Christchurch to Timaru

 

Plan a road trip across New Zealand's South Island

There’s nothing better than hitting the open road and seeing where the journey takes you – and there are few better places than New Zealand to bring your sense of adventure to life. But in amongst the impromptu detours, you’ll want to make sure you don’t pass by the main pit stops. After all, New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience, so make sure you don’t miss a thing with our guide to the ultimate South Island road trip.

 

Rent a car to explore your own way

The first step in seeing everything the South Island has to offer is a comfortable and reliable rental car. Check out our range of car hire deals now and choose the set of wheels that’s perfect for your trip, from zippy compact cars to spacious SUVs.

 


 

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Christchurch

 

A region of contrasts, Canterbury is where you can spot whales in the Pacific Ocean, scale the Southern Alps, relax in a volcanic hot pool and enjoy stylish bars and restaurants all in one day. Amble through the North Canterbury wine region, then change the pace with a trip through the lakes, glaciers and mountains of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

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Lindis Pass 347 km

 

One of New Zealand’s must-do drives, Lindis Pass is a dramatic mountain pass that links Canterbury’s Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. With towering peaks, grassland and wildlife stretching as far as the eye can see, this area is a nature lover’s dream – and the dusting of snow in the colder months makes this mountainous drive even more enchanting.

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Wanaka 81.5 km

 

It’s best known as the gateway to the Southern Alps’ Mount Aspiring National Park, but Wanaka has much more than skiing to offer adventurous travellers. Visit any time of year to explore the wilderness and go hiking, fishing, climbing, skydiving and much more. Once you’ve had your adrenaline fix, settle in and enjoy the warmth and tranquillity of Lake Wanaka.

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Queenstown 67 km

 

The ultimate destination for adventure seekers, Queenstown is home to the kind of scenery that really needs to be seen to be believed. As much as its famed for being a winter wonderland, there are exhilarating experiences for every season here. Go river rafting and try a bungee jump or escape altogether with a luxury spa treatment and a local food and wine tour.

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Invercargill 187 km

 

Packed full of old-world character, Invercargill is an ideal base for exploring the great outdoors of Southland. Check out the coastal playground of Oreti Beach or taste your way around the region’s local producers, from cheese tasting at Blue River Dairy to chocolate making at the Seriously Good Chocolate Company.

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Dunedin 205 km

 

Known for its Scottish roots, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere – but New Zealand’s city of the south is anything but stuffy. A young population keeps the city buzzing, while the beautiful Otago Peninsula puts rugged beaches and rare penguin colonies on its doorstep. Be sure to visit the Royal Albatross Centre to see Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat.

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Timaru 197 km

 

Before you start your return trip to Christchurch, stop off at Timaru to enjoy the beachside attractions of Caroline Bay. This is the place to wind down at the end of your trip, with beaches, walks and relaxed restaurants aplenty. If you’re still feeling energetic, explore the Timaru Botanic Gardens and check out the huge collection of indoor and outdoor art at the Aigantighe Art Gallery.

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Click here to download  this road trip in a printable PDF format.

 

 

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Welcome to Europcar, a global leader in car and van hire. Europcar operates 3,835 agencies worldwide. In New Zealand you can rent a car, truck or van from 22 locations. With 60 years’ experience, whether you need to hire an economy or premium luxury car in Auckland or Christchurch, or a van or commercial vehicle such as the popular Toyota Hiace and Peugeot Expert, Europcar is top in service. Our Selection offer guarantees that the premium luxury vehicle model you book on our website or at one of our stations is in fact the exact model you will drive away in, whether is it an Audi A4 automatic, Mercedes Benz GLE or the new Ford Mustang V8 Fastback Auto. To make the most out of your car hire in NZ during the ski season, you can rent snow chains and ski roof racks at some of our stations. Europcar proposes also different extra insurance covers from collision damage waiver to GoZen premium cover. Book your car hire online now!
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