This journey will lead you through the captivating lower South Island where you’ll discover native wildlife, deserted beaches, mountain peaks and the untouched waterways of Fiordland. The Southern Scenic Route will lead you to places off the beaten path.

Southern Scenic Route Highlights

New Zealand
Yellow-eyed Penguin, New Zealand

By Down Under Endeavours

Clutha
Catlins Coast, Clutha

By RTO

Christchurch - Canterbury
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise boat, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Black Cat Cruises

Southland
Native wildlife, Waipapa Point, Southland

By Venture Southland

Christchurch - Canterbury
Looking over to Lyttelton, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Tourism New Zealand

Dunedin
Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

By Dunedin NZ

Fiordland
Te Anau glowworm caves, Fiordland

By Real Journeys

Fiordland
Milford Sound, Fiordland

By Alistair Guthrie

Recommended experiences in Dunedin

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Dunedin

DUNEDIN

Stunning coastlines and unique native wildlife.

Highlights

  • Observe penguins in their native habitat
  • See a mainland Albatross colony
  • Explore dramatic and unique coastlines

Recommended experiences in Southland

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Southland

SOUTHLAND

Landscapes filled with natural wonders.

Highlights

  • Explore the coastline of Nugget Point
  • Savour the freshest local produce
  • Visit Stewart Island's amazing wildlife

Recommended experiences in Canterbury

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Christchurch - Canterbury

CANTERBURY

Discover marine wildlife in Akaroa.

Highlights

  • Discover playful dolphins in Akaroa
  • Savour local produce at farmer's markets
  • Wander the stunning coastal tracks

Recommended experiences in Southland

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Southland

SOUTHLAND

Be welcomed by locals to sweeping coastlines.

Highlights

  • Discover coastal wildlife of Curio Bay
  • Take a ferry to Ulva Island sanctuary
  • Jet boat thrills on Wairaurahiri River

Recommended experiences in Christchurch

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Christchurch - Canterbury

CHRISTCHURCH

Discover eclectic cafes & restaurants.

Highlights

  • NZ's top restaurant, Roots in Lyttleton
  • Discover dolphins by kayak in Akaroa
  • Wander gardens and parks of the city

Recommended experiences in Dunedin

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Dunedin

DUNEDIN

Local history and unique native wildlife.

Highlights

  • Explore dramatic and unique coastlines
  • Discover native wildlife along the coast
  • Ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway

Recommended experiences in Fiorldland

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Fiordland

FIORDLAND

Nature on your doorstep with dramatic landscapes.

Highlights

  • Discover unique Te Anau glowworms
  • Experience the majestic fiords by boat
  • Wander the Routeburn Track great walk

Recommended experiences in Fiordland

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Fiordland

FIORDLAND

Majestic fiords and native wildlife.

Highlights

  • Kayak the stunning Milford Sound
  • Wander the Routeburn Track great walk
  • Discover rare native penguins at Te Anau

Start planning your trip to New Zealand

  • Getting around

    Getting around New Zealand is easy with familiar road signs and a great range of transport options available.

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  • Where to stay

    There are plenty of accommodation options for every budget and travel style.

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  • Weather & Seasons

    Visit in Spring or Autumn to enjoy warm weather, spectacular colours, lower prices & short queues.

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Only 3 Hours Away

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Explore other South Island journeys

Plan TranzAlpine holiday →

Plan Nature and Heritage holiday →

Plan Alpine Lakes holiday →

Plan Top of the South holiday →