Aotearoa is synonymous with beautiful landscapes, rich in culture and history. Unfortunately, very few are given the opportunity to truly experience all that the country has to offer. We’ve planned a quick road trip for you to get out there and see some of the South Island; no excuses!

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Distance: 203km

The Ohau Point Seal Colony in Marlbourough is a must see when visiting the Kaikoura region. The world-famous wildlife live in and around the picturesque waterfalls and streams, frolicking in their natural environment. For those who want to get even closer to the beautiful fauna of New Zealand, Kaikoura Kayaks offers visitors the chance to paddle out and encounter dolphins and penguins who are more than happy to swim up to you.

Kaikoura is also home to the breathtaking Lavendyl Lavender Farm –purple fields as far as the eye can see! Plus, if you love the calming effect from lavender based products, the gift store is the perfect place to pick up some soothing candles and bath oils. There are several accommodation options available for you here.

Christchuch to Timaru

Distance: 175km

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, and is home to many beautiful national parks, gardens and accommodation options; here’s a couple of the latter to help make your stay in Christchurch feel like a home away from home.

christchurch in december
Relax in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Image – Bigstock

For all the wine lovers out there, Pegasus Bay Winery offers an ideal setting to try some of the South Island’s finest and learn all about the art of crafting wine. The family owned and operated business showcases old favourites like Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot Cabernet, and our personal preference Pinot Noir!

If you’re after a spot to stretch those legs, check out the city’s Botanic Gardens. Filled with parks, gardens and a handsome bridge that allows you to cross the Avon River, it’s the ideal location for a quick pit stop and relaxing stroll.

Related:  Places to Discover Before 30: South Island NZ

Celebrating their 40-year anniversary, there’s no better time than now to visit the Orana Wildlife Park! With over 80 acres of land, the park is filled with creatures from all around the world. From gorillas and zebras from Africa to tigers and bison from Asia, they’re all waiting for you to visit them.


Timaru. The final destination of your road trip down the east coast, and it is here that you will embrace the culture and history of New Zealand. Appealing to both adults and children, South Canterbury Museum provides an in-depth look at both natural and local history, with displays and resources aimed to make you appreciate the country and it’s past.

The Te Ana Maori Rock Art is where you can delve deeper into the days of old. With haunting rock caves filled with art splattered across the walls, you can really appreciate how the world looked through the eyes of the original settlers of New Zealand. If you’re keen to see some coastline, head down to the shallow and clean waters Caroline Bay Beach; the perfect  stop to grab some sunshine. The Comfort Hotel Benvenue is a great place to stay before heading home.