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Scenic Drives in New Zealand

Fox Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Top NZ Driving Routes & Road Trips

New Zealand is very well-known for its abundant natural landscapes and scenery.

No matter which part of the country or which island you visit, you are bound to find yourself close to a scenic driving route that will give you a real sense of adventure and escape.

In addition, there are plenty of car hire companies in New Zealand and hotels all over the country.

Many visitors enjoy the option of one way car hire so they can make their way from one city to the next without having to drive all the way back to their original pickup location to return their vehicle.

Top New Zealand coastal and beach routes

The East Cape driving route will take you to New Zealand’s easternmost mainland point.

Popular sights include Maori sculptures, black sand beaches and forests.  This route is likely to take a few days to truly enjoy.

There are plenty of hotels, hostels and other types of accommodation along the way so you can find a place to stay really easily.

A trip along the South Island’s west coast is another great way to take in some coastal views along with mountainous landscapes and so much more.

When planning this trip, you will want to make your way from Greymouth to Haast, and on to Wanaka or Queenstown.

Many tourists and locals also recommend including a drive through Arthur’s Pass National Park and Haast Pass as well.

This will mean that your trip will be extended but it is definitely worth seeing if you are already in the area.

Other popular New Zealand scenic drives

The Lost World Highway is the oldest touring route in the country and it’s 155km long. It stretches from the North Island’s central plateau, all the way across to the west coast and Mount Taranaki.

This route has everything to offer from gorges and tunnels to dense forest areas and even the highest waterfall in the North Island.

A trip through the different Sounds is another top choice as far as New Zealand scenic drives go.

Milford Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound are the two top choices for tourists with plenty of local fauna, flora and nature to be observed and enjoyed.

Another top inland road trip is in the region of Rotorua’s picturesque lakes.  Enjoy the sight and sounds of water along with various activities and sights along the way.

No matter where you plan your stay in New Zealand, there is always a scenic trail nearby and plenty of natural sights to take in.

Rental car facilities and the abundance of accommodation make it easy to move around the country and do some amazing exploring.

Remember that by planning your trip in advance, you can book your hotels and rental car together in order to enjoy some great package discounts!

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