New Zealand Touring Routes

Twin Coast Discovery Highway

This scenic highway begins in Auckland and travels to New Zealand’s northern-eastern tip, Cape Reinga, and back. En route, it allows you to explore both the east coast, with its sandy beaches and bays, and the west coast, with its native kauri forests and vast harbours.

Highlights include:
  • The superb beaches of Whangarei’s eastern coastline
  • Swimming with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands
  • The Treaty House and its beautiful grounds at Waitangi
  • Crafts, orchard produce and historic buildings at Kerikeri Village
  • Cape Reinga and the sweeping sands of 90 Mile Beach (Ahipara)
  • Waipoua Forest, home to the 2000-year-old kauri tree, Tane Mahuta
  • Diving and boating on the stunning Tutukaka Coast
  • Hokianga Harbour, with its Maori history and massive white sand dunes
  • Northland itinerary


Pacific Coast Highway

This dramatic coastal route incorporates magnificent beaches, wilderness areas, wine-making regions and New Zealand’s easternmost point as it links Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty, Eastland and Hawke's Bay.
Coromandel Route PlannerHighlights include:


Thermal Explorer

Cutting through the lush farmlands of the Waikato and on through the North Island’s central volcanic plateau, this highway links Auckland and the Hawke’s Bay wine country. En route, you can discover the vast Waitomo Caves, spectacular thermal regions and the Dual World Heritage Area of Tongariro National Park.

Highlights include:


Treasured Pathway

This scenic highway traverses Marlborough and Nelson region at the top of the South island, beginning in Picton, continuing through the wine-making regions of Blenheim, Marlborough and Nelson, and ending at the Golden Bay township of Collingwood. 

Top & Central South Island Route PlannerHighlights include:
  • The award-winning wineries of Blenheim, Marlborough and Nelson
  • Kayaking, fishing, cruising and dolphin watching in the Marlborough Sounds 
  • Spectacular views and native bush along the 69km Queen Charlotte Track
  • Historic Nelson city, famous for its sunshine, wineries, crafts and seafood
  • Sea kayaking on the beautiful bays and coves of Abel Tasman National Park
  • Golden Bay, with its fine sandy beaches
  • Farewell Spit, a wildlife refuge for godwits with a century-old lighthouse
  • Classic New Zealand Wine Trail - Marlborough


The Inland Scenic 72 Route

Flanked by the towering Southern Alps on one side, and the vast Canterbury Plains on the other, this rural route begins at Amberley in the Canterbury district, follows State Highway 72 past Mount Hutt, and ends in Winchester where it joins State Highway 1.

Highlights include:
  • Hot-air ballooning over the Canterbury Plains at Methven
  • Winter skiing at Mount Hutt ski area
  • Rafting on the Rangitata River
  • Hiking on the Mount Somers Walkway and at Peel Forest Park
  • Arts and crafts at the pretty rural town of Geraldine 
  • Canterbury Itinerary


Alpine Pacific Triangle

14 November 2016: Quake has closed SH1 between Seddon and Cheviot on the East Coast of the South Island.


For alternate route please go to: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic-and-travel-information/travel-information-for-canterbury-and-marlborough-regions/
This triangular touring route connects Canterbury’s world-famous whale watching centre of Kaikoura, the charming alpine spa town of Hanmer Springs and the wine valley of Waipara.

Highlights include:

  • Whalewatching and swimming with the dolphins at the coastal town of Kaikoura
  • Soaking in the outdoor thermal pools at Hanmer Springs
  • Walking trails in Hanmer Forest Park, one of the country's oldest exotic forests.
  • Adventure activities including mountainbiking, jetboating, bungy jumping, canyoning, rafting and horse trekking.
  • Winter skiing at the Hanmer Springs ski area
  • The wine and food trails of the Waipara Valley
  • Canterbury Itinerary


Southern Scenic Route

Starting in historic Dunedin, with its Scottish heritage, this dramatic route runs down the Catlins coastline to Invercargill, continuing northwest to New Zealand’s Walking Capital, Te Anau, and finishing at Milford Sound.

Highlights include:

  • Dunedin's fine Victorian heritage buildings
  • The rich native wildlife of the Otago Peninsula, including the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony
  • Native fur seals, penguins and sealions along the wild Catlins coastline
  • The mountain lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri
  • Walking the famous Milford Track
  • Cruising or kayaking on the tranquil waters of Fiordland’s Milford Sound
  • Southern South Island itinerary