In the South Island the Abel Tasman Explorer itinerary is a great way to experience the amazing scenery and the hospitable locals.
Overnight stays at the properties mentioned are only available to Native Parks Motorhome Haven members.
To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Christchurch branch. Visit maui campervan hire Christchurch for more details.
Christchurch to Christchurch
Best Time of the Year
- Kaikoura Peninsula
- Marlborough wine region
- Abel Tasman
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Distance 180km - Driving Time 2.5 hours
Pick up your maui in Christchurch and head North on State highway 1 to Kaikoura. As you near the Kaikoura Peninsula look for seals basking on the rocky coastline. Lookouts with viewing platforms will get you closer for photo opportunities. Continue on to Fyffe View Ranch Horse Treks, near Kaikoura township, and stop for the night. During summer month your hosts Linda and Simon lead sunset treks, a magic time of the day to take in the coasts natural beauty under the snow capped Kaikoura mountain ranges.
Kaikoura to Marlborough
Distance 475km - Driving Time 2.5 hours
Continue north to Blenhiem and the Marlborough wine region. Tasting opportunities abound including Grove Mill Winery. With an eye firmly on the future this vineyard is a carbon zero producer and committed to wetland restoration. And with their fabulous wines and space for maui motorhomes, it is the perfect place to stay the night.
Marlborough to Kahurangi National Park
Distance 141km - Driving Time 2.5 hours
Today head to Goldern Bay, via Nelson. At Motueka the road heads inland and over the Takaka Range, north of this point to the coast is the Abel Tasman National Park, although access is only by foot or kayak. For time out on the beach, detour at Takaka and head to Pohara.
Back on State Highway 60 at Takaka continue on to Collingwood and inland to The Naked Possum at start of the Kaituna track on the edge of the Kahurangi National Park. Put your feet up in front of the roaring outdoor fire and relax overnight thanks to hosts Jocelyn and Grant.
Kahurangi National Park to Richmond (Neudorf Dairy)
Distance 21km - Driving Time 25 mins
After breakfast pull on your walking shoes and head up the Kaituna track. A full day’s hike will take you all the way to the West Coast but with limited time available chat with your Naked Possum hosts and they will suggest shorter walks amongst the Rata forest they have helped to regenerate.
Head back along State Highway 60 to Neudorf Dairy, just short of Richmond. Your hosts, Brian and Sharon, are producers of sheep cheeses from their own herd. Neudorf Dairy backs onto 11 hectares of mature bush in a valley known for its artisans and boutique wineries, giving you much to explore and enjoy.
Richmond to Christchurch
Distance 400km - Driving Time 5 hours
From Richmond travel south to Murchison and on to Christchurch. Enjoy vistas over high country scenery on this inland route back to Christchurch. To avoid rushing you will need an early start.