Road Trip along New Zealand’s South Island


Participating in Letz Live’s Gap Year program in New Zealand living and working in a leading boarding school gives you all of the school holidays to explore this amazing country and what better way to holiday than by road tripping with your friends? One of the most popular holiday activities whilst on your Gap Year in New Zealand is to do a road trip around the South Island. 

Hire a Campervan in New Zealand

Gappies love to hire campervans and experience all the best of the natural landscapes on offer on the South Island. 

Campervaning throughout New Zealand is super budget friendly with heaps of free or low charge campsites scattered throughout the country, with plenty of apps and online maps showing you the best places to stay, what to expect at the campsite and other tips and tricks.

Road Trip ideas on the South Island

We have compiled a short list of some of the places we think are musts for planning your own road trip: 

  • Christchurch: a lot of people like to begin their road trip in the “Garden City” 
  • Lake Tekapo is one of New Zealand’s most photographed lakes and once you are there you can see why! Check out Lake Pukaki and some of the hiking trails in this area too for amazing views of Mount Cook NZ’s tallest mountain. 
  • Fox and Frans Josef Glaciers to have an epic glacier adventure 
  • Milford Sound: take a cruise and marvel at the amazing landscape, plunging waterfalls and wildlife
  • Queenstown: the adrenalin and adventure capital has plenty to keep you occupied from bungee jumping, hiking, skiing, jet boating, canyon swinging, white water rafting and skydiving to just name a few. 
  • Wanaka offers some great skiing opportunities or in the warmer months some fantastic hikes. Make sure you wander along the lakefront for amazing views of Mount Aspiring National Park. If you are wanting some hikes check out Roy’s Peak,  Mt Iron Track, and Rob Roy Glacier. 
  • Dunedin this student city is always a fun stop for your roadtrip
  • Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park but is a beautiful spot to kayak and hike. Stay in Nelson the sunniest town in the country
  • Kaikoura is a wildlife hotspot with dolphin and whale watching cruises, snorkeling and seals along with a stunning coastline to drive around

Road tripping the South Island of New Zealand will provide you with plenty of amazing photo opportunities at the various viewpoints along the way, make sure you stop off at them all and check out all of the waterfalls along the way. Indulge in some of the amazing food and drink experiences in each of the regions. Take in the incredible scenery by stretching your legs on hikes. And more than anything have an amazing time!! 

Image credit Wild Kiwi. Check out Wild Kiwi for itinerary ideas

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