New Zealand is known for its stunning natural landscapes, and there are many scenic drives throughout the country that showcase this beauty. One of the most famous is the Milford Road, which takes you through the heart of Fiordland National Park on the South Island. This winding road provides spectacular views of mountains, waterfalls, and lush rainforests, as well as the famous Milford Sound.
Another popular drive is the Great Alpine Highway, which crosses the Southern Alps between Christchurch and Greymouth. Along the way, you'll pass through Arthur's Pass National Park, where you can see glaciers, valleys, and mountains. The road also passes through charming small towns, such as Hokitika and Kumara, where you can stop for a bite to eat or to explore the local shops.
In the North Island, the Coromandel Peninsula offers some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the country. The Coromandel Coastal Walkway takes you along the eastern coast of the peninsula, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and rocky cliffs. The drive from Thames to Coromandel Town is also picturesque, with plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the views along the way.
The Forgotten World Highway is another popular scenic drive, taking you through the rugged hills and forests of the North Island. This winding road offers panoramic views of the countryside, as well as interesting landmarks like the Republic of Whangamomona - a small town that declared itself an independent republic in the 1980s.
The Southern Scenic Route is another must-see drive, taking you through the southern coast of the South Island. This route offers a diverse range of landscapes, from rolling farmland to towering cliffs and roaring waterfalls. You'll also have the chance to see wildlife, including seals, penguins, and sea lions.
No matter where you go in New Zealand, you're sure to find a scenic drive that showcases the country's natural beauty. From rugged coastlines to snow-capped mountains, there's always something stunning to see around every turn.