The Southern Scenic Route

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Southern Scenic Route

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The Southern Scenic Route of New Zealand is a spectacular journey showcasing the diverse landscapes and unique charm of the South Island. Let us guide you through this breathtaking itinerary, highlighting major stops, specific restaurants, and activity providers along the way.

Dunedin: A Blend of Heritage and Nature Begin your adventure in Dunedin, a city known for its Scottish and Maori heritage. For dining, ‘Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant’ offers an upscale experience with locally-sourced ingredients. In terms of activities, a visit to the ‘Royal Albatross Centre’ at Taiaroa Head is a must, where you can witness the majestic seabirds in their natural habitat. ‘Elm Wildlife Tours’ also provides intimate wildlife experiences, showcasing the region’s unique fauna.

The Catlins: Untouched Coastal Wilderness As you venture into The Catlins, you’ll encounter a region of rugged beauty and abundant wildlife. In Owaka, ‘Lumber Jack’ offers delicious meals, perfect after exploring the area. Key attractions include ‘Nugget Point,’ with its iconic lighthouse and seal colonies. ‘Catlins Kayak and Adventure’ offers kayaking experiences, allowing you to explore the serene waterways and witness wildlife up close.

Invercargill: Southern City Charm In Invercargill, you can savor Southland’s famous ‘Bluff oysters’ at ‘Oyster Cove Restaurant and Bar.’ The city also boasts the ‘E Hayes Motorworks Collection,’ home to Burt Munro’s legendary motorcycle. For a taste of speed, visit the ‘Bill Richardson Transport World,’ showcasing an extensive collection of classic vehicles.

Riverton/Aparima: Coastal Artistry Riverton/Aparima, a small seaside town, offers a quaint experience with local cafes like ‘The Crib Café,’ known for its fresh, seasonal dishes. The town is also a hub for artists, and you can explore numerous galleries or take part in creative workshops at ‘Riverton Arts Centre.’

Tuatapere: Gateway to the Hump Ridge In Tuatapere, enjoy hearty meals at ‘Last Light Café,’ aptly named for its stunning sunset views. This town is the gateway to the ‘Hump Ridge Track,’ a premier walking trail offering spectacular coastal and forest scenery. ‘Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track’ provides guided walks, ensuring a memorable hiking experience.

Te Anau: Fiordland’s Jewel Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland, is a haven for nature lovers. ‘Redcliff Restaurant & Bar’ offers a cozy dining experience with local ingredients. Here, the ‘Te Anau Glowworm Caves’ tour is a unique adventure, while ‘Fiordland Jet’ offers exhilarating jet boat tours through the stunning landscapes of Fiordland National Park.

Manapouri: Serene Beauty In the tranquil town of Manapouri, dine at ‘The Church’ for a rustic yet refined culinary experience. Manapouri is the starting point for cruises to ‘Doubtful Sound’ with ‘Real Journeys,’ offering a quieter but equally majestic alternative to Milford Sound.

Fiordland National Park: Milford and Doubtful Sounds No trip on the Southern Scenic Route is complete without exploring Milford Sound. Enjoy a meal at ‘Pio Pio Café’ at Milford Sound Lodge before taking a cruise with ‘Mitre Peak Cruises’ to witness the breathtaking fiords. In Doubtful Sound, ‘Go Orange’ offers kayaking and overnight cruises for an immersive experience in this remote wilderness.

The Southern Lakes: Wanaka and Queenstown As you loop back towards Queenstown, consider stopping in Wanaka. ‘Kika’ in Wanaka is known for its inventive dishes and relaxed atmosphere. In Queenstown, ‘Rātā’ takes a modern twist on New Zealand cuisine, while adventure activities are endless, including bungee jumping at ‘AJ Hackett Bungy’ and jet boating with ‘Shotover Jet.’

Gore: Country Music and Comfort Food In Gore, ‘The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room’ serves up modern New Zealand cuisine in a stylish setting. Gore also hosts the ‘Tussock Country Music Festival,’ and the ‘Hokonui Moonshine Museum’ celebrates the area’s illicit whisky-making past.

The Catlins Coast to Dunedin: Return Journey On your way back to Dunedin, revisit The Catlins, perhaps stopping at ‘Niagara Falls Café’ near Waikawa for a unique dining experience in a converted schoolhouse.

This Southern Scenic Route is a journey through some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes, combining culinary delights and diverse activities. From wildlife encounters and heritage museums to serene fiords and adrenaline-fueled adventures, this route offers a rich tapestry of experiences, making it an unforgettable New Zealand road trip.

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