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Six days down South driving 1035km

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

I know that's exactly how far we drove thanks to the rental car receipt I was emailed at the end of our trip!


We covered a lot of ground (Christchurch to Queenstown via Arthur's Pass and down the West Coast), most of which was in the unspoilt, rugged wilderness of New Zealand which it is well known for. I've seen a fair bit of the South Island, but this trip took me on some roads I had never travelled.


Our journey went through such varied landscapes that it almost felt like a number of small trips all in one. From metropolitan Christchurch to the other-worldly rock formations at Castle Hill, through the mountains and out to the West Coast - all without seeing a single kea, one of only disappointments on the trip!


From there we travelled the lonely roads of the lower West Coast (lonely being a good thing - it's lovely driving a road and not encountering road works or traffic) past mirror-like lakes and glaciers and forests so thick they seemed to swallow daylight.


Once we hit Haast, the road turned inland and we went past the aptly-named Blue Pools, stunning Lake Hāwea and to the home of my heart, Lake Wānaka, before ending our holiday in Queenstown.


These are some of my favourite photos from the trip:

Castle Hill
Castle Hill

Castle Hill
Castle Hill

red berries on plant in new zealand

Lake Pearson
Lake Pearson

Lake Ianthe/Matahi
Lake Ianthe / Matahi

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

Lake Matheson
Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson
Lake Matheson

Ship Creek
Ship Creek

The Blue Pools
The Blue Pools

The Blue Pools
The Blue Pools

Lake Hawea
Lake Hāwea

Lake Wānaka
Lake Wānaka

That Wānaka Tree
That Wānaka Tree

Lake Wānaka
Lake Wānaka

Lake Hayes
Lake Hayes

Queenstown
Queenstown

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