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Easter Road Trip Ideas

top easter destinations in new zealand

The Easter holiday period in New Zealand is almost as busy on the roads as the Christmas season. If you are planning your first road trip to one of the world's most beautiful countries, you will need to book early to ensure you can find a hire car that will suit your needs. Rental cars usually reach their peak rates and easily get sold out during this season. VroomVroomVroom has put together a list of amazing road trip ideas that will make you fall in love with New Zealand. From amazing cities, breathtaking mountains and scenic lakes, you are sure to find your dreamy escape that will make your Easter celebration more exciting and enjoyable. Check out our list of the best road trip destinations below.

Spend your Easter break exploring the northern coast from Auckland to the Bay of Islands

secluded beaches bay of islands

If you only have a few days to explore in New Zealand, this short road trip is enough to cover the beauty of the northern coast as well as the country's largest city. The North Island of New Zealand is filled with endless scenery, where the Bay of Islands does not disappoint. 

Where to stay? From Auckland to the Bay of Islands, there is heaps of accommodation available. In Auckland city, you might like to stay in a hotel. In the Bay of Islands, you can rent a holiday house or Airbnb.


  • Explore Auckland city by checking out the epic food scene.
  • Go dolphin watching in the Bay of Islands.
  • Relax and enjoy the pristine Omapere beach.
  • Turning south towards the vineyards of the Waiheke Island.

Getting there: Starting off in Auckland, get on State Highway 1 in Saint Marys Bay. Follow State Highway 1 to SH 11 in Kawakawa. Follow SH 11 to Causeway Roadin Haruru to the Bay of Islands.

Visit Wellington's scenery and culture

beautiful view of lake tekapo

See the beauty of the North Island further by taking this route. This direction winds its way through the wine regions of Martinborough, rounding up the very best of the picturesque North Island before coming into Wellington. Take in and enjoy the festive mood of the southernmost capital city in the world.

Where to stay? Wellington is home to a range of accommodation. Are you backpacking? Check out YHA Wellington Backpackers. Looking for a hotel? The Rydges and Novotel are in a great position.


  • Experience the magic at the Hobbiton movie set.
  • Take the Thermal Explorer Highway to witness a host of geothermal delights.
  • See a myriad of crystal clear lakes, from the bubbling geysers of Rotorua to the great Lake Taupo.

Getting there: If you are flying into Wellington Airport and picking up your rental, head north on Stewart Duff Drive. Continue on Highway 1 and then turn right onto Willis Street to Wellington.

Discover one of the most popular road trips in the world from Christchurch to Queenstown

aerial view of queenstown landscape

The road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown has to be a top contender. You'll be able to check out glaciers, national parks, mountains and stunning scenery you can't find anywhere else in the world. Pick up your rental in Christchurch and start the road trip of a lifetime south to Queenstown. You'll end up in the adventure capital where you can pretty much do whatever you like here - from bungy jumping, skydiving, paragliding, whitewater rafting to even ziplining!

Where to stay? In Christchurch city, your best option is staying in a hotel like the Rendezvous Hotel. In Queenstown, a popular place to stay is the Novotel.


  • Start your amazing journey in the seaside town of Greymouth
  • Head south along the rugged coastline and visit the magnificent Fox and Franz Josef glaciers
  • Go down through the mountains to Queenstown widely known as the adventure capital of the world and explore Mount Cook on the way.

Getting there: Take Durham Street south to State Highway 76 in Sydenham. Follow State Highway 79. 8 and  6 to State Highway 6A in Frankton, Queenstown.

Have a relaxing Easter checking out the New Zealand Wine Trail

marlborough wine trail

Taste your way through three of the country's most popular wine-making regions: the Martinborough, Blenheim and Marlborough. This classic wine trail is perfect for wine lovers especially if want to learn more about NZ wine production.

Where to stay? From luxury lodges to cosy cottages, your options are endless in this stunning wine region.


  • Start your journey in Napier and head south on State Highway 50 to Martinborough where you will get to sample the world-class Pinot Noir.
  • You may also drive onto Wellington and find time to take in the city culture before making your way to the Blenheim wine region.
  • Take time also to enjoy the local Sauvignon Blanc before arriving to the Marlborough region, which is home to 75% of wine production in New Zealand.

Getting there: In order to get to the Marlborough Wine Region, you can fly into Marlborough. You can also fly into Christchurch and drive north.

Try something different by exploring the Forgotten World Highway

view of mount taranaki in new plymouth

The New Zealand State Highway 43, also known as the Forgotten World Highway can be reached from Stratford or Taumarunui.

Where to stay? Depending on how quickly you want to drive through the Forgotten World Highway, you can stay at Antonio Mews Motel in Stratford and begin your journey from there.


  • While this trip is just 155 km and takes only three days to finish.
  • It is still considered one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand.
  • Constructed on colonial bridle paths created centuries ago, the oldest heritage trail is remote and mystifying.
  • Expect some rocky turns along the way, but if you don't mind a bit of an uproar ride then this road trip might be exactly right for you!

Getting there: You can fly into New Plymouth Airport and start your road trip there. It is only 31 minutes away from the beginning of the highway. Before you begin your journey it is an amazing place to explore. 

Easter in other countries