Southern Scenic Route


A land of rugged coast and rolling plains

4 Days 810 km


  • Picturesque coastlines
  • Plentiful native wildlife
  • Fiordland National Park

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Journey into the captivating lower South Island to uncover an unforgettable mix of rare wildlife, remote rugged lands, and delicious seafood.

The Southern Scenic Route will take you off the beaten path to discover stunning deserted coastlines, majestic fiords and welcoming locals.

Day 1: Dunedin to Invercargill via the Catlins

Travel down the coast from Dunedin and explore the beautiful Catlins landscape. Wander the 5 minute path to Nugget Point lighthouse and marvel at the steep headland and rocky islets (The Nuggets). Enjoy amazing views along the coastline, visiting the famous Pūrākaunui Falls. Don't forget to look out for fur seals (opens in new window) as they loll about, playing in rock pools and generally having fun.

Invercargill is New Zealand's southern most city and offers a wide range of activities including the Bill Richardson Transport World(opens in new window) and Around the Mountain cycle trail.(opens in new window) 

Nearby you will find the town of Bluff, home of the famous oyster.

Day 2: Invercargill to Te Anau


One New Zealand's most breathtaking regions


  • Kepler and Routeburn Great Walks
  • Glowworm caves
  • Milford Sound

Top 10 things to do in Fiordland

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This picturesque drive skirts the ruggard south coast and the eastern boundary of Fiordland National Park.

Visit Te Hikoi Southern Journey(opens in new window) to learn about Riverton's bi-cultural past and stop over in Tuatapere for points of natural and historic interest, along with opportunities for hiking, mountain biking(opens in new window), trout fishing(opens in new window), hunting(opens in new window) and boating.

Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park, you will find activities such as the glowworm caves(opens in new window), the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary(opens in new window) and the Fiordland Cinema, which screens the beautiful short film Ata Whenua(opens in new window) taking you deep into the heart of this World Heritage area.

Day 3: Milford Sound day trip


A fusion of spectacular natural features with amazing visual cues around every corner


  • Kayaking and diving
  • Mitre Peak
  • Scenic flights

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The road to Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most scenic routes; drive yourself or relax in a coach tour(opens in new window). Along the way look out for the Mirror Lakes with their amazing reflective views. Rough hewn Homer Tunnel brings you into the amazing 22km fiord of Milford Sound.

A boat cruise is the best way to experience the sounds; choose either a day trip or a more leisurely overnight cruise(opens in new window). Tall waterfalls, vertical rock faces and seals are some of the Sound's highlights. An underwater observatory(opens in new window) is an option with most cruises, allowing you to see the fiord's fascinating depths.

If you've opted for a day cruise, head back to Te Anau for the night.

Day 4: Te Anau - Queenstown


Home to the ultimate adventure bucket list


  • Stunning walking and cycling trails
  • Bungy, jet boating, and sky diving
  • Winery tours and renowned golf courses

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End your journey in the exciting and fantastically attractive alpine resort of Queenstown.

Nestled on the shores of the stunning Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungy, jet boating(opens in new window), horse trekking(opens in new window), rafting(opens in new window) and river surfing(opens in new window).

It’s also a destination for luxury experiences, from gourmet food and award-winning vineyards(opens in new window) to indulgent spa treatments, boutique shopping and leisurely games of golf(opens in new window).

 View the route below

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