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Wellington to Christchurch Itinerary

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Explore some of New Zealand's iconic beaches, incredible vineyards, geothermal wonders and eclectic cities with this epic 6 day itinerary.

Travel

6 days


Route

Wellington to Christchurch

km


Best Time of the Year

All year round

Highlights

  • Bob's Bay
  • Marlborough
  • Kaikoura 
  • Hanmer Springs

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6

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Day 1
Wellington

Begin your road trip by exploring New Zealand's ‘coolest little capital in the world.’ A compact harbourside city, Wellington is circled in hills, with an epic foodie scene as well as craft beer, incredible nature spots, and a great collection of museums and galleries for culture lovers. Spend some time here exploring Cuba street. Take in the eclectic vibe of this city and sample some great food and coffee. Taking the cable car from Lambton Quay is a must-do experience when in Wellington, discover the botanic gardens and Zealandia wildlife sanctuary for your nature fix. Be sure to explore Te Papa museum for a culture fix before a stroll along the beautiful waterfront to Oriental Bay.

Where to stay: Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park

Day 2
Wellington to Picton

Begin your day with another great Wellington coffee, before heading across the Cook Strait on the Interislander to your next destination. Picton is a quaint seaside town situated nearby the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. With one-fifth of New Zealand's coastline and one of the world's best water views, be whisked away into this peaceful spot filled with bird songs, breeze, and the sea.

Spend your afternoon on board a working mail boat as you enjoy a scenic cruise. If you're on the hunt for a beautiful beach, take the 30-minute walk from Shelley Beach to find Bob's Bay reserve, the perfect spot for swimming or picnicking.

Where to stay: Picton Top 10 Holiday Park

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Day 3
Picton to Blenheim

Distance 27km - Driving Time 30 minutes

Continue your journey south to Christchurch and take the drive from Picton to the sunniest town in New Zealand, Blenheim. One of the greatest wine-making regions in New Zealand, a day of wine sampling is a must-do activity! Visit some of the region's cellar doors on a Marlborough wine tour or plan your own journey with the Marlborough wine trail as a guide.

If you’re keen on cycling, consider a guided bike and wine tour. If you're passing through Blenheim on a weekend, be sure to check out the Marlborough Farmers market to stock up on some gourmet delights to enjoy with your wine.

Where to stay: Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park

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Day 4
Blenheim to Kaikoura

Distance 130km - Driving Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Cruise down the south island's east coast to your next stop, Kaikoura. If you're interested in sampling more of New Zealand's wine scene, call into the Yealands Estate and explore the huge grounds covered in rows of vines with sweeping ocean views before sampling some of the amazing wine.

Kaikoura is a rugged coastal town, well known for its abundance of wildlife and epic whale watching experiences. Spend your afternoon enjoying a whale-watching cruise before taking a stroll around the local area to get to know your surroundings. Be sure to head to the Point Kean Seal colony, catching a sunset here is a beautiful sight.

If you are here for more than one night, the 3-hour hike along the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway is an incredible activity. Enjoy sweeping coastal views high up on the cliffs before descending to the coast to walk along the beach alongside seals splashing around in the sea.

No visit to Kaikoura would be complete without sampling some of the best seafood in New Zealand. Check out the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ kiosk for some freshly caught seafood.

Where to stay: Kaikoura Top10 Holiday Park

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Day 5
Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs

Distance 130km - Driving Time 1 hour 52 minutes

The next destination in your road trip is Hanmer Springs, the perfect spot for an afternoon of adventure or relaxation. Hanmer Springs is home to the largest naturally heated thermal pools in New Zealand. With 15 outdoor pools, a spa, and waterslides situated against a scenic backdrop of landscaped gardens and an alpine forest, it's hard not to spend the whole day here unwinding.

If you're after some adventure, book a jet boat adventure and go speeding along the Waiau Gorge, or book a white-water rafting expedition.

Where to stay: Hanmer Springs Top10 Holiday Park

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Day 6
Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

Distance 133km - Driving Time 2 hours

The biggest urban city on the South Island, Christchurch is the perfect basecamp for exploration. A revitalised city centre, combining urban regeneration and innovation with heritage, culture, and adventure.

Spend your morning taking part in the free walking tour, follow a gentle loop around the city and visit all the main highlights. Visit the Botanic Gardens or explore the sights of Christchurch with a day spent on vintage trams.

This marks the end of your road trip! Drop your camper off to the Christchurch depot, or continue on south to explore the rest of the South Island with one of our itineraries.

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