Journeys and Landscapes

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With gorgeous, ever-changing scenery and so many amazing things to see along the way, New Zealand is the perfect country for self-driving.

I rented a car and just started driving around the South Island and it was amazing. I mean, I had such a wonderful time just driving around by myself.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker

The great Kiwi road trip is a popular adventure for visitors and locals alike, and when you get here you'll find out why. With gorgeous ever-changing scenery and so many amazing things to see and do along the way, you'll want to stop often - and self-drive allows you the freedom to do so.

Coastal Highlights

Glittering coastal roads and roaring surf highways are plentiful in New Zealand. Experience every variation of seaside scenery – from the mighty Tasman Sea pounding the rugged west coast, to the  golden sands of the east following itineraries such as:

 

You can't go wrong by car in New Zealand, the coastal roads are fantastic... so driving is really quite easy around the country I find.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker

Seasonal Wonders

In the springtime take a roadtrip through the Mackenzie Country for a floral scenic masterpiece. For 4-5 weeks towards the end of each year, the central South Island bursts into an array of pink, purple, blue and yellow, as the wild lupins bloom alongside lakes and riverbeds. In the north, witness New Zealand’s Christmas tree – the Pohutakawa – in its seasonal glory.

Be astonished by New Zealand in autumn when the skies are blue and the foliage is ablaze with golden colours. Visit the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival, watch as the fruit trees groan under the weight of their August harvest and enjoy the local season produce from roadside stalls.

New Zealand
Autumn in New Zealand, New Zealand

By David Wall

Explore Central Otago in Autumn and your memory card will soon be jam-packed full of spectacular colour and scenery.

Alpine Passes

Get off the beaten path and explore what makes New Zealand famous. Experience one of the great alpine passes, take in the fresh air and chance upon a hidden gem that you weren't expecting.

Epic alpine road trips include The Great Alpine Highway through Arthur's Pass, taking Haast Pass through Mount Aspiring National Park, Lewis Pass through northern Canterbury to the West Coast, or the Desert Road through Tongariro National Park in the North Island.

New Zealand
Crown Range Road, New Zealand

By Remarkable Imagery

This vantage point on the Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka offers stunning alpine views.

Exploring New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes by car, campervan or motorhome is a popular way to get around. Use this handy tool to calculate your travel times and distances.

Driving in New Zealand

Important things to know about driving in New Zealand.

Where to next?

Discover New Zealand Wine →

Plan your New Zealand discovery holiday →