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.
Your journey begins in the South Island's largest city, Christchurch, which is brimming with innovation and creativity. Check out the 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.
Head south towards Dunedin, taking in the grand landscapes as you weave your way through the coastal roads. 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.
From Dunedin, head inland through Central Otago, where it feels like you’re driving through a painting with it's historic towns, great cycle trails, seasonal fruit and award-winning vineyards.
For those who like combine exercise with wine tasting – the Four Barrels Walking Wine Trail is a scenic 8km circuit that takes you to four fabulous cellar doors around Cromwell.
Alternatively, join the trend and enjoy a relaxed cycle on one of the three spectacular ‘Great Ride’ cycle trails in Central Otago – which includes the Otago Central Rail Trail which inspired the creation of the New Zealand cycle trail network.
For a true adrenaline rush – head to Highlands and catch the fastest taxi in town.