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The Long Way Around Tour of Christchurch to Auckland (Part I)

Estimated Travel Period: 24 Days, about 37 hours
Estimated Travel Distance: 2,662 kms

Best Time To Travel

Avoid the chill and visit anytime from Spring (September to November) to Autumn (March to May). The days are at their warmest during Summer (December to February), but this also means plenty of visitors. Avoid the rush by making early reservations on your motorhome rental and holiday park stay. Gets tips on how to pack with What To Bring On Your New Zealand Holiday.

Got more time to explore New Zealand? Take the long way around the South Island before jumping on to a ferry and traveling into the lovely cities of the North Island.
The ultimate self-drive adventure is easy to plan with MyDriveHoliday. All the key attractions in every stop have already been included, as well as awesome holiday parks to stay in along the way. We also work with the top New Zealand brands to make sure you find the perfect motorhome that fits your needs and budget. Start your trip with Campervan Hire Christchurch.
And if your holiday starts from the North Island, you can still use the itinerary! Simply follow the tour in reverse. Auckland Motorhome Rental has great deals just for you!


Day 1 Christchurch to Rakaia

Estimated Travel Period: about 45 mins
Estimated Travel Distance:55 kms

Make your first stop at the Salmon capital of New Zealand. Don't miss the giant Salmon that welcomes you to the town of Rakaia. Just across the iconic Salmon is another popular destination for families, Salmon World features fresh water aquarium, 4D movie ride and Salmon Tales Café. Fishing season is the best time to visit Rakaia and together with Jet Boating in Rakaia Gorge, it is considered as the most popular activity in the area.

Recommended Holiday Parks

Day 2 Rakaia to Oamaru

Estimated Travel Period: about 2 hours 30 mins
Estimated Travel Distance:190 kms

Continue to follow Highway 1 to the town of Oamaru, which features some of New Zealand's best 19th century architecture. Start your day exploring the Historic Precinct that boast of its Victorian Steetscape with historic buildings, museums and Victorian pubs. Then head over to the nearby Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony that features the smallest penguin in the world. It is located few minutes from Historic Precinct, making it accessible for a short DIY walking tour. 

Recommended Holiday Parks

Day 3 Oamaru

Estimated Travel Period: 5 minutes
Estimated Travel Distance:650 meters

Start your second day with a relaxing stroll along the Oamaru Public Garden. Then take a train ride via the Oamaru Steam& Rail that will take you back in time, as the train runs along some of Oamaru's historic district. Just before dusk, follow the Bushy Beach Track to view the shy yellow-eyed penguins as they come ashore to feed their youngsters. Remember, these penguins are extremely shy, so make sure to stay off the beach.  If you're not yet beaten out, you can end your day with a good show at the Oamaru Opera House.

Recommended Holiday Parks

Day 4 Oamaru to Invercargill

Estimated Travel Period: about 4 hours 10 mins
Estimated Travel Distance:317 kms

Explore the Queen's Park, then meet the hundred year old (although he could be older) Tuatara named Henry at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, located near the Feldwick Gates. If you're looking for some water-based activity, you can eithe visit Invercargill's indoor aquatic centre or the Oreti Beach located approximately 10 kilometers west of Invercargill.

Day 5 Invercargill

Estimated Travel Period: 5 minutes
Estimated Travel Distance:750 meters

Spend a day trip to the nearby oldest European settlement in New Zealand. From Invercargill follow Highway 1 south to the town of Bluff, approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy a good seafood and the renowned Bluff Oysters. Make sure to have your photo taken at the start of Highway 1 signpost in Stirling Point before heading back to Invercargill. Don't miss the Invercargill Water Tower, a major landmark built back in the late 1800s.

Recommended Holiday Parks

Day 6 Invercargill to Te Anau

Estimated Travel Period: about 2 hours
Estimated Travel Distance:157 kms

See the best of Te Anau by joining a Day Cruise to the scenic south fiord of Lake Te Anau. Then don't forget to join the Te Anau Glow Worm Cave Tour that will take you underground to witness hundreds (or maybe thousands) of glowworms shimmer in darkness.

Day 7 Te Anau

Estimated Travel Period: 16 minutes
Estimated Travel Distance:20 kms

A day cruise to Milford Sound from Te Anau is highly recommended. It allows you to witness one of Australia's most beautiful scenery. However, if a day tour is too short for you, some tour companies offers overnight cruise along Milford Sound. Looking for some inland activity? Fiordland National Park offers various walking tracks for both beginners and advance trampers. Other activities includes quad bikes, fishing, coach tour, hunting and horse trekking.

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