Despite being located 5 hours’ drive from Nelson, Christchurch is the most popular destination for searchers here in New Zealand when it comes to destinations they are looking to explore. As the South Island’s most populated city, it’s perhaps no surprise to find so many people looking for directions and route planning ideas for a trip from Nelson to Christchurch.
The drive from Nelson to Christchurch is a spectacular one and will take you through at least two of the most popular destinations on our list: Blenheim and Kaikoura. The drive will first take you east across the top of the South Island before you follow the coastal road south to Christchurch.
Known as the Garden City, Christchurch is a wonderful place to explore and spend a few days as part of your South Island adventure. From the stunning botanical gardens to the meandering River Avon, Christchurch is a great place to explore for those who love the outdoors.
If you want to try something a bit different, pay a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, located out near the airport, where you can experience what life in Antarctica feels like. Take a ride on a Hagglund, experience an Antarctic storm, or visit the penguins – a great day out for adults and kids alike.
With the drive taking around 5 hours, we would recommend stopping off along the way. Maybe sample some wine in Blenheim (passengers only!) before heading off for some whale watching in Kaikoura.