Discover 7 days of picture perfect beaches. From Nelson Lakes and Golden Bay at the top of the South Island, to Lyall Bay and the cosmopolitan cultural capital of Wellington at the bottom of the North. There’s a gorgeous beach for everyone, and you’ll find yourself at the heart of it all.
Pick up your camper from Auckland and journey south to Wellington to start this itinerary.
Wellington to Wellington 765km
Anytime of the year
Wellington to Nelson Lakes National Park
DISTANCE 230KM - DRIVING TIME 5.5 HOURS
AM Catch Wellington to Picton Ferry. Drive to Nelson Lakes National Park
PM Arrive in St Arnaud Nelson Lakes, Scenic walk in Nelson Lakes National Park
Overnight St Arnaud
Nelson Lakes to Abel Tasman National Park
DISTANCE 120KM - DRIVING TIME 5.5 HOURS
AM Travel on to Abel Tasman National Park
PM Half-day Kayaking with Kahu Kayaks or a scenic trip with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures, stay several days if you want to fully explore this region
Overnight Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park to Golden Bay
DISTANCE 25KM - DRIVING TIME 35 MINS
AM Drive around and explore the beautiful Golden Bay area. Indulge in the Art and Craft activities
PM Relax on the beach
Overnight Golden Bay
Golden Bay to Farewell Split
DISTANCE 50KM - DRIVING TIME 50 MINS
Full Day Farewell Spit Tour (Check tidal departure)
Collingwood to Wellington
DISTANCE 340KM - DRIVING TIME 8 HOURS
AM Depart Golden Bay (leave early to catch PM ferry across to Wellington)
PM Arrive Picton, catch ferry to Wellington
AM Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a bold and innovative approach to telling New Zealand’s stories – a must-do!
PM Lunch at one of Wellington’s favourite cafes, City Gallery, an excellent representation of New Zealand’s dynamic contemporary culture
Take a drive to Porirua and visit the Pataka Museum
Enjoy dinner at one of Wellington’s trendy restaurants and include a drink at an upmarket bar along Courtenay Place
AM Hop on one of the tours of Middle Earth. Wellington was the main filming and production location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shot in New Zealand between October 1999 and December 2000, you should experience Middle Earth in all its diversity whilst in Wellington.
PM Lunch – depending on the length and itinerary of your tour, you may want to enjoy a relaxing lunch the Chocolate Fish Cafe or Eva Dixon’s. Both places are popular with the cast and crew given the proximity to Weta Studios,
If you have some time for shopping, check out Zambesi, Starfish, Robyn Mathieson and Voon, as well as Hema facial products at Nature Unplugged – all popular with Liv Tyler (Arwen)
Dinner – Green Parrot was popular with Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) who also launched one of his books there. Otherwise visit the Hobbits’ hangout – Matterhorn, a Wellington institution.