New Zealand – Driving

Some of the best memories from our trip to New Zealand are the luscious views and breathtaking scenery that we saw while driving. We quickly learned that our traveling was done best during nap time if possible (the toddler’s nap time, but the non-driving adult may or not have been napping too)! Consequently, I’m sure Gideon missed out on some of the cool sights. But he was more content to walk outside the car than sit in it if he had a choice (which he mostly didn’t). Generally, I think we drove about 2-4 hours/day.

Here our some of our highlights of moments either captured while the car was in motion or pulled over for a minute.

North Island driving highlights

Sunset the first night.

Matamata – Due to the GPS we might’ve been sort of lost, but we didn’t care.

Matamata, Sheep… but the sheep were everywhere on the North Island.

Just south of Rotorua; hard to believe it rained a short while later.

In the geothermal active areas, it was less lush green, but still pleasant on the eyes.

That’s 85km/hr for the turn… not mph 😉

Countless rolling hills (with sheep on them too), just like this one.

Still green as we headed closer to Waitomo.

Oh yeah, did we tell you there were a lot of cows too?

A few times we spotted windmills on distant hills.

… and onto the:

South Island driving highlights

The differences between the two islands were obvious. We have a hard time picking which one we liked more. (Though I think Andrew preferred the handling and width of the Corolla to the motorhome!)

Right outside Christchurch.

More browns and less greens, and more peaks rather than mounds.

More rocks too.

A few gravel roads.

We even had to ford a river!

(Reminds me of playing Oregon Trail on the computer as a child.)

This is the “river” we forded. We survived 🙂

Wildflowers EVERYWHERE near the two turquoise lakes.

Despite stormy clouds, the sight of the turquoise water was quite calming.

If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is.

The variety of rocks and hills was quite engaging.

Check out the ridges in the face of that mount!

More mountains… are you getting the picture?

The water of the West Coast.

Passing through the mountains.


Rocks. (What else is there to say?)

There you have it. A sneak peek into what it was like to drive around New Zealand Middle-Earth.


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