Only a 3 hour drive from Christchurch, Tekapo is the perfect day or weekend trip away. Set against the dramatic Southern Alps, the beautiful milky-blue Lake Tekapo is truly a spectacular sight. However there’s also plenty to discover along the way. Here are our recommended stopovers on the drive.
If you’re in no rush and don’t mind extending your journey by an extra half hour, take the inland route after Rakaia and head towards Mount Somers. Mt Somers offers a variety of different tracks through beautiful beech forest and up to the summit, perfect for those looking for a little extra exercise. Refuel with a stop by Staveley Cafe and Store for delicious home-baked goods and New Zealand famous sausage rolls.
The pretty, buzzing town of Geraldine is set in a picturesque location along the Waihi River. It holds a growing reputation as an artistic community and has a very happening calendar of events – such as a Ukule Festival (Ukefest) in July. Home to national producers like Barker’s, Talbot Forest cheese and Heartland Chips, make sure you stop by for some world class preserves or the finest cheese.
A quintessential rural New Zealand town, Fairlie is another beautiful town worth stopping over. Time this with a well-deserved lunch or snack break to try the famous ‘Lieber Pie’ at Fairlie Bakehouse. If you’ve got time to spare, we recommend a meet and greet with alpacas on a Gem Alpacas Farm Tour.
Burkes Pass is a small township based at the gateway to Mackenzie Country. A key stop is Three Creeks, the Arts and Craft Shop housed in a 1950s service station – there’s plenty to browse here so be sure to take a peek.
The most prominent building in this town is St Patrick’s Church, a tiny wooden church built in 1871 and now one of New Zealand’s oldest Union churches. Here, you can take the Heritage walk which takes you to other historic buildings like the little red Musterer’s hut, the former hotel and old school house.
Feeling inspired? Book a vehicle from our Christchurch depot and get discovering.