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Beautiful Drives In New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is one of the great joys of visiting the place. Constantly changing landscapes abound throughout and driving the wild west coast in New Zealand’s south island is easily one of the best drives in the country.

Driving in New Zealand


One of the most beautiful drives was from Lake Wanaka to Punakaiki, along the south islands inland and western coast.

This drive was done over a few days, stopping on the way for a few days to walk around the areas.


Lake Wanaka is the place to chill. Peaceful, quiet, and beautiful.

You can head into Mount Aspiring National Park nearby to do some scenic walks. One of the finest short walks was the Rob Roy Glacier Track.


Afterward, you drive back past Lake Wanaka to some gorgeous views across parts of the lake.


Driving to the west coast you cross over Mount Aspiring National Park, with more spectacular views of mountains and lakes. On a cloudy day, it just adds to the rugged mood of the place.


Reaching the west coast of New Zealands South Island you can see the rugged beauty of the coastline.


Heading up the coast there are some glaciers to view. One was visited on this trip, that being Fox Glacier. A short drive from the side road and a one-hour walk, sometimes difficult, you reach a viewpoint across to the glacier.


Moving on you reach some wild beaches along the coast. With rough weather and dead trees washed up, it is very wild looking.


You reach Punakaiki which is famous for its pancake rock formations on the coast. Again the wild weather makes the place more remarkable to watch, as the waves pound into the rocks.


The journey continues after Punakaiki heading north where more of New Zealand’s outstanding natural beauty can be seen.

When visiting New Zealand I recommend using Go Rentals for renting a car in New Zealand.

Travel New Zealand

I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.

New Zealand really is the land of wonder.

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4 thoughts on “Beautiful Drives In New Zealand”

  1. Thanks, Jonny. We are headed there in Feb/March. We were going to take the bus from Wanaka to Kaitmeri (the west coast highway on SI). Now thinking we might drive. Heard the highway is busy, narrow, and winds…You didn’t find it too harrowing a drive? Any suggestions on time of day to drive any portions of it? Thanks again!

  2. Hi Sandi. The drive was really great, no problems with traffic being busy. The only time was a little rough was in some very wet weather on the coast with strong winds but that only lasted a few hours. You will really enjoy it. Get a few travellers together who are going the same way and share a car. As for the time of day it doesn’t really matter. Bear in mind if you are planning to visit the both glaciers properly then you should plan at least a full day in that area so you don’t have to rush. Have fun!

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