Drive to Akaroa, the French settlement of Christchurch, and enjoy the quaint arts and crafts shops, the Herb Garden, the museum or partake in a harbour cruise; truly experience the Garden City at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens; visit the Antarctic Centre; travel up the Port Hills in the Gondola; or see how New Zealand was at the Canterbury Muesum.
Overnight: Meadow Park Holiday Park – Christchurch
Across the Canterbury Plains to Burkes Pass and Geraldine, and the alongside Lake Tekapo. You may like to stop off at the tiny stone Church of the Good Shepherd on the shore of Lake Tekapo.
Overnight: Glentanner Park – Mt Cook
A flight seeing tour of Mount Cook is recommended to fully appreciate the grandeur of the Mount Cook National Park and surroundings. Past Lake Pukaki and Twizel, and head south along the coastline. Stop off the Moeraki Boulders for a look at these most interesting rock formations. Founded by Scottish Migrants in 1848, Dunedin is the Edinburgh of the South. Overnight: Aaron Lodge Holiday Park – Dunedin
View the magnificent Royal Albatross Colony, or the Yellow-eyed Penguins – a unique experience. Visit Larnach Castle and enjoy a meal in true Scottish style! Overnight: Aaron Lodge Holiday Park – Dunedin
Cross the farmlands of South Otago, passing through Balclutha and Gore. The countryside becomes drier as you reach Lumsden, Mossburn and the glimpse of Fiordland. Overnight: Mountain View Holiday Park – Te Anau
Te Anau is the gateway to the Fiordland National Park, which has been acknowledged as a World Heritage Park with some of the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand. Take a cruise through Milford Sound to experience the local sea life and see the magnificent sheer cliffs. Overnight: Arthurs Point Holiday Park – Queenstown
There are dozens of activities here; the Skyline Gondola and Kiwi Magic show which will give you a bird’s eye view of Queenstown; jetboating on the rivers; white water rafting; helicopter trip through the river chasm; world famous bungy jumping; cruise on the Lake on the vintage ‘Earnslaw’; high country sheep stations; gold panning; spectacular walking tracks and horse treks … the list is endless.
Travelling north will take you through the Mt Aspiring National Park and Haast Pass, on to the West Coast. A very beautiful drive, take some time to view the scenery along the coastline and also at the various scenic rest areas in the National Park.
The glaciers at Fox and Franz Josef make a striking contrast against the thick forest in the surrounding ranges – take a helicopter flight or guided walk to fully experience the glacier’s beauty. Stop off at the White Heron colony, or Shantytown for a nostalgic return to the gold mining days of the West Coast. A spectacular journey from Greymouth through the rugged Otira Gorge and rainforest to Christchurch. Overnight: Forest Park – Franz Josef
Crossing the dry North Canterbury plains, you reach the coast road north. The narrow road edges up the island, dwarfed by the Kaikoura Ranges on one side and the pounding surf on the other. Take time to visit the vineyards and restaurants that Malborough is famous for. Cruising on the Interisland ferry is most beautiful, through the Marlborough Sounds National Park and landing in Picton.
Overnight: Harcourt Holiday Park – Wellington
Spend the morning walking the parliament buildings of Wellington, and perhaps visiting the Wellington City Art Gallery, located in the City Civic Square. The drive out of Wellington passes over the spectacular Tararua Ranges, and on to the Hawkes Bay. Overnight: Kennedy Park Complex – Napier
Take time when in Napier and Hastings to visit some of the local vineyards – beware of drinking and driving though! Some of the best wines in New Zealand are grown in this region, and are definitely worth tasting. Once in Napier take time to explore the famous art deco buildings that make Napier so unique. Then entire city was destroyed in a huge earthquake that shook the area in 1931, and at the local museum there are fantastic displays on the history of the Hawkes Bay. Visit Cape Kidnappers, home of a very large gannet colony – a must to see Overnight: Holdens Bay Holiday Park – Rotorua.
Take a guided tour of the incredible Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and see carvers at work at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute; visit Waiotapu Thermal Reserve with its famous geysers and beautiful pools; see rainbow trout and a fantastic farm show at Rainbow Springs and Farm Show.
View a glow-worm grotto in the Waitomo Caves; or for more adventurous, tackle The Lost World – starting off with a three hundred foot abseil into an enormous, surreal hole in the ground followed by navigation through spectacular underground caves.
Visit the Auckland Museum and see a live Maori performance; see real live penguins and take a journey beneath the ocean at Kelly Tarltons Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter; Shop market style at Victoria Park and Oriental Markets, or in style in one of Auckland’s central shopping areas.