From here Marlborough Sounds at the tip of South Islands awaits with its water sports and delicious wine brands. After sampling some legendary brands like Sauvignon Blanc, continue to the Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman National Park before you loop back to Hokitika for your return drive to Christchurch.
Wanaka to Queenstown via the Cardrona Pass
You have no reason to ignore this South Island Drive if you travelled for hours or days mainly to soak up New Zealand’s natural beauty. It combines various points of interest such as the impressive Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown (an area set at the foothills of the Alps) and the pretty resort of Cardrona. Besides that, the trip provides multiple activities for travelers to engage in. These are white water rafting, bungee jumping and skiing.