A South Island Road Trip

A South Island Road Trip

Written by Nicole

New Zealand is an awesome place for those who love to explore. There is so much diversity in the landscapes and in things to do, so there is no chance of ever becoming bored here. As there are endless roads to explore, campervan hire in New Zealand is a great way to travel. Keep reading for an idea of what kind of itinerary you can plan for a South Island road trip.

Kaikoura to Tekapo

With a distance of 403 kilometers, it’ll take you about six hours to drive from Kaikoura to Tekapo. Start your trip from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs and try a jet boat adventure, bungy jumping or white water rafting. Then park your campervan for the night in Hanmer Springs Top 10 Holiday Park, which offers a great spot to park your campervan along with other facilities such as a communal kitchen, dining area, bathrooms and even laundry facilities.

Stop in the big city of Christchurch and enjoy a myriad of activities, from dolphin watching to tasting delicious wines to hiking the Aoraki/Mount Cook Glacier. After a long day of adventures, camp in the comfortable North South Holiday Park at $26 per person for a tent or a powered site. Head over to Oxford and hike the Oxford Forest, explore the Oxford Farmer’s Market and take a picnic to the Ashley Gorge. You can also camp at the Ashley Gorge Holiday Park where you’ll be surrounded by wildlife and the sounds of the river will lull you to sleep. In Tekapo, spend your time star gazing or take a scenic tour of the backcountry. 

Queenstown to Wanaka

From Queenstown to Wanaka is another 70.3 kilometers which could take about an hour to drive. Queenstown itself is a wonderful place to explore, especially if you are an adrenaline junky. From jet boat rides to downhill mountain biking to a scenic helicopter ride, there is something exciting for everyone to try.

As you start heading to Wanaka, consider stopping in Cardrona to ski, as it is one of New Zealand’s most popular ski resorts. When you reach Wanaka, enjoy the beautiful views from Roys Peak, go heli-skiing in the Alps or take a sunset cruise on Lake Wanaka. After all the fun, park your campervan in Albert Town Campground or Lake Outlet Holiday Park where you can enjoy the quiet beauty of the lake with nearby hiking, biking and fishing. 

Te Anau

From Wanaka to Te Anau is another 227 kilometers, which is about a three hour trip. Kingston is a great place to stop where you can enjoy mountain biking, hiking or climbing the Devil’s Staircase Lookout Point. Park your campervan for the night in the Kingston Top 10 Holiday Park. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Mossburn is a great place to visit. Here, you can partake in bird watching, fishing, hiking and golfing. If you choose to spend the night, try the Mossburn Country Park, where you’ll be surrounded by rivers and mountains and have a spectacular view of the night sky. When you reach Te Anau, be prepared to visit the Milford and Doubtful Sound, explore the bird sanctuary and be amazed by the glowworm caves.

Kaikoura to Te Anau makes an amazing campervan road trip. Consider renting one this year to explore the South Island of New Zealand for yourself.