Driving around in New Zealand has a lot to offer when it comes to scenic drives. Going on a road trip is the best way to explore the country so you won’t miss out on its natural scenery. It’s no wonder campervan travel is all the rage in the country, among locals and foreign tourists. Once you hire a campervan, make sure to pass by these scenic drives.
This is a two-hour drive that will pass through lush rainforest, moss-covered mountains, mirror lakes, and cliff faces. Just be prepared for the rainy weather in this part of the country, although this also means incredible waterfalls. But the best part about this drive is when you are approaching the 1.2-km long Homer Tunnel. As you watch the traffic light signal, you’ll be sitting inside an amphitheatre made of a massive glacier surrounded by sheer rock cliffs.
Westport to Greymouth
This coastal drive certainly delivers. You will the Tasman Sea on your right and the Southern Alps with their snowy peaks on the left. Even if you start the trip on a sunny weather, you still need to prepare for the rain because this is one of the rainiest spots in the country. One of the best stops in the area would be the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.
When you reach Greymouth, continue driving on the SH6 until you get to the Franz Josef Glacier. You also have the option to get on the Trans Scenic Railway, which passes by the Southern Alps before reaching Christchurch.
This is the oldest touring route in New Zealand that runs for 155km. It stretches from the north island’s central plateau to the west coast and the Taranaki mountain. Prepare your body and mind to pass through tunnels, gorges, and thick forest. The drive also includes the highest waterfall on the island, a town/republic, and the Tangarakau Gorge.
The drive through the highway, also called the Lost World Highway, usually lasts for three to four hours. But if you want to make several stops along the way, it would be better to plan your itinerary for a few days in this area.
It is also perfect for camping if you want an impressive view from your campsite. You will see Mount Taranaki and the Tongariro National Park as your camping background.
Christchurch to Marlborough
This route lets you drive through the flat Canterbury countryside, with the Southern Alps in the background. It also shows the Pacific Ocean and passes through Kaikoura. Take the time to stop around the rocks and you might just see some New Zealand fur seals. If you want, you can stay in Kaikoura for at least a night and join the whale watching tour the next morning, where you will see some huge Sperm Whales. This is definitely a great stop before you start some wine tasting tour in the Napa Valley in the Marlborough region.
This route is in South Island’s Southern Lakes region, where tourists can try bungy jumping, white-water rafting, and skiing, among others. Just choose the Cadrona Pass to reach Queenstown.
When you’re about to go out of Wanaka, the road slowly goes up before the Cadrona Pass. It becomes even steeper as you go out of Cadronate, complete with twists and turns, before you reach Queenstown, The Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu.