Drive the South Island Scenic Circle
Leg One: Christchurch:
Our trip starts at the gateway to the South Island – Christchurch. New Zealand’s second largest city is an eclectic mix of new and old architecture, rebuilt and restored after the 2011 earthquakes. Your home base in Christchurch, Scenic Hotel Cotswold has its own iconic Tudor style, and may make you may feel like you’ve stepped into King Arthurs castle. With parking at your doorstep, it’s a great place to kick-off your scenic road trip – make sure to explore the cities many laneways, eateries, shops, gardens and parks, hills, beaches and bays!
Day trips from Christchurch: Check out Hanmer Springs for a relaxing day at the hot pools or French inspired peninsula town Akaroa where you can swim with dolphins or enjoy one of the many seaside cafes!
Next Stop: Dunedin!
You’ll find two Scenic Hotels here and they are friendly neighbours. Located in the heart of the city are Scenic Hotels Southern Cross and Dunedin City, both with their own unique charm. Dunedin is a bit of a secret gem as far as holiday destinations go, and is well worth the exploration. Bursting with boutique eateries and shops, street art, castles, museums, beaches and gardens – it’s full of art and culture and it just hits a little different. It is also home to the reclaimed Guinness Book of World Records title ‘World’s Steepest Street – Baldwin Street’. We’re game if you are!
Queenstown with a View
Welcome to the adventure capital of New Zealand. Heartland Hotel and Scenic Suites Queenstown boast some sweet or in Scenic’s case, ‘suite’ views of Lake Wakatipu. Start your day off at the hotel restaurant, the Peaks Restaurant & Bar with a hearty brekkie and then head out and see the sights. Queenstown has plenty to see and do for every type of holiday maker – from thrill seekers who come to jump the world-famous AJ Hackett Bungy, to those seeking to relax and unwind at the spa retreats or for the everyday kiwi who wants a bit of everything from shopping, to restaurants and water activities! Finish your day off by booking a spot in our hot-tub or sauna, or sip on a nightcap by the fire in lounge bar.
Heart warming Haast
From Queenstown to the wild wilderness of the West Coast, your journey will take you through the magical Haast Pass, full of incredible places to stop like the Blue Pools or Fantail Falls for the perfect photo opportunities. Once on the other side you’ll find another world, almost Jurassic like, but without prehistoric creatures. Here you will find Heartland Hotel Haast – our quaint hotel nestled in a UNESCO World Heritage area of untouched nature! From river tours to jetboats, vast beaches, hiking trails and the famed Craypot in Jackson’s Bay, Haast will steal your heart with its wild beauty!
Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier
Take your pick, we have hotels a plenty in Glacier Country! Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier and Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier have their doors open and are ready to give you a share some of our West Coast hospitality as you explore the region. Our famed glaciers are something every kiwi should see in their lifetime, so make sure not to miss them on your travels. Want to dive a little deeper into Glacier Country activities? Check out our article here on ‘What’s Fab in Franz?’.
Pit Stop at Punakaiki
It’s a long drive from our glacier towns to Marlborough so we’ve included a little stop off in Punakaiki where you can visit our newest member of the family – Scenic Hotel Punakaiki. With stunning guest rooms with some of the best views in the region, this hotel is one not to be missed. If you prefer a more relaxed stay we also highly recommend Punakaiki Beachfront Motels which offer offer family and studio units, self-contained cabins, cottage, and beach house, or the Punakaiki Rocks Hotel & Garden Bar with economical studio rooms and a hearty dining experience. These properties are set just meters from the roaring Tasman Sea and no stay at Punakaiki is finished until you have visited the famed Pancake Rocks!
Meet Marvellous Marlborough
Welcome to the region where the sun always shines, and wine is a plenty! Scenic Hotel Marlborough is located next to the stunning Seymour Square in the hustle and bustle of Blenheim and is your launch pad to the amazing array of activities the region has to offer. Explore the azure blue water Marlborough Sounds, taste test a few drops at award-winning wineries and breweries, simply relax by our solar heated pool or choose from many family friendly adventures which you can read about here. Finish it (or start it) all off with a delicious meal at Savvy Restaurant and Bar serving breakfast, weekend brunches and dinner!