Scenic Drives in New Zealand: Routes You Can’t Miss 

Scenic Drives in New Zealand: Routes You Can’t Miss 

Nestled in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and breathtaking scenery. 

Scenic Drives in New Zealand: Routes You Can’t Miss 

From towering mountains to crystal-clear lakes, the country offers a multitude of scenic drives that showcase its beauty at every turn. 

These scenic drives not only provide an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of New Zealand but also offer a glimpse into its rich culture and history.

One iconic route that cannot be missed is the Milford Road, located in Fiordland National Park on the South Island. 

This winding road takes travelers through lush rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and alongside impressive mountains, culminating in the spectacular Milford Sound. 

Another must-see drive is the Great Coast Road on the South Island’s West Coast, where travelers can admire rugged coastlines, ancient glaciers, and thriving wildlife. 

These scenic drives offer a unique perspective on the beauty of New Zealand and are sure to leave a lasting impression on all who embark on them. 

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into these and other scenic drives in New Zealand, highlighting key takeaways and must-see stops along the way.

key Takeaways

1. New Zealand offers some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the world, with stunning landscapes and diverse terrain to explore.

2. The Crown Range Road in Queenstown is a must-see drive, featuring panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

3. The Pacific Coast Highway on the North Island takes you past beautiful beaches, charming seaside towns, and lush forests, offering a perfect mix of coastal and inland scenery.

4. The Forgotten World Highway on the North Island is a remote and adventurous drive through rugged terrain, historic sites, and picturesque countryside.

5. The Southern Scenic Route on the South Island offers a diverse range of landscapes, from coastal cliffs and sandy beaches to mountains and fjords, making it a must-do road trip for nature lovers.

What are the top scenic drives in New Zealand that you can’t miss?

top scenic drives in New Zealand

1. Milford Road

One of the most iconic drives in New Zealand, Milford Road offers breathtaking views of Fiordland National Park. 

The road winds through lush rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and ends at the stunning Milford Sound. 

Be sure to drive slowly and take in the stunning scenery along the way.

2. Great Coast Road

Stretching along the rugged West Coast of the South Island, the Great Coast Road offers stunning ocean views and dramatic landscapes.

Drive through Pancake Rocks, visit the Franz Josef Glacier, and stop at historic gold mining towns along the way.

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3. Crown Range Road

For a thrilling drive with panoramic views, head to Crown Range Road in the South Island. 

This winding mountain road offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a favorite among road trip enthusiasts.

4. The Forgotten World Highway

For a taste of New Zealand’s rural charm, drive along The Forgotten World Highway on the North Island. 

This scenic route takes you through lush farmland, past historic villages, and over the iconic Mount Damper Falls. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful Taranaki region along the way.

What are some tips for making the most of your scenic drive in New Zealand?

  1. Plan your route in advance and allow plenty of time for stops and photo opportunities.
  2. Check the weather conditions before you set out, especially if you’ll be driving through mountainous areas.
  3. Pack snacks and drinks, as some routes may not have many dining options along the way.
  4. Bring a camera to capture the stunning landscapes you’ll encounter on your drive.
  5. Drive safely and be prepared for narrow roads and winding turns, especially in rural areas.

FAQs about Scenic Drives in New Zealand: Routes You Can’t Miss

1. What are some of the most scenic drives in New Zealand?

Some of the most scenic drives in New Zealand include the Milford Road, the Great Coast Road, and the Crown Range Road. 

Each of these routes offers breathtaking views of the country’s natural beauty.

2. How long does it take to complete a scenic drive in New Zealand?

The length of time it takes to complete a scenic drive in New Zealand depends on the route you choose. 

Some drives can be completed in a few hours, while others may take several days if you want to make stops along the way to take in the sights.

3. Are there any specific rules or regulations for driving on scenic routes in New Zealand?

While driving on scenic routes in New Zealand, it is important to follow all traffic laws and speed limits. 

Additionally, be aware of any signage that may indicate specific rules or regulations for certain areas.

4. What is the best time of year to take a scenic drive in New Zealand?

The best time of year to take a scenic drive in New Zealand is during the spring or summer months when the weather is more favorable and the landscapes are at their most vibrant. 

However, each season offers its own unique beauty, so it ultimately depends on your personal preference.

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5. Are there any guided tours available for scenic drives in New Zealand?

Yes, there are guided tours available for scenic drives in New Zealand. 

These tours can provide valuable insight into the history, culture, and natural features of the area, making for a more enriching experience.

6. Can I camp along the scenic drives in New Zealand?

Yes, there are plenty of camping grounds and designated camping areas along the scenic drives in New Zealand. 

Just make sure to check for any restrictions or permits required before setting up camp.

7. What are some must-see attractions along the scenic drives in New Zealand?

Some must-see attractions along the scenic drives in New Zealand include the Franz Josef Glacier, the Pancake Rocks, and the Remarkables mountain range. 

These natural wonders are sure to leave you in awe.

8. Are the roads well-maintained along the scenic drives in New Zealand?

Yes, the roads along the scenic drives in New Zealand are generally well-maintained and offer safe driving conditions. 

However, it is always recommended to check for any road closures or construction before embarking on your journey.

9. Can I rent a car for a scenic drive in New Zealand?

Yes, there are plenty of car rental companies in New Zealand that offer a wide range of vehicles for scenic drives. 

Just make sure to have a valid driver’s license and insurance before hitting the road.

10. Are there any hidden gems or lesser-known scenic drives in New Zealand worth exploring?

Yes, there are plenty of hidden gems and lesser-known scenic drives in New Zealand that are worth exploring. 

Some of these routes may not be as popular with tourists, but offer stunning views and unique experiences that are truly unforgettable.

Final Thoughts on Scenic Drives in New Zealand: Routes You Can’t Miss

Exploring the scenic drives in New Zealand is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you in awe of the country’s natural beauty. 

From towering mountains to pristine lakes, there is so much to see and discover along the winding roads of this stunning country. 

Whether you choose to take a guided tour or embark on a self-drive adventure, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.

So, pack your bags, grab a map, and hit the road to experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes that New Zealand has to offer. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create your own scenic drive adventure and immerse yourself in the beauty of this incredible country.