4-5 Days 839 km


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


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(opens in new window) 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(opens in new window).

Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch

Christchurch - Canterbury
Street art, Christchurch, Christchurch - Canterbury
Vibrant creativity meets heritage


Vibrant city with an evolving creative heart


  • 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. 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.

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Day 2: Christchurch to Oamaru

Blue Penguins, Oamaru, Waitaki
encounter playful wildlife


Heritage, unique wildlife and natural wonders.


  • by car:

    Christchurch to Oamaru

  • by car:

    3 h 20 min | 250 km

Recommended experiences in Waitaki

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From Christchurch take your time to discover this beautiful part of New Zealand. Explore Oamaru's Victorian precinct and visit the fascinating Steampunk Playground and Museum. In the evening, as the sun sets, watch the world's smallest penguin come ashore to nest at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony.

Day 3: Oamaru to Dunedin

Larnach Castle, Dunedin
Come closer and experience New Zealand's rich history


Historic architecture and eco-adventure await you


  • by car:

    Oamaru to Dunedin

  • by car:

    1 h 40 min | 112 km

Recommended experiences in Dunedin

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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.

Day 4: Dunedin to Queenstown via Central Otago

Central Otago
Otago Central Rail Trail, Central Otago
Award-winning wines and charming historic towns

Central Otago

Gold mining heritage meets adventure


  • by car:

    Dunedin to Clyde

  • by car:

    2.5 h | 195 km

Recommended experiences in Central Otago

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From Dunedin(opens in new window), head inland through Central Otago, where it feels like you’re driving through a painting with its historic towns, great cycle trails, seasonal fruit and award-winning vineyards.

For those who like to combine exercise with wine tasting – the Four Barrels Walking Wine Trail(opens in new window) 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(opens in new window) which inspired the creation of the New Zealand cycle trail network.

For a true adrenaline rush – head to Highlands (opens in new window)and catch the fastest taxi in town.

Once in Queenstown, it’s time for some true southern hospitality. Wander around the well-appointed pedestrianised streets in Queenstown’s CBD, pop into a cosy wine bar or a friendly pub, or grab a giant gourmet burger and wander down to the lakefront. With over 150 bars and restaurants to choose from and flavours from all around the world, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

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