Best Road Trip Routes In New Zealand

New Zealand roadside

New Zealand has an excellent road system that makes road trips to visit the many wonders of the country easy. Visitors have the best chance to see more if they find a car hire and take off. Planes and trains miss the details and public transport has its own timing. New Zealand offers a variety of landscapes and travelers sometimes see beaches, mountain peaks, crystal lakes and fertile valleys in one day. Travelling by car means visitors can spend as much time or as little time in any given place. Here are several routes that travel through some of the best places in New Zealand.

On the North Island, start in Auckland and see the incredible beaches in the warm and sunny northeast as well as the west coast rugged black sand beaches. There are several islands to visit including Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island. These are great places for hiking, surfing, snorkelling and swimming.

Northland is considered the birthplace of New Zealand because that is where the East Polynesian canoes first landed. It is also the site of early European settlements.

Go north on State Highway One from Auckland to Kerikeri. There is a car ferry to Russell at Opua. Travellers return to the highway farther north at Cape Reinga. Then drive through the Waipua Forest back to Auckland.

Drive south on State Highway One to Highway 1B and on to Cambridge. In nearby Tirau, a town famous for arts and crafts, take State Highway five south to Rotorua and the Thermal Explorer Highway past active volcanoes, steam vents, boiling rivers and mud pools. Visitors can spend some time soaking in a hot pool. In Taupo, there are extreme adventure sports such as bungy jumping and white-water rafting as well as fly-fishing and boating.

Ferry across the Cook Strait with your car hire to Picton and enjoy driving through the Nelson and Marlborough region. There are artist’s studios and workshops in Nelson and many orchards and vineyards. There is also the Abel Tasman National Park. Visit wineries and sample the products. When reaching Kaikoura, enjoy some whale watching.

Take State Highway One southwest from Christchurch and take State Highway Eight at Timaru. This will take you to Lake Tekapo and Twizel. This is the right place for skiing and snowboarding in winter, and the rugged countryside is excellent for kayaking, white-water rafting, skydiving and heli-skiing. Onward to Queenstown for excellent restaurants and first class golf courses and spas.

This has been a guest post from the road kings, Skedaddle Car Hire, if you’re up for a big road trip, check in with them for some roadworthy ideas!