Nature and Heritage Itinerary

4-5 DAYS

839 km

Highlights

  • Gold mining heritage
  • Larnach Castle
  • Award-winning vineyards

Proximity

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  • Nature and Heritage Itinerary

The scenery on this route is simply mind blowing. Get ready for towering mountains and turquoise lakes along with friendly, down-to-earth locals and rare wildlife. See Dunedin’s ornate mansions and gothic churches then drive to Central Otago for gold mining legacy set among stunning landscapes and award winning vineyards. Or head to the vibrant Queenstown for some cosmopolitan hospitality and a leisurely cycle alongside one of their many beautiful lakes and waterways.

Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch

Vibrant creativity meets heritage
Christchurch - Canterbury

CHRISTCHURCH

Vibrant city with an evolving creative heart

Highlights

  • Street art trail
  • Historic tram ride
  • World-famous Botanic Gardens

Recommended experiences in Christchurch

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Your journey begins in the South Island's largest city, Christchurch, which is brimming with innovation and creativity with pop-up bars and cafes, container-based shopping malls and the transitional cathedral made of cardboard.

Christchurch is no. 2 on The New York Times' 52 Places to Go and the gateway to the South Island. Vibrant and ever-evolving, this picturesque city offers a stunning juxtaposition of new architecture against heritage buildings surrounded by a region of natural wonders.

Day 2: Christchurch to Omarama

Soak up the view in heated pure mountain water
Christchurch - Canterbury

WAITAKI

A haven for adventure and relaxation

Proximity

  • By car: Christchurch to Omarama
  • By car: 4 h  | 327 km

Recommended experiences in Waitaki

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From Christchurch take your time to explore this beautiful part of New Zealand. The vast dramatic Mackenzie region landscape of pristine glacial lakes and soaring mountains, as you head towards Omarama to relax and immerse yourself in heated pure mountain water surrounded by amazing scenery.

Day 3: Omarama to Dunedin

Come closer and experience New Zealand's rich history
Dunedin

DUNEDIN

Historic architecture and eco-adventure await you

Proximity

  • By car: Omarama to Dunedin
  • By car: 2 h 30 min | 227 km

Recommended experiences in Dunedin

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Head south towards Dunedin, past the brilliant turquoise waters of the lakes to the coast. Then take time to marvel at one of New Zealand’s great natural wonders, the Moeraki Boulders before arriving in Dunedin, one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Day 4: Dunedin to Queenstown via Central Otago

Award winning wines and charming historic towns
Queenstown

Queenstown

Gold mining heritage meets adventure innovative

Proximity

  • By car: Dunedin to Queenstown
  • By car: 3 h | 285 km

Recommended experiences in Queenstown

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From Dunedin travel through Central Otago, a picturesque region filled with rich gold mining heritage and charming historic towns surrounded by award-winning vineyards, on your way to Queenstown, an exciting and fantastically scenic alpine resort.

No trip to Queenstown is complete without visiting one of the 75 wineries in the area. Queenstown's premier winery, Amisfield, is the perfect spot for a long lunch or dinner with friends. Set back from Lake Hayes, surrounded by mountains, the unique scene set here is one you won't forget.

Alternatively, take the slow route through Central Otago by exploring the Otago Central Rail Trail - an epic cycle following old railway lines through beautiful, big-sky country.

Need help getting started?

Let a New Zealand Specialist from Flight Centre help you plan your South Island holiday.

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  • 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 and seasons

    Visit in Spring or Autumn to enjoy warm weather, lower prices and short queues.

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Alpine Lakes Itinerary →

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