Southern Scenic Route: Road trip you can’t miss

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Road tripping in New Zealand is a must. It is definitely the best way to discover this amazing country.

Today I’ll take you on journey between Queenstown and Dunedin. The road is called Southern Scenic Route and it is about 600km long ride you can’t miss.

We are driving around this route pretty often as the road goes through Invercargill and it always lead us to Queenstown or Dunedin for our weekend getaways.

The road is passing through Queenstown, Fiordland (Te Anau), Western Southland, Invercargill, beautiful Catlins, Clutha and Dunedin (Moeraki, Larnach Castle).

We are so lucky to live here as these wonderful places are within short drive from our home.

Let me take you on a ride around ‘one of the world’s great undiscovered drives’, how one magazine labeled it a few years ago.

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Queenstown

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Te Anau, Fiordland

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Clifden

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Riverton

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Queens Park, Invercargill (my favourite place in town)

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Curio Bay

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Purakaunui Falls, Catlins

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Kaka Point

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Dunedin

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Baldwin St, Dunedin, the world’s steepest residential street 

There are so many great things to do along the way – short walks, boating, camping, tramping, fishing, mountain-biking – just pick your favourite activity and explore this beautiful part of the South Island.

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Must see picturesque New Zealand lakes

Did you know there is more than 4000 lakes in this amazing country?

These are the most stunning lakes in New Zealand and there are some truly fascinating facts about them…

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Lake Te Anau, South Island

Lake Te Anau is second largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and it’s more than 4oom deep. Most of this lake is situated within Fiordland National Park and it is a must see place while traveling around Southland especially if you are planning to visit Milford Sound or you are going to walk New Zealand Great Walks.

Lake Taupo, North Island

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. It sits in the caldera of Taupo Volcano created by a supervolcanic eruption. Every year more than 2 million people come here to admire to this gem of the North Island.

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Lake Wanaka, South Island

Home of the probably most famous tree in the world is Lake Wanaka situated at the lower South Island in Otago region. This lake lies in valley formed by glacial erosion during the last ice age. It is a great place for adventure tourism all year around.

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Lake Pukaki, South Island

Glacial sediments fed this lake by the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, there’s the reason for beautiful blue colour of the water. With the massive Mt Cook in the background it is not strange that Lake Pukaki found its place in the Hobbit Trilogy.

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Lake Tekapo, South Island

It doesn’t matter if you visit this lake during the day or night, it’s amazing! It gets turquoise colour from glacial dust suspended in the water.  Lake Tekapo is part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. I can’t describe you how tranquil this place is…

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Lake Wakatipu, South Island

Famous adventure capital Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake. Because of its unusual shape Lake Wakatipu has a so called ‘tide’ which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 cm every 25 minutes. Perfect scenery for the postcard, isn’t it?

Meeting of the seas

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This is definitely one more special place in New Zealand. Cape Reinga is the spot where two seas clash. It is the meeting point of Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Really amazing. You can see how unsettled the water is, it looks like a race. If you are watching from atop the view is absolutely perfect…

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Weekend getaway: Lake Te Anau

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Situated on the west coast, within Fiordland National Park, Lake Te Anau is a part of the travel itinerary of every wanderer here in New Zealand. This small town, with a population of only 2000, is a starting point for three New Zealand Great Walks (Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track) and it is the last town on the route to one of the most famous sights – Milford Sound.

Town centre is nice but there’s nothing much to do and that’s why this is the place where travellers come to spend more time in nature, walking and exploring. For us, perfect weekend getaway.

As I already told you, weather conditions on the South Island this summer weren’t great for camping but we decided to give it a go and it was awesome! Finally we had the chance to sleep under the stars…

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Lake Te Anau is the largest lake on the South Island and second largest by surface area in New Zealand (Lake Taupo is the largest).

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One more place to check out while you are in town is Ivon Wilson Park, land planted with native trees with a beautiful small lake in the centre. Perfect picnic spot!

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Lake Henry in Ivon Wilson Park

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Quick stop at the Lake Mistletoe

This is one of the reasons why I love to live in New Zealand. You don’t have to go far away to find gorgeous spots. They are always just around the corner…

 

Dawn on the far south

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This is the road from Invercargill to Queenstown. I drove down this road a few times before but never this early in the morning. The atmosphere is totally different. It’s so calm and peaceful… And look at that mist that makes it even more amazing. I think I should get up earlier more often and just drive around while everything is still asleep. That’s when I can have moments like this one only for myself…

Little heaven called Ambury Park

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Spring is finally here! Days are longer, temperatures are higher, grass is greener and people are somehow happier. I really love this time of the year here in New Zealand especially because the camping season is just around the corner and I can’t wait to find another perfect spot for my tent.

While we are waiting for those long weekends we decided to spend Sunday in one of the Aucklands regional parks. Ambury Park is just half hour drive from our house and I don’t know how I didn’t discover it sooner! Part of this park is a working farm where everyone is welcome and everyone can wander around and mingle with the animals, part is a heaven for the birdwatchers because here is identified more than 86 species of birds, part is a huge picnic area where we enjoyed our first days of spring and part is the camping area where my tent will also find its place, just down there near the sea.

This day made me so happy. And who wouldn’t be happy here, in this little heaven called Ambury…

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