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Britz EV South Island Itinerary

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This stunning 7-9 day road trip is designed for EV campervan touring. Explore the Central Otago region, with its iconic destinations such as Wanaka, Arrowtown, Lake Tekapo, and Mt Cook. With our carefully selected EV itinerary, you will keep your Britz EV campervan battery full of juice! Scroll down to get started with Day 1!

Travel

9 days


Route

Queenstown to Queenstown

956km


Best Time of the Year

anytime

Highlights

  • Queenstown
  • Dunedin
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Mt Cook
  • Wanaka
  • Arrowtown

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Day 1
Queenstown

9km

Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges; it’s rumoured that gold prospectors - captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers - gave this now cosmopolitan town its name. Ride the Gondola high above Queenstown to discover a view you'll never forget.

With a smorgasbord of outdoor activities we are recommending a two day stay with Queenstown being the home of the ultimate adventure bucket list. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. It has also become a renowned cycling destination, providing everything from easy scenic tracks to backcountry trails, road rides to heli-biking and the Southern Hemisphere’s only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking. Just minutes from the bustling hub of the town centre, the Queenstown Hill trail has to be one of the most popular and accessible scenic walks in Queenstown. The gentle gradient and stunning scenery make it enjoyable for the whole family, and young and old alike will find the trail a pleasure to hike (2-3hrs). 

If hardcore adventure isn't your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking and hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine.

A popular holiday spot at any time of the year, Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. Winter brings crisp, blue-sky days, spring retains the snow but blooms into longer, warmer days, summer offers sunshine and long twilights, and autumn a burst of brilliant red and gold. 

Our recommended holiday parks: Queenstown Holiday Park or Queenstown Top 10 

 
DAY CHARGING

Queenstown: Fast charge top up if needed between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton


OVERNIGHT CHARGING

Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight. 

Day 2
Queenstown

A two night stay in this action-packed town will give you plenty of time to absorb New Zealand adventure capital over a full day, or even take the opportunity to head out of Queenstown for a day trip.

At the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu is rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley. Nearby Arrowtown's gold-mining history is alive and vibrant; visit the Lakes District Museum or go gold panning. Keeping in mind you will have the chance to stay in Arrowtown on Day 8 and we have also provided the optional add on, of an overnight stay in Glenorchy at the end of your trip too! In whatever direction you choose to travel, the drama of the Central Otago landscape unfolds around you. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognise many Middle Earth locations too.

Our food recommendations:
Franks eatery: An ethical, family-run café in Frankton Queenstown, Frank’s Eatery, was created with love and a passion for café culture.
Yonder - Food inspired by the things we've loved from around our travels, our experimental kitchen brings something innovative to the table for Queenstown.
The Sherwood Kitchen - Specialising in fresh, seasonal, soul food harvested from their own kitchen gardens, orchards and surrounding farms.

 

DAY CHARGING
Frankton: Fast charge top up if needed between day trips.
Recommended Charge: charge to 80%.
302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

Day 3
Queenstown to Dunedin via Alexandra & Lawrence

283km - 4hrs

This is your longest day of travel, take your time and stop off at some of the small townships along the way for a break and get a glimpse of NZ as it was 60 years ago, and still is in many cases. Top up DC fast charging will be required as you make your way to Dunedin and we're in luck as there are a lot of charging options on route depending on how much you tiki tour* on the way.

*(New Zealand slang) 1. a sight-seeing journey with no particular destination in mind. 2. taking the scenic route to a destination. 3. to wander aimlessly.

  • Explore the many Central Otago wineries on the way out of Queenstown, through Gibbstone Valley

  • Cromwell’s major industry is fruit growing – if you’re here over summer, roadside fruit stalls are a delicious temptation.

  • Dropdown into historic Clyde, its become quite the little gem with some great eateries and beautiful shops on Holloway Street in the historic Clyde Precinct. Folklore and the adjoining Sisson Gallery is a worthwhile stop where the owners Sarah and Todd are the photographers whose work is stunning.

If you're getting hungry along the way:

  • Olivers at the Victoria Store, Clyde

  • Pop into famous Jimmys Pies in Roxburgh who a taste of the iconic kiwi staple meal

Dunedin is a city bursting with student life as well as top class fashion, art and eateries, its well worth the trip to the deep south. Edinburgh inspired architecture and an unmissable student population make Dunedin a beautiful juxtaposition of history and revelry. From the growing street art to the weekend market rumoured to be the best in the island, Dunedin charms visitors with its easy knack of simply being itself.

Holiday Park: Leith Valley Holiday Park

 

DAY CHARGING
Alexandra: Fast charge en route to Dunedin.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
9 Thompson St, Bridge Hill

Lawrence: Fast charge en route to Dunedin.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
19 Ross Pl, Lawrence 

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday Park: Medium charge at the site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

 

Day 4
Dunedin to Waitaki via Oamaru

134km - 2hrs

Leaving Dunedin you will travel up the east coast of the South Island heading towards the historic town of Oamaru renowned for it's beautiful Victorian architecture. About 30mins south of Oamaru you will find Moeraki where Fleur's Place is a must for lunch. If you need to work up an appetite first, explore the famous Moeraki Boulders. Oamaru is a great stop off, explore the historic buildings down by the waterfront. Here you'll also find Steampunk HQ & the Blue Penguin Colony, where you can observe blue penguins in the wild.
A great spot for dinner is the award winning Riverstone Kitchen which is on the grounds of the Riverstone Castle, with gardens and an overflowing country gift store that you could get lost in for hours.

Make your way to Waitaki. Only 500 metres from the famous salmon fishing Waitaki River and walking distance to the local store/Takeaways & Glenavy Hotel. Waitaki River Motorcamp is your destination for the night & only 15 minutes north of Oamaru. This is a great base for you to explore the Waitaki District.

Holiday park: Glenavys Waitaki River Motorcamp

 

DAY CHARGING
Hampden: Fast charge en route to Waitaki.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
33 Lincoln St, Hampden

Oamaru: Fast charge en route to Waitaki.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
1 Eden St, Oamaru

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday park: Medium charge at the site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

Day 5
Waitaki to Lake Tekapo via Timaru

169km - 2hrs

Along the way stop in for the sights at Timaru & Farlie.
In Timaru:

In Farlie:

  • Fairlie Bakehouse, famous for pies and cronuts, try their famous bacon and salmon pie

The township of Tekapo faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.

On the shores of the lake you'll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake. The church was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district and is still used as a place of worship. The church is a popular photo spot for visitors - please note that when you visit the church, weddings and services may be taking place, respect is needed from visitors.
There are walking tracks following the lakeshore. For huge views of the Mackenzie Basin you can hike up to Mount John Observatory (1031 metres) or Cowans Hill.

A great way to relax after the days exploring is to take a soak under the stars at the Tekapo Springs (conveniently located right next to the Lake Tekapo Holiday Park), perhaps even joining their Tekapo Star Gazing tour, New Zealand's only guided hot pool stargazing experience.

 

Our recommended holiday park: Lake Tekapo Holiday Park

DAY CHARGING
Timaru: Fast charge en route to Lake Tekapo
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
26A North Street, North and Victoria St

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

 

Day 6
Lake Tekapo to Aoraki Mount Cook

81km - 1hr

If you didn't visit it yesterday a great coffee stop with an outstanding view on the way out of Lake Tekapo is Astro Café, up at the St John Observatory. It's absolutely well worth the $8 road fee. Along the way stop in at Lake Pukaki to pick up some fresh farmed Mount Cook Alpine Salmon. Also before leaving Lake Tekapo, ensure you grab some supplies for dinner at the campsite, or be prepared for pubgrub style food in Mt Cook Village or resort style dinning at The Hermitage.

The Maori name, 'Aoraki', from an ancient myth, in which the Gods turned the entire complement of a wrecked canoe into hills. The 'tallest' of the party was a child named Aoraki, who was sitting on the chief's shoulders. Another account says that the mountain was named in honour of Aoraki, the firstborn son of the sky father. The area is also the heart of New Zealand mountaineering with many famous men and woman who've summited it's peak. Most notably Sir Edmond Hillary who was the first person to summit Mt Everest in the Himalayas. There is a museum at the Hermitage to honor his life.

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the most spectacular scenery, so much so it is a World Heritage area. Within the national park you will find New Zealand’s highest mountain, longest glacier, largest buttercup, largest mountain parrot and darkest skies. Nestled within the national park is Aoraki Mount Cook Village, which hosts a range of and activities that take advantage of this uniquely spectacular part of the world. If you have some extra money to spend take a breathtaking scenic helicopter flight with snow landings in and around Aoraki Mount Cook and Mt Cook National Park. This fantastic Mount Cook activity leaves right from Glentanner Park.

The area is also the heart of the stunning Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, clear skies found in this part of the world are like nothing else in New Zealand. Very limited light pollution means the views of the night sky seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see.

Wondering where to stay? We recommend Glentanner Holiday Park Mount Cook.

DAY CHARGING
Twitzel: If you need an extra charge on the way take a short detour to fast charge in Twizel. (6 mins each way)
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
61 Mackenzie Drive, Twizel

Note: Day charge options are limited in Mt Cook, so plan your day and stop in at the Glentanner Holiday Park for a top-up charge before continuing onto explore Mt Cook village (50km return journey). While you charge, there is a fantastic walk to the lake so stretch your legs while you charge. 

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

 

Day 7
Aoraki Mount Cook to Wanaka via Omarama

187km - 2hrs 20min

Leaving Mt Cook if time permits a stop in at the Omarama hot pools is recommended for a welcome rest in- between some of New Zealand most specular mountain destinations. Omarama is Maori for "Place of Light", a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky too. so sit back and reflect on the beautiful starry evenings you've just had the past few nights in the heart of the Mackenzie Country. Snap a picture at Lindis Pass Summit, one of New Zealand's classic photo opportunities. And after that stop at High Country Salmon for an Allpress Coffee and some delicious fresh farmed salmon sushimi.

Omarama through to Wanaka is one of the longest stretches on this itinerary in-between day charging options at 115km. So our advice to you is to carefully plan your day and keep in mind that slow and cruisy driving will help to conserve your vehicles battery range today.

In winter, skiers flock here from all over the world for superb skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona and Treble Cone, cross-country skiing at Snow Farm and heli-skiing high in the Harris Mountains. But Wanaka, New Zealand, is much more than a winter destination. Year round activities include fishing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking,  canyoning, climbing and skydiving. Visit the nearby towns of Queenstown, Cromwell and Alexandra, go shopping, or simply sit in a café and watch the world pass by. 

One of the attractions of a stay in Lake Wanaka is that it combines the warmth of small town living with the quality and attention to detail you’d expect of an international holiday destination.

Holiday park: Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park

 

DAY CHARGING
Omarama: Fast charge en route to Wanaka.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100%.
2 Sutherland Rd, Omarama

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.|
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

Image credit: Major Domo

Day 8
Wanaka to Arrowtown via Cromwell

101km - 1hr 17min

You will travel today through Cromwell as rental campervans are not permitted to drive over the Crown Range. The slightly longer but less challenging journey will see you travel along Lake Dunstan, through wine and orchard country where you could take your pick of famous central Otago wineries to stop off at for lunch such as Mt Difficulty or Gibbston, both putting Central Otago on the world wine map. Stop into Cardrona Distillery, sample the handcrafted batch spirits and admire the location. Visit the Cardrona Hotel New Zealand's most iconic hotel, situated on the spectacular Crown Range Road.

One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today.

A special highlight is the Chinese settlement at the edge of the river. Built by Chinese miners from 1868, this area of restored shelters and buildings paints a picture of earlier times. The Lakes District Museum in Buckingham Street has been described as one of New Zealand's best small museums. A variety of entertaining exhibits presents an authentic picture of early Maori life in the Southern Lakes district, the harsh pioneering days and the exciting gold rush era of the mid to late 1800s.

The gold days are long over (although you can still pan for gold in the river with some success), so Arrowtown's focus is on hosting visitors. Play a round at the challenging local golf course or take a 4WD journey to Macetown, a ghost town accessible only by wagon track. In April and May Arrowtown ignites with colour as deciduous trees prepare for winter. A festival is held in the last week of April to celebrate the town's seasonal beauty and glittering history.

Food and winery recommendations:
Amisfield Winery - for a stunning foraged degustation, match with wines. (Organise a taxi).
Mr Difficulty Winery - stop in for some wine tasting and take in the magical views of Bannockburn's dramatic rugged rock and thyme landscape.
Gibbston Valley Winery - daily wine cave and tasting tours
Arrowtown bakery - visit the famous Arrowtown Bakery (get in early to avoid the queues).
Slow cuts - Slow Cuts for delicious slow cooked meats, charcoaled chicken and much more.
Chop Shop Food - best place for breakfast or lunch.

 

recommended Holiday Park: Arrowtown Holiday Park

DAY CHARGING
Wanaka: Fast charge at ChargeNet charger.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 80%.
42 Ardmore St, Wanaka

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday Park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight.

Day 9
Arrowtown to Queenstown via Glenorchy

17km - 20min

Grab some breakfast and prepare to head back to the Queenstown depot to return your campervan.

DAY CHARGING
Frankton: Depending on your days touring plans i.e. a side trip to Glenorchy you can fast charge en-route.
Recommended Charge: charge to 80%
302 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton

OVERNIGHT CHARGING
Holiday park: Medium charge at site overnight & between day trips.
Recommended Charge: Charge to 100% overnight. 

 

OPTIONAL ADD ON:

Overnight in Glenorchy 
Itinerary: Arrowtown - Glenorchy, 67km 1hr 10min
Charge: Charge to 100% overnight at campground
Holiday Park: Camp Glenorchy