This journey between Queenstown and Dunedin is approximately 610 kilometres (km) of natural and cultural attractions laid out one after the other – wildlife viewing, short walks, mountain-biking, fishing, hunting, boating, camping, tramping and caving – making it an ideal drive for those with time to explore. Alternative inland roads provide a more direct path between the main centres. However, the Southern Scenic Route (SSR) is a journey that allows access to deserted beaches, lush rainforest, pristine lakes and stunning mountain vistas.
1. Arrive into Queenstown
Hire a Car
Bus: Tracknet, Ph +64 03 249 7777
Te Anau Transfers: email@example.com or 0204832628
2. Along the drive from Queenstown to Te Anau
Great Photo Stops along the Devils staircase, there are several places to safely pullover for a scenic photo
“Real Country”; Great Farm Tour/Country Experiences about 2km south of Kingston, Archery, Stock whips training, all the animals you can think of, to touch, feed and mob up some sheep.
The Dome at Mossburn have great coffee and homemade delights.
Bracken Hall many gift lines and New Zealand made items and tasty real Fruit Ice Creams
3. Te Anau
Radfords on the Lake – Premium Lakefront Accommodation right on the Lakefront.
Stay in Te Anau and explore Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Glow Worm Caves, Faith in Fordland, a day walk on one of the Great walks, Milford, Kepler, or Routeburn Tracks. Book an unforgettable New Zealand helicopter tour with Southern Lakes Helicopters https://southernlakeshelicopters.co.nz/
Sandfly Café for delicious breakfast and coffee
Bao Now for delicious Baos a great option for lunch
The Fat Duck is a wonderful Gastro Pub serving up great NZ food
4. Head South via the Southern Scenic Route
Just 20kms from Te Anau, stop and admire Lake Manapouri, Lake Manapouri is the second deepest lake in New Zealand and has a large hydro power station at the end of its west arm.
Remote Lake Hauroko, NZ’s deepest Lake
Orepuki Beach Café – this is a great lunch stop right on the coast. Find them on Facebook
Cosy Nook and Monkey Island
13 kms from Cosy Nook is a wonderful 2hr15min walk called Round Hill/Long Hilly Track
- This walking track is an extensive historic trek through New Zealand gold mining history with relics left from the Chinese and European settlement from the 19th century. Walkers will enjoy quiet native bush as they walk the gravel track, spot old saw milling artifacts, look out for native birds, and view the crumbling earth dams.
- There are multiple tracks that start and end from this point but there is a loop track available for day-walkers which takes 2hr15min.
A small town 30 kilometres west of Invercargill and located on the south-eastern shorelines of the Jacobs River Estuary, while there be sure to check out the Riverton Rocks – great photo opportunity.
Fondly dubbed the “City of Water and Light”, referring to the long summer daylight hours, frequent appearances of the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights), and the city’s position beside the Waihopai River estuary, Invercargill has plenty of character and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere
For Invercargill, this was only the beginning. Now called New Zealand’s “Classic Motoring Capital”, the city boasts an impressive vintage truck collection at Bill Richardson Transport World – the largest private collection of its type in the world, a world-class display of over 300 motorcycles and motorcycle related artwork at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, and a celebration of the legend of speed himself, Burt Munro, at E Hayes Motorworks. Click here for restaurants, accommodation and things to see and do
5. Stewart Island
Whether you have come to enjoy the land, sea and night-scapes, view the wildllife, walk, boat, fish, dive, kayak, hunt or just relax – a Stewart Island holiday will be an experience that will draw you back again and again.
The Catlins, the spectacular coastal stretch between Invercargill and Balclutha, boasts a rugged beauty and untouched quality that is magnetic. Here you’ll find a world of native forests fringed by high cliffs, deserted sandy beaches, sparkling bays, cascading waterfalls, hidden lakes, blowholes, caves, picturesque lighthouses and even a petrified forest. These environments are home to an array of fauna, from native birds, to seals, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. The Catlins’ natural landscapes are enthralling, and the wildlife is extraordinary.
5 things to do in the Catlins
- See Purakaunui Falls. The cascading, multi-tiered Purakaunui Falls are said to be among the most-photographed in New Zealand, and can be easily reached via a short bush walk.
- Visit Nugget Point. …
- Explore Cathedral Caves. …
- Mclean Falls
- Get curious at Curio Bay.
The mighty Clutha river, New Zealand’s most voluminous goes through the heart of Balclutha. The river is an important part of the town’s history – it encouraged farmers to the area and brought fame but mainly fortune with the discovery of gold.
Dunedin is a city in New Zealand, at the head of Otago Harbour on the South Island’s southeast coast. It’s known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a large student population. Hiking and cycling trails crisscross the dramatic landscape of the adjoining Otago Peninsula, home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.
Fly out from Dunedin Airport