So you've arrived in Nelson, you're ready to pick up your rental vehicle from Downtown Car Hire and begin your journey south, but what is there to do along the way? The South Island of New Zealand is a magical land full of hobbits and orcs and some incredible scenery to see along the way.
Let me take you on what I consider to be the ideal journey to Christchurch.
A unique set of circumstances occur here to make it the only place we know where flames are burning on the floor of a forest – without burning the trees down! There are a couple of places in the world where flames come out of the ground, but usually in an area of bare rock.
Check out this video by my mate Bare Kiwi from his time up at the Natural Flames!
First Stop - Murchison
Murchison is the true definition of an undiscovered outdoor paradise, located in the top half of New Zealand's South Island. With an unassuming and unpretentious face, this small town is home to some truly unique and stunning activities, eateries, outdoor adventures and a large number of amazing accommodation options from back packer & Holiday Park through to 5-star luxury.
Second Stop - Maruia Falls
Earthquakes have created some New Zealand waterfalls, often through the upthrust of rock along a fault. The Murchison earthquake of 1929 produced the Maruia Falls through a different process – a landslide in the Maruia Valley. This diverted the course of the Maruia River further west, forcing it to cut a new channel over an old river bank. Once the river had eroded the gravels, the bank became the Maruia Falls.
Third Stop - Hanmer Springs
The best place to escape, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is an easy drive, just 90 minutes north of Christchurch.
The best place to indulge, with a range of pools including relaxing rock pools, soothing
sulphur pools, an array of water jets and bubbles - at a range of temperatures.
Plus a luxurious day spa with a range of treatments, private pools, sauna and steam rooms. The best place to act like a kid, with an activity pool, lap pool, lazy river, water slides, garden picnic areas and the Tea Kiosk Café & Grill.
Quite simply – the best place.