NewZealandAtoZ on Things to do while driving between Christchurch and Dunedin.
This drive is a good way to get used to New Zealand roads and driving, with lots of interesting and historic small towns on the way.
The roads are generally straight, two way and single lane, but have lots of stretches of two lane road to pass other cars and trucks. A few more bends are added after Timaru before you drive over the Kilmog Hill into Dunedin.
As you leave Christchurch you arrive at Dunsandel, you could stop for your famous NZ pie at the Dunsandel Tavern. You then drive through Rakaia, famous for Salmon fishing (“Salmon capital of New Zealand”). Ashburton
is your next major town; it is a town for the farming community of the area, about 1 hour from Christchurch.
Just under another hour drive is Timaru a larger town with a great foreshore at Caroline Bay, which is very popular with Christmas holiday goers.
Oamaru is your next destination about 1 hour away, but before you arrive at this historic settlement there is a must stop for food, drink or just to let the kids play in a fantastic play area at the Riverstone Kitchen just before you get to Oamaru, on the right heading south.
When you arrive in Oamaru on the left there is the Rainbow Confectionery factory with a factory shop that sells "seconds". If you are doing a Cadbury tour in Dunedin just expect a normal souvenir shop with no bargins so buy your cheap chocolates and lollies in Oamaru. If you are a cheese lover the Whitestone cheese factory shop is another place to buy some great cheeses. Then have a look around the historic part of the town before you leave on the last hour and a bit to Dunedin.
Next you drive through Hampton where all the streets are named after locations in England. Then on to the famous Moeraki Boulders that were once a mystery of the World because no one used to know why they are so round. Just down the main road south is the turn off to the settlement of Moeraki and Fleurs Place is a good place to stop for good food if you decided not to eat at the Riverstone Kitchen.
After your stops in the Moeraki area you face the final drive through Palmeston then you could stop at the old Cherry Farm Psychiatric Hospital for another fix of great cheese at the Evansdale Cheese factory, they even have factory tours. After that over the Kilmog and on to Dunedin. The whole journey should take between 4.30 - 5 hours without stops.
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