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Dunedin Road Trips

Dunedin to Te Waewae Bay

This is the great circle road of the south otherwise known as the Southern Scenic Route.

Start off heading west out of Dunedin on the motorway through Taieri Mouth. You'll pass through many small settlements on the way to Milton and then on to Balclutha. This is a great place to explore around the mouth of one of the Deep South's mighty rivers.

From Balclutha we leave SH1, turning left onto the Southern Scenic Route.

Again you'll pass through many quaint settlements before emerging on the South Pacific Ocean coast at Papatowai.

Not far from Papatowai are the Cathedral Caves on the Tautuku Peninsula.

Adjacent to the trail are various allotments of the Catlins Forest Park where there are many good walks and fishing streams.

Next the route emerges at Fortrose before cutting across country to the southern city of Invercargill. Explore the historic buildings in town, or if you're there in April, head to Bluff for a taste of the freshest oysters in the world!

Take SH6 north out of Invercargill, and turn left at Lorneville onto SH99 west.

Now the route curves south beneath the Longwood range, hugging the coast for most of the way, before you reach the beautiful Te Waewae Bay.

Dunedin to Omarama

Head north on SH1. Not far north you will pass through several small towns including Evansdale, Merton and Wairunga.

About half-way to Oamaru is Palmerston. If you go left on to SH85 you start heading towards the gold and heritage trails of Central Otago. However, for the purposes of this road trip we carry on heading north on SH1.

As we continue north we soon come to Oamaru, the main township in North Otago. Be sure to check out its heritage buildings made from local whitestone.

Still heading north on SH1, you soon come to the intersection with Pukeuri, home of a plaque commemorating the spot where the Earth is at 45 degrees latitude.

Head west from Pukeuri on SH83, which runs adjacent to the might Waitaki River. Stop and do some trout fishing if you have a mind. Make sure you get a licence!

Still on SH83 you pass through many small towns including Kurow, Lake Waitaki and Onematata, until you finally come to the outer reaches of Otago and the settlement of Omarama where gliding enthusiasts meet to ride the thermals.

It is recommended that you have detailed road maps before departing on your trip