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Cultural Lower South Island

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The Journey

Starting your journey in Christchurch, you're emersed in picturesque scenery each leg of your trip. Views of Mount Cook, Glenorchy, Milford Sound and the Catlins, to name a few, will not disappoint.

To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Christchurch branch. Visit maui campervan hire Christchurch for more details.

Travel

4 DAYS


Route

Christchurch to Christchurch

1282km


Best Time of the Year

Jun-Jul and Jan-Mar

Highlights

  • Mount Cook National Park
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka Cromwell
  • Lake Te Anau
  • Milford Sound

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4

Day 1
Christchurch to Queenstown

Distance 480km - Driving Time 5.75 hours

Collect your maui motorhome and head towards Queenstown, via the picturesque scenery of the Mount Cook National Park in the heart of New Zealand’s alpine country. At 3764 metres, Mt Cook is the highest of the New Zealand’s 27 mountains over 3000 metres. It is known as Aoraki (or Aorangi, cloud piercer) by Maori. New Zealand's highest peak was named Mt Cook (after the British explorer Captain James Cook) by Captain Stokes of the survey ship HMS Acheron. Stop en route and enjoy the environment.

Day 2
Queenstown

Queenstown is well known for its adventure tourism offerings. Today, you could spend exploring the far reaches of the Mt Aspiring National Park on the Dart River Safaris, operating out of Glenorchy. Or take a shorter, but no less exciting, experience on the Shotover Jet just out of Queenstown. After the ride, slow yourself down with a meander through the Toi o Tahuna Fine Art Gallery in the middle of Queenstown, or it’s neighbouring Kapa Design Gallery where you’ll find an array of Maori arts and crafts to admire or purchase.

If adventure activities aren’t really “your thing”, you could take a day excursion through the historic Kawerau Gorge toward Wanaka. The Big Picture near Cromwell, offers a very unique wine tasting experience with their aroma room that brings the content of wine to life. Enjoy a kai (meal) while you relax and enjoy the experience. Head back to Arrowtown and give yourself a luxurious break by staying at the Poutama Lodge, overlooking Lake Hayes.

Day 3
Queenstown to Bluff

Distance 214km - Driving Time 2.75 hours

Head south from Queenstown toward Invercargill via the Southern Scenic Route that passes through Te Anau. This route accesses the Milford and Doubtful Sounds, both worthy of a visit as your time permits.

We’re heading for Stewart Island, known as the anchor of maui’s waka. Ulvas Guided Walks gives you a unique insight, not only into the bird life of Ulva Island, but also the cultural history of this area. Your host is from here, in fact she’s named after the Island. This is your most Southern Maori tourism experience but certainly one not to miss!

Day 4
Bluff to Christchurch

Distance 588km - Driving Time 7.5 hours

As you head back to Christchurch, take the scenic route along the Catlins Coast. You won’t be disappointed as this remote area has spectacular scenery, amazing history and a number of great spots to park up and enjoy your surroundings. During this journey, you have passed through a portion of maui’s waka that is the South Island.

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