We came back to NZ to do this trip and I have to say that it was not worth it. Although the drive is nice it is nothing amazing. Most of the places you want to go are off on dirt roads, which with a 6 berth motor home is a long and slow drive. Nugget Point was the highlight and I would recommend the walk down to the lighthouse. The drive from Te Anau to Queenstown is amazing and so much more enjoyable. For the effort to get all the way down there I would have to say that we wish we had spent our time somewhere else on the south island.
We did the scenic drive on the way to a weekend gathering. It was blowing really hard along with the odd heavy down pour. This just added to the mystic of the place , and showed us how the trees are the shape they are. The road was not a problem 20kms is a fine very even gravel surface, if you have an accident you were driving beyond your ability. Slow down.We did the short walk into the wood mill just before the Adventure camp and then a board walk out into the wetlands.We were surprised at the number of places available for accommodation.If you are not in a hurry on your holiday, this is better than the inland route.
Such a beautiful area. The catlins onthe South east coast is magnificent. See the Sea lions at Waipapa Point, Penguins at Nugget Point and at Curio Bay you can see both the peguins and hectors dolphins. All this for free (providing you have a car.).On the Western south coast you have lovely views of the beaches and bays, then the different forests and lakes as you head towards Fiordland.Such a beautiful place :)
This was a fabulous trip. We started in Dunedin and made our way to Queenstown via the Southern Scenic Route. Every stop was a pleasure...quiet walks along spectacular cliffs in the Catlins, friendly people at every turn, great cafes, beautiful lakes, incredible mountains. You MUST take this drive!
It was all good….no dislikes at all. Views great and a good way for poor sailors. Staff very helpful with fragile goods which was appreciated
Yes, take the detour and cut through the Catlins: if you're from the UK think mid Wales. Great roads for motorbikes, too.
A local at a service station recommended we take this route on our way to Invercargill from Dunedin - lovely drive.
Really enjoyable coastal drive, good scenery, interesting wildlife, the whitebait catchers huts are quirky.
Well worth the extra hours of drive time, the southern scenic route is well marked and gives access to amazing (and somewhat less frequently visited) parts of New Zealand. Particularly enjoyed the Nuggets and Gemstone Beach.
I never get over how beautiful New Zealand is and this drive is one that shows off a great deal of that beauty. Well worth doing but be sure to leave time for lots of stops as the scenery is breathtaking