Easter Road Trip Ideas

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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 

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. 

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. 

Highlights: 

  • ​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 Road  in  Haruru ​ to the Bay of Islands. 

Book a car rental in Auckland

Visit Wellington's scenery and culture 

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 in Wellington to 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. 

Highlights: 

  • ​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. 

Search for a car rental in Wellington

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

If you have limited time to explore the South Island, this is an experience you can't miss. The TranzAlpine train which runs in both directions between Greymouth and Christchurch is deemed as one of the Great Journeys of NZ. This follows the Waimakariri River which crosses from east coast to west. You'll end up in Queenstown where you can pretty much do whatever you like here - from bungy jumping, skydiving, paragliding, whitewater rafting to ziplining - all these activities are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping!​

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. 

Highlights: 

  • 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. 

Getting there: Take  Durham Street south  to  State Highway 76  in  Sydenham ​.  Follow  SH 1  to  State Highway 79  in  Rangitata ​.  Follow  State Highway 79  to  State Highway 8  in  Fairlie ​.  Follow  State Highway 8  and  State Highway 6  to  State Highway 6A  in  Frankton, Queenstow Follow  State Highway 6A  to  Ballarat Street ​. 

Hire a car rental in Christchurch

Have a relaxing Easter checking out the New Zealand 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. 

Highlights: 

  • 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.

Find a rental car in Blenheim

Try something different by exploring the Forgotten World Highway

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. 

Highlights: 

  • 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, this 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.  

Book a car rental in New Plymouth



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