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Favorite New Zealand RV Trips: Queenstown to Christchurch

Queenstown is an idyllic place to start an RV holiday, and this trip from Queenstown to Christchurch by RV Rental will take six days excluding any detours that may tempt us. There’s an airport that connects to Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Nelson, and Wellington. Plus Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, and Melbourne in Australia. After we fly in, we find there’s a rental RV pickup too.

Queenstown to Christchurch by RV Rental

But first, we should pause, and take in Queenstown’s charms. Being down south, it’s a major snow sport and adventure magnet. And when the snow melts activities switch to whitewater rafting and bungy jumping. If you prefer your holidays more peaceful you could take a detour to the most southern wine producing region in the world and pick up a few bottles of pinot noir.

Queenstown to Christchurch by RV Rental,motorhome,Remarkable mountains,new zealand
The ‘Remarkable Mountains’ of Queenstown: Donaldytong BY CC 3.0

The First Three Days: Queenstown to Mount Cook

Queenstown is six hours steady driving south of Christchurch and in theory we could do it in a day. Since the joy of RV holidays is pottering along, we only hit the road at 3 p.m. and arrived in Arrowtown under an hour later. We were pleased to find  a charming and quirky village for the night, and discover Wanaka was scarcely an hour away.

Wanaka, on the other hand turned out to be a popular ski resort, and we felt like high society rubbernecking with some movie stars making a show nearby. “You mean you just jump in and go anywhere in that thing, and gosh it is comfortable inside,” a famous star said. Day three saw us traversing spectacular scenery for 150 kilometres (100 miles) past mountain splendour and inspiring lakes before arriving at Mount Cook. This is the highest mountain in New Zealand at 3,724 metres (12,218 feet).

Mount Cook at Sunrise from Hooker Valley: Pseudopanax BY CC 3.0

Days Four to Six: Mount Cook to Christchurch

The second half of the RV trip was 325 kilometres (200 miles) so we had another three relaxing days ahead of us. We laughed when the odd car came rushing past at the speed limit. We were going somewhere slowly instead. The first leg of 52 kilometres (32 miles) to Lake Tekapo was a jewel of a journey again and as usual we slept under the stars.

Over the following two delightful days we explored Geraldine (the cheese and pickle capital of New Zealand) and  Christchurch itself which as we know is recovering from an earthquake. We absolutely loved the people, and the gracious city with its free-standing food and coffee carts, regular market days, and refreshing laid-back spirit reminiscent of good old England.

Lake Tekapo Looking Back to Mount Cook: Adrian Price BY CC 2.0

Alas, Our Journey from Queenstown to Christchurch Was Over

We drove straight through to Christchurch Airport for we had a late afternoon flight to catch. It’s an international airport also serving as the major base for the New Zealand, Italian and United States Antarctic programs. We found the return RV rental people friendly and efficient. Thanks fellas. You were great!

Queenstown to Christchurch by RV Rental,boat sheds, avon river, new zealand,hagley park
Boats Sheds on the Avon River, Christchurch: Greg O’Beirne BY CC 3.0

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