This road trip follows two legs of the Alpine Pacific Touring Route, one of
the most scenic highways in New Zealand.
Leave Hanmer Springs to the south on SH7A and turn left onto the local touring
route to Rotherham.
At Rotherham join SH70 travelling northeast to Waiau. From here it's about
a 70km trip through the gorge to emerge on the coast just south of Kaikoura,
where you're bound to have a whale of a time.
From Kaikoura you'll travel on SH1 south past Claverley, and through Parnassus
Here you can take a worthwhile side trip to Gore Bay on the east coast.
Back on SH1 turn left inland again to Waipara and Amberley before emerging
on the east coast through Leithfield and Waikuku Beaches.
Continue through Woodend to Kaiapoi and Belfast and on to New Brighton Beach,
before cruising into Christchurch.
Leave Christchurch south through Templeton to Rolleston and Burnham. Burnham
is the southern base of the New Zealand Army.
Continue through Dunsandel to the Rakaia River where you can have a white-water
rafting or jet boating experience.
Back on SH1 south you come to the township of Ashburton which is a great place
to stretch your legs checking out the historic places around town.
Leave Ashburton south through Tinwald, Rangitata and Winchester, before rolling
into Temuka. Temuka is famous in New Zealand for its tableware. Check out
the factory shop.
Not far south of Temuka you pass through Washdyke and emerge on the coast
Follow the coast south of Timaru all the way to Glenavy and cross the mighty
Waitaki River over the kilometre long bridge.
Further south you'll pass through Pukeuri before arriving in Oamaru by the
to Arthur's Pass
Arthur's Pass is perhaps one of the most popular walking tracks in New Zealand,
and certainly the most well-known.
west on SH73 through Yaldhurst and West Melton, Aylesbury, Kirwee to Darfield.
Continue on SH73
from Darfield through Racecourse Hill, Waddington and Springfield before heading
for the Korowai/Torlesse Tussockland Park. This is a good place to stop and
As you head further
east you will drive through Castle Hill Village on the slopes of the Craigieburn
Range. There are a number of parklands and places to ski here including Craigieburn,
Broken River, Mt Cheeseman, Porter Heights and Mt Olympus ski fields.
SH73 joins the Waimakariri River briefly near Cass and turns along the river
gorge between Craigieburn Forest Park and Arthur's Pass National Park.
About 10 kilometres
past Bealey Spur you will drive into the settlement of Arthur's Pass.
to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Leave the seaside township of Timaru north on SH1 briefly, through Smithfield
and Washdyke before veering left onto SH8 heading west.
Pass through the
settlements of Levels and Waitawa to Pleasant Point. Here you'll find nice
parklands for a picnic and a golf course if you want to stretch your legs.
Point the road follows the Tengawai River through Cave, Mawaro and Albury,
before crossing the river to Cricklewood, Winscombe and into Fairlie. There's
an excellent short walkway here, plus a camping ground and golf.
Continue west on
SH8 through Eversley, Kimbell and Burkes Pass settlements until you arrive
at Lake Tekapo. As well as the magnificent Lake Tekapo, you'll find a holiday
park, ice skating, an airfield and the famous Church of the Good Shepherd.
SH8, the Tekapo–Twizel
Road crosses the plateau between Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. There are some
great lookouts as the road follows the shoreline of Pukaki.
A short trip south
to Twizel will bring you to the Waitaki Power Scheme information centre to
learn about how most of New Zealand's electricity is generated.
Next head onto
SH30 for one of the most spectacular drives north towards Mt Cook. The road
hugs the shoreline of Pukaki all the way to the braids of the Murchison River,
through Birch Hill to the Aoraki Mount Cook village.
There is an airfield
where you can catch scenic flights over the national park and, weather permitting,
even land on the Tasman Glacier.
SH72 is known as the Inland Scenic Route and courses through much of the most
beautiful parts of Canterbury.
south on SH72 through many small settlements including Cust and Oxford.
Curve south across
the Waimakariri River to Sheffield, Coalgate and Glentunnel.
Cross the Rakaia
Gorge to Mount Hutt. This is one of the most popular skiing and snowboarding
mountains in New Zealand, and well worth a look.
to Staveley, Mount Somers and Mayfield.
Cross the mighty Rangitata River at Arundel to Coopers Creek, across the Orari
Bridge and into Geraldine. Geraldine is full of surprises for visitors with
walks, garden visits, artists and craftspeople, white-water rafting, golf,
fishing, and movies at the historic cinema.
on SH72 to Winchester and Temuka. Temuka is home to the best known pottery
manufacturers in New Zealand by the same name. Check out the factory shop
for a bargain.
From Temuka it's
a short drive through Arowhenua and Washdyke to Timaru.
is recommended that you have detailed road maps before departing on your trip