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Sarah Lemkus Explores the South Island

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Sarah, Dan and their daughter Bethany, recently travelled from Queenstown to Christchurch in a maui motorhome. They saw the likes of Milford Sound, the Moeraki Boulders, Lake Tekapo and Kaikoura. Check out more of their adventure below!

Travel

11 days


Route

Queenstown to Christchurch

1792km


Best Time of the Year

Anytime

Highlights

  • Kaikoura Helicopter
  • Real Journey's Milford Sound Cruise
  • Lake Tekapo Hot Springs
  • Hanmer Springs
  • Eco Villa accommodation in Christchurch
  • Bungy jumping at Hanmer Springs

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Day 1
Queenstown to Te Anau

Distance 165km - Driving Time 2.5 hours

We picked up the motorhome at 5pm and drove from Queenstown to Te Anau Top 10 Holiday park.

Day 2
Te Anau to Te Anau via Milford Sound

Distance 250km - Driving Time 2.5 hours

We drove from Te Anau Top 10 to Milford Sound, which took close to 4 hours as we stopped a lot for pictures and video. This was probably my favourite stretch of road. However, driving back was a bit strenuous as it makes for a very long day. The drive back took about 3 hours. Loved the cheeky keas that landed on the roof of the motorhome during this leg of the trip. Activity was the Real Journeys tour which took about 2.5 hours.

Day 3
Te Anau to Dunedin

Distance 300km - Driving Time 4 hours

Drove from Te Anau Top 10, the best holiday park we've ever been to, to Dunedin Holiday Park, which took close to 4 hours. Quite an uneventful drive with not a huge amount to see.

Day 4
Dunedin

We ditched the motorhome and drove around in our friend's car for the day sightseeing around Dunedin.

Day 5
Dunedin to Mount Cook via Moeraki Boulders

Distance 300km - Driving Time 4 hours

Up really early to travel to Moeraki Boulders for the sunrise. We almost missed it so I would advise people to leave a minimum of an hour for the drive from Dunedin. From there we kept driving to Mount Cook. A long day's driving. We found the facilities at the campsite in Mount Cook to be not very kid-friendly as the camper parks were about 400 metres from the facilities. It didn't help there was a tonne of snow around. I think this is more of a summer friendly spot.

Day 6
Mount Cook to Lake Tekapo

Distance 82km - Driving Time 1 hour

We left in the nick of time as the snow really started to fall. A nice short drive over to Lake Tekapo campground. I liked this place and just wish we had hit it with better weather. Still went to the hot pools despite the snow. Wish we got to do the star gazing and ice skating.

Day 7
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

Distance 230km - Driving Time 3.5 hours

A little bit of a dodgy drive given there were towns in a state of emergency. A massive dump of snow and rain had caused a number of diversions. It took nearly 4 hours to get to Christchurch where we stayed at a private residence.

Day 8
Christchurch to Hamner Springs

Distance 135km - Driving Time 2 hours

Drove from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs where we stayed for two nights in the Top 10 Holiday Park. This drive was not too bad. Activities were bungy, hot pools and massage.

Day 9
Hamner Springs to Kaikoura

Distance 130km - Driving Time 2 hours

We drove the long detour route from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura. I was a little gutted we had to drive out that way but when I got there instantly forgot about the drive. Kaikoura is amazing. Big thumbs up from us. Unfortunately only had half a day there. The weather played its part too for our chopper flight.

Day 10
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Distance 200km - Driving Time 3 hours

We drove the long way around from Kaikoura to Christchurch where we dropped the motorhome back.