Your Tekapo Road Trip


Whether you are arriving from Christchurch, Queenstown or Dunedin we have the best tips for your South Island Roadie – and food tips of course because who doesn’t love to eat !

1/ Dunedin

In Dunedin we highly recommend staying on the Stage Peninsula, you will be close to the albatross colony, seals, sea lions, penguins.  And it is a stunning access drive –  make sure to visit or stay at Larnachs Castle.

Take the coastal drive from Port Chalmers to Waitati, then turn in again at Evansdale head to Karitane, then you pop back out on the main road – it’s a sensational drive.

Moeraki Village offer terrific Blue Cod Fishing Charters. The Moeraki Boulders are about 1 or 2 kilometres past the village.

In Oamaru the Harbour Street shops are a must – particularly Whitestone City. Good places for lunch are the Tee Street Café ( Our favorite ) or Casa Mia or The Galley. For dinner we recommend Cucina. If you are overnighting make sure you watch the little blue penguins surf in from their 30km daily food foraging adventures.

Time Allowing a visit to Dots Castle and Riverstone Kitchen is a must. Then take the Waitaki Valley via Duntroon and Kurow for the most scenic drive to the Mackenzie country and Tekapo.

2/ Queenstown


Blue Kanu
White & Wong
Vudu Cafe
The Boatshed cafe

In Queenstown if you want to do something REALLY different try this its a VR experience like no other I have seen a bit random but SO much fun

If you are not going to Wanaka and you have time I strongly suggest turning in after Tarras and driving across the Crown Range to Queenstown – it is an epic drive and only adds about half an hour – worth it ( But then you will miss the winery listed below – its the devils choice )

A couple of our favourite winerys enroute;
Amisfield – great Sauv
Brennan Winery (Their Temprinello and Pinot are amazing ) at Nevis Bluff.
Wooing Tree – Blondie at Cromwell


We recently had a sensational meal at The Stoker Room in Cromwell which was a real treat.

You MUST eat a cheese roll at a cafe in the south island.

Lindis Pass – stop at the top – its in all the car ads and you will see why – its really beautiful

The Wrinkly Ram at Omarama for great fish and chips – its a hotspot for Ritchie McCaw spotting.

The Clay Cliffs at Omarama are totally worth the short walk in to see, they are beautiful and otherworldly and it is a really easy walk.

Just after Twizel is the Salmon farm – you can buy to eat there or buy a wee piece to take away – they will pack it in ice for you. Their gravalax is delicious.

The Hooker Valley track at Mt Cook is one of the best day walks in NZ, It is FABULOUS. If the weather is nice (if not you easily drive back there from Tekapo) If you are walkers AND the weather at Mt Cook looks nice, zip in there enroute to Tekapo and walk the Hooker Track. The walk is three hours return but it is quintessential NZ. In case of inclement weather you can easily drive back there from Tekapo.

3/ Christchurch

Take SH77 via the Rakaia Gorge, its really pretty and skirts the mountains all the way to Geraldine. At Geraldine visit the famous Barkers to stock up on delicious jams and sauces ( all served here at Ranginui of course ). There is also a great cheese and ice-cream shop – The Creamery.

If you weren’t hungary at Geraldine then after the beautiful drive through the gorge you will find The Farm Barn perched on top of a hill with stunning views of Four Peaks. Their cakes are legendary amongst the locals.

If you are a pie fan – and even if you are not – the Fairlie Bakehouse is a must stop. Salmon & Bacon, Venison & Cranberry or my favourite Pork & Apple – theres so many to choose from and you can sit in the little square to enjoy your pie – theres some great little shops around there for the ladies also – The Little Red Fox, Blank Space and Mint.

A treat for Chocoholics passing through Fairlie is The Museum Cafe, a Swiss chocolate maker turns out delicious treats – and its our favourite coffee in Fairlie.

The Silverstream Hotel at Kimbell has new owners who are doing a fabulous job renovating the building while keeping the character – so if you’re not already bursting at the seams their burgers are fantastic.

Burkers Pass has a very eclectic shop worth a wander round full of treasures right up to a mobile Shepherds Hut. The little church is also worth a look.

Happy planning and we look forward to seeing you in Tekapo.