This is the great circle road of the south otherwise known as the Southern
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
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.
Head north on SH1.
Not far north you will pass through several small towns including Evansdale,
Merton and Wairunga.
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.
is recommended that you have detailed road maps before departing on your trip