Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Road Trips by Lonely Planet, Brett Atkinson, and Sarah Bennett - Read Online
Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Road Trips
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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Discover the freedom of open roads with Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Road Trips, your passport to uniquely encountering New Zealand's South Island by car. Featuring four amazing road trips, plus up-to-date advice on the destinations you'll visit along the way, you can enjoy whale watching along the Kalkoura Coast or absorb stunning lake scenery at Milford Sound, all with your trusted travel companion. Get to New Zealand's South Island, rent a car, and hit the road!

Inside Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Road Trips:

Lavish colour and gorgeous photography throughout Itineraries and planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests Get around easily - easy-to-read, full-colour route maps, detailed directions Insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road - local driving rules, parking, toll roads Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Useful features - including Detours, Walking Tours and Link Your Trip Covers Christchurch, Canterbury, Marlborough, Queenstown, Wanaka, Blenheim, Nelson, Kalkoura Coast, Southern Alps, Milford Sound, Te Anau, and more

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience Seamlessly flip between pages Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash Embedded links to recommendations' websites Zoom-in maps and images Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island Road Trips is perfect for exploring New Zealand's South Island via the road and discovering sights that are more accessible by car.

Planning a New Zealand South Island trip sans a car? Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island guide, our most comprehensive guide to New Zealand's South Island, is perfect for exploring both top sights and lesser-known gems.
Looking for a guide focused on New Zealand's North Island? Check out Lonely Planet New Zealand's North Island guide for a comprehensive look at all New Zealand's North Island has to offer, or the New Zealand guide for all New Zealand has to offer, or for your next tramping adventure try Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

Important Notice: The digital edition of this book may not contain all of the images found in the physical edition.

Published: Lonely Planet on
ISBN: 9781786576156
List price: $12.99
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CONTENTS

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Welcome to New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand’s South Island Map

New Zealand’s South Island Highlights

Christchurch City Guide

Queenstown City Guide

Need to Know

ROAD TRIPS

1 Sunshine & Wine

2 Kaikoura Coast

3 Southern Alps Circuit

4 Milford Sound Majesty

DESTINATIONS

Marlborough & Nelson

Picton

Havelock

Blenheim

Kaikoura

Nelson

Moutere Hills

Motueka

Christchurch & Canterbury

Christchurch

Waipara Valley

Arthur’s Pass

Methven

Geraldine

Lake Tekapo

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Queenstown & Wanaka

Queenstown

Wanaka

Makarora

Cromwell

The West Coast

Hokitika

Fox Glacier

Fiordland & Southland

Te Anau

Milford Sound

DRIVING IN NZ

Driving in New Zealand

Driving Licence & Documents

Insurance

Hiring a Car

Buying a Vehicle in New Zealand

Bringing Your Own Vehicle

Maps

Roads & Conditions

Road Rules

Parking

Fuel

Safety

Doc Campsites & Freedom Camping

Radio

Behind the Scenes

Our Writers

WELCOME TO NEW ZEALAND’S SOUTH ISLAND

Welcome to one of the world’s ultimate outdoor playgrounds, bursting with opportunities for adventure amid diverse and inspiring landscapes. Top-of-the-South neighbours, Marlborough and Nelson make for splendid road-trip country with an emphasis on sunshine and good times. The scenic drive along the Kaikoura Coast rewards with whale-watching and seals, plus swimming and surfing at pristine beaches. Head inland from Christchurch along the Southern Alps Circuit for stunning vistas of glaciers, Aoraki/Mt Cook and turquoise Lake Tekapo. The mountains, fiords, lakes and coastlines of New Zealand’s deep south will not disappoint. The road from adventure capital Queenstown leads to spectacular Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park – one of the world’s great remaining wildernesses.

View of Lake Te Anau from Mt Luxmore on the Kepler Track

NARUEDOM Y/500PX ©

NEW ZEALAND’S SOUTH ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS

Milford Sound

INBALRUBIN/500PX ©

Kaikoura

KONRAD MOSTERT/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Queenstown

PETER WALTON PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES ©

CITY GUIDE

CHRISTCHURCH

Christchurch is a vibrant city in transition, coping creatively with the aftermath of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The city centre is graced by numerous notable arts institutions, the stunning Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park. Inner-city streets conceal art projects, pocket gardens and dynamic businesses repopulating the thinned-out cityscape.

Shipping container cafe in Re:START Mall

PETER UNGER/GETTY IMAGES ©

Getting Around

Christchurch’s flat topography and gridlike structure make getting around on foot or by bike a breeze. The extensive bus network (www.metroinfo.co.nz) is a cheap and convenient way of reaching the city’s suburban attractions.

Parking

All-day parking is available throughout the city centre ($2 to $3.10 per hour), although roadworks and one-way systems may test your patience.

Where to Eat

While many cafes and restaurants still occupy the suburbs they fled to after the earthquakes – particularly around Addington, Riccarton, Merivale and Sumner – many new places are springing up in the CBD. Expect plenty of high-quality, exciting surprises, especially around Victoria St.

Where to Stay

As the rebuild progresses, more beds (for all budgets) are becoming available in the city centre and its inner fringes. If you’re camping or touring in a campervan there are decent holiday parks within 20 minutes’ drive of the city centre.

Useful Websites

Tourist Information (www.christchurchnz.com) Sights, accommodation, restaurants and events.

Neat Places (www.neatplaces.co.nz) Authoritative local blogger’s views on the best of Christchurch.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/christchurch) Destination low-down, hotels and traveller forum.

Trips Through Christchurch

QUEENSTOWN

Framed by mountains and the meandering coves of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a right show-off. It wears its ‘Global Adventure Capital’ crown with pride. The town’s bamboozling array of adrenalised activities is bolstered by cosmopolitan restaurants galore, and excellent vineyards nearby. Boredom is definitely off the menu.

Lake Wakatipu seen from the Remarkables

ANDREW PEACOCK / GETTY IMAGES ©

Getting Around

Queenstown’s compact centre is easy to navigate on foot with the mountains and lakes allowing visitors to find their bearings. Connectabus (www.connectabus.com) has various colour-coded routes, reaching the suburbs and as far as Arrowtown.

Parking

There’s plenty of cheap parking around the town but securing a space during busy times can be frustrating, especially near the lakefront. The Queenstown Lakes District Council website (www.qldc.govt.nz) shows car-park locations.

Where to Eat

The town centre is peppered with busy eateries. Many target the tourist dollar, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover local favourites covering a wide range of international cuisines. Reservations are recommended for the more popular places.

Where to Stay

Queenstown has endless accommodation options, but midpriced rooms are hard to come by. Hostels, however, are extremely competitive, and there are a couple of great holiday parks for campervanners. Places book out and prices rocket during the peak summer (Christmas to February) and ski (June to September) seasons; book well in advance.

Useful Websites

Tourist Information (www.queenstownnz.co.nz) Official Queenstown tourism website.

Queenstown i-SITE (www.queenstownisite.co.nz) Queenstown visitor information centre.

Trips Through Queenstown

NEED TO KNOW

MOBILE PHONES

European phones work on New Zealand’s networks; most American or Japanese phones won’t. Use roaming or a local prepaid SIM card.

INTERNET ACCESS

Wi-fi is available in most decent size towns and cities; sometimes free, sometimes hideously expensive. Internet cafes are few.

FUEL

Unleaded fuel (petrol, aka gasoline) is available from service stations across NZ, although be prepared in remote locations where there may be 100km between stations. Prices don’t vary too much: per-litre costs at the time of research were around $1.80.

RENTAL CARS

Ace Rental Cars (www.acerentalcars.co.nz)

Apex Rentals (www.apexrentals.co.nz)

Go Rentals (www.gorentals.co.nz)

IMPORTANT NUMBERS

Country code 64)

Emergencies 111)

When to Go

Climate

High Season (Dec–Feb)

A Summer: busy beaches, outdoor explorations, festivals and sporting events.

A Big-city accommodation prices rise.

A High season in ski towns and resorts is winter (June to August).

Shoulder Season (Mar–Apr & Sep–Nov)

A Prime travelling time: fine weather, short queues, kids in school and warm(ish) ocean.

A Long evenings sipping Kiwi wines and craft beers.

Low Season (May–Aug)

A Head for the slopes of the Southern Alps for some brilliant southern-hemisphere skiing.

A Few crowds, good accommodation deals and a seat in any restaurant.

A Warm-weather beach towns may be half asleep.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than $150

A Dorm beds or campsites: $25−38 per night

A Main course in a budget eatery: less than $15

Midrange: $150–250

A Double room in a midrange hotel/motel: $120–200

A Main course in a midrange restaurant: $15–32

A Hire a car: from $30 per day

Top End: More than $250

A Double room in a top-end hotel: from $200

A Three-course meal in a classy restaurant: $80

A Scenic flight: from $210

Eating

Restaurants From cheap ’n’ cheerful, to world-class showcasing NZ’s top-notch ingredients.

Cafes Freshly roasted coffee, expert baristas, brunch-mad and family friendly.

Pubs & Bars All serve some kind of food, good and bad!

Vegetarians Well catered for, especially in cities and ethnic restaurants.

Price indicators for average cost of a main course:

Sleeping

Motels Most towns have decent, low-rise, midrange motels.

Holiday Parks Myriad options from tent sites to family units.

Hostels From party zones to family-friendly ‘flashpackers’.

Hotels Range from small-town pubs to slick global-chain operations.

Price indicators for double room with bathroom in high season:

Arriving in New Zealand’s South Island

Christchurch Airport

Rental Cars Major companies have desks at airport.

Buses Metro Red Bus (Nos 3 and 29) runs regularly into the city from 6.30am to 11pm; door-to-door shuttles run 24 hours.

Taxis To city centre around $50 (20 minutes).

Money

ATMs are available in all cities and most towns. Credit cards are accepted almost universally, although not American Express or Diners Club.

Tipping

Optional, but 10% for great service goes down well.

Useful Websites

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand) Destination information, bookings, traveller forum and more.

100% Pure New Zealand (www.newzealand.com) Official tourism site.

Department of Conservation (www.doc.govt.nz) Essential information on national parks and reserves.

Te Ara (www.teara.govt.nz) Online NZ encyclopedia.

For more, see Driving in New Zealand.

Road Trips

Sunshine & Wine, 5–7 Days

A seductive blend of wineries, alfresco dining and gentle leisure pursuits.

Kaikoura Coast, 3–4 Days

Enjoy wine tasting and whale-watching along the Pacific Coast.

Southern Alps Circuit, 12–14 Days

A seriously grand tour taking in sublime scenery and stacks of sights.

Milford Sound Majesty, 3–4 Days

Absorb magnificent lake, mountain and forest scenery en route to NZ’s ultimate reveal.

Milford Sound

NICOLÁS CUERVO/500PX ©

Sunshine & Wine

Picton

Havelock

Pelorus Bridge

Nelson

Waimea Estate

Upper Moutere

Motueka

Nelson Lakes National Park

Renwick

Blenheim

Sunshine & Wine

This tour around the sunny top of the South Island serves up a seductive blend of wineries, alfresco dining and gentle leisure activities.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

5–7 DAYS

432KM / 268 MILES

GREAT FOR…

BEST TIME TO GO

November to March when the weather’s best, but expect crowds during January.

ESSENTIAL PHOTO

The jetty at Kerr Bay, Lake Rotoiti.

BEST FOR WINE TOURS

Marlborough’s world-class wines and unstuffy cellar doors.

Marlborough wine region

CLAVER CARROLL/GETTY IMAGES ©

Sunshine & Wine

Blenheim and Nelson vie annually for the crown of New Zealand’s sunniest centre, so odds are on for blue skies on this trip around the top of the South. A high concentration of attractions and short driving times allow you to maximise enjoyment of outdoor adventures in hot spots such as Queen Charlotte Sound and Nelson Lakes National Park, as well as meander in a leisurely fashion around wineries and restaurants.

Top of Chapter

1 Picton

Spread around two pretty bays secreted deep within Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton is much more than just the inter-island ferry port and departure point for trips throughout the Marlborough Sounds.

The town and its environs can be surveyed from the popular Snout Track (three hours return), sidling along the Victoria Domain headland flanking the harbour’s east side. A side track makes for a shorter walk to Bob’s Bay (one hour return), which can be a good spot for a swim.

One of Picton’s lesser-known but worthy attractions is the Tirohanga Track, a two-hour leg-stretching loop around a hill just behind the town. Taking you much higher than the Snout Track, it affords dress-circle views of the town and the endless ridges of the Sounds beyond.

The Drive » Follow signs for Queen Charlotte Dr, which winds around bay after bay for 34km through to Havelock, providing a panoramic Marlborough Sounds snapshot.

Picton marina

DAVID C TOMLINSON/GETTY IMAGES ©

Top of Chapter

2 Havelock

The western bookend of Queen Charlotte Dr, the little town of Havelock is the hopping-off point for forays into Kenepuru