South Island trips

Inland Scenic Route 72

6 Days
463km
288mi

Route

Christchurch to Christchurch

Highlights

  • Horse riding in Oxford
  • Fishing, Rakaia River
  • Skiing or hiking

Best time of year

All year

Inland Scenic Route 72 showcases some of the best of what Canterbury has to offer.

This itinerary journeys from Christchurch, north to Amberly then to the farming centre of Oxford. The route continues along the foot of the alps to Mount Hutt, Canterbury''s premier ski field. Mount Somers is next, for a hike in the mountains. Then it's over the Rangitata River to Geraldine, where you can link to State Highway 1 and head north to Ashburton and the French-inspired town of Akaroa.  

Get familar with driving in New Zealand and set out on this spectacular journey through New Zealand's heartland. Our tips for driving in winter will be useful if you are planning to drive between June and September.

Info

The Canterbury Plains lie under the shadow of the Southern Alps.

Photo by David Wall

Day 1

Christchurch to Oxford

50 mins

56 km

35 mi

Christchurch - Canterbury

Begin this journey with a short drive from Christchurch to Oxford that takes you through the heartland of Canterbury's farming industry.

Around the country town of Oxford, there are farm stays and horse riding opportunities. Staying on a farm is the ultimate way to appreciate country life - you can help out with daily tasks and enjoy the generous, farmhouse-kitchen hospitality of a local family. Oxford Forest is a popular spot for walks and picnics and the Ryde Falls Walk is an easy excursion.

Explore the surrounds of Christchurch, Canterbury.

Start in Christchurch

Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.

End in Oxford

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.  
Time & distance calculator