Dunedin: Hit the road and find the best eats

By South Island /

Dunedin is one of the southern hemisphere’s best preserved cities. It features Edwardian and Victorian architecture from the 1800’s Gold Rush. It’s also New Zealand’s oldest university city, which earned it the reputation as the country’s centre of learning.

Is charming scenery and architecture enough to convince you to stop by Dunedin for a trip? If not, then perhaps its superb restaurants and cafes will. It has a wide variety of dining options. You can have a taste of Asia, Europe and even contemporary New Zealand tastes.

Find yourself a cheap car hire deal at Dunedin Airport and hit the road to find these best eateries.

Miga Korean BBQ and Japanese Restaurant

Miga’s philosophy is proudly all about balance. This idea rules all of the cuisine that graces the table, with the chef making sure the different flavours and textures compliment each other perfectly. You’ll have plenty of delicious Korean and Japanese dishes to choose from. The Korean BBQ is sensational with marinated meats to suit every taste bud. Your waiter brings the BBQ right to your table and grills it in front of you, or you can choose to grill it yourself to your liking.

Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant

Bacchus is sit in one of the city’s oldest and most historical buildings, the Hectagon. It dates back to the 1880s and its high ceilings and ornate cornices makes Bacchus well worth a visit. It’s the perfect setting as you feast upon some of the finest dishes. Come to Bacchus if you want some fine wine and a delicious grill. For 15 years it has been awarded the ‘NZ Beef and Lamb Hallmark of Excellence’. Hopefully that makes it easier for you to choose what to order!

Etrusco at the Savoy

Etrusco at the Savoy is one of Dunedin’s best Italian restaurants. It’s been running for more than 20 years, earning a reputation as an authentic Italian dining jewel. The family-run pizzeria also offers all of your favourite pastas, breads, antipasto and salads. Of course, there’s gluten free and vegetarian options for people with special requirements. Match any of these traditional dishes with some fine Italian wine and you’ll have yourself a night to remember.

1908 Café Restaurant

Set in the heart of the beautiful Otago Peninsula is the 1908 cafe. Stunning scenery makes dining here such a pleasant experience. Not to mention it’s only a half hour drive from Dunedin. You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of scrumptious, home-cooked meals. 1908 uses seasonal ingredients from across New Zealand and its cooks create every part of your meal from scratch. Denver leg venison and maple syrup lamb shanks are just some of the tempting delights.

No. 7 Balmac

You know the food is good when you see locals filling up every spare chair at a venue. The same can be said about No. 7 Balmac. This neighbourhood restaurant attracts lovers of fresh herbs and veggies, thanks to its chefs hand-picking ingredients from its very own garden. Breakfast treats you to buttermilk pancake with berries, or traditional eggs benedict. You can pick up some delicious wood-grilled meats and burgers in the evenings. The deserts are even more mouth-watering.



New Zealand for adventure: 5 unmissable things to do in Picton

By Picton / South Island /

Picton is one of New Zealand’s prettiest port towns. People come here for the picturesque scenery and outdoor activities. It’s the perfect place to base yourself before catching the ferry across to the North Island.

Pick up a cheap car hire deal with DriveNow and add these attractions to your to-do list at Picton.

Dolphin viewing tour from Picton

Marlborough Sounds is just as beautiful as the creatures that live there. Majestic dolphins cruise through the area, delighting tourists with every sighting. You can get up close and personal with the dolphins. Five different species are regularly seen at Marlborough Sounds – the Bottlenose, Common, Dusky, Orca and also the rare Hector’s dolphins.

Take a winery tour

Most people love a trip to a good winery. It’s definitely something you want to do during your stay in Picton. If your driver is a wine lover then it’s easy to join a tour. A guide takes you to one winery after another, explaining the history of the Wairau Valley and the delicious drops that are created here. You can also admire the stunning scenery along the way.

Mountain bike the Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track is known as one of New Zealand’s best walks. The 70km track has also earned its reputation as a classic mountain bike track. It’s New Zealand’s longest continual single track. Most riders need two days to complete the track comfortably. Some sections are tough and steep, but the gorgeous scenes are well worth the challenge. The track is recommended for intermediate and advanced riders.

Whale Station Experience

The only thing more impressive than witnessing pods of dolphins swimming through pristine waters is whales doing the same thing! Behind your experience at the National Whaling Centre, where you learn about the history of whaling. You then cruise to the Perano Whaling Station, and you may be lucky enough to see these amazing animals along the way. Perano is the only restored station in the country where you can learn about machinery used in the whaling era.

Go kayaking at Marlborough Sound

There’s 1500km of coastline at Marlborough Sound, making it a peaceful wonderland for kayakers. Deep greens and turquoise colours ought ho the water, while there is a stubby backdrop of green forests and sandy beaches. Travel through the area and it won’t be difficult to find a spot all to yourself. That’s what makes this experience extra special.


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Best campsites on New Zealand’s South Island

By New Zealand / South Island /

Across New Zealand’s South Island you’re bound to find some of the world’s most beautiful campsites. Make sure you pick up your DriveNow hire vehicle from one of New Zealand’s major cities and travel around the countryside to spend some time at these lovely locations.

Here are five of the best campsites on New Zealand’s South Island.

Te Anau Holiday Park
A stay at the Te Anau Holiday Park should be on the top of every traveller’s list. The park is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau’s crystal blue water and surrounded by the stunning Kepler mountains. It’s a tranquil location with many options to explore nearby natural attractions, including the cascading Oneroa Falls, glow-worm caves and Milford Sound.

Bay of Many Coves Campsite
The name says it all. At the Bay of Many Coves Campsite, you’re treated to views of gorgeous coves along with lush forests. There’s no drive in access to this campsite, making it even more special. However, it is accessible via the Queen Charlotte Track, which stretches 70km from the historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa. The site operates on a first come first served basis.

Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park
Explore New Zealand’s majestic Glacier Country from this quiet, rural camping ground. Exciting activities, such as whitewater rafting, ice-climbing, horse-riding and hiking, are all found within just 10 minutes of camp. Not to mention a tour of the incredible Franz Josef Glacier. People who stay here say they leave with lifelong memories.

Kinloch Campsite
At Kinloch Campsite, travellers get to camp on the shores of New Zealand’s longest lake, Lake Wakatipu. It’s a small campsite, with just 15 non-powered tent sites, but this adds to its special appeal. Swim or fish on the lake, which is surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains. Kinloch Campsite is the perfect place to stay so you can relax and take in nature’s beauty.

Angelus Hut Campsite
Surrounded by alpine wilderness and close to Lake Angelus, this campsite allows you to admire the very best of nature. Angelus Hut Campsite is a six hour walk from Mt Robert Carpark and is only accessible by foot. Here, you’ll feel at peace in the middle of New Zealand’s wild country. Bookings are required during the peak season (late November until the end of April).



Driving through New Zealand’s south island

By New Zealand / South Island /

New Zealand’s south island is home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. Hire a campervan in Christchurch and drive through some of these incredible regions.

The Alpine Pacific Triangle comprises of three incredible areas. Head to the Waipara Valley, where you’ll encounter award winning wineries. The area is best known for its rich and spicy Pinot Noirs and Rieslings. You can then expore the thermal waters along with native forests and limestone hills in Hurunui. Then there’s the waters off Kaikoura, where majestic Humpback whales and orcas are frequently spotted.

One of the most popular attractions for tourists is watching yellow-eyed penguins surf into the beach along the scenic Otago Peninsula. Also worth exploring, is Dunedin’s incredible architecture. Travel around the city and take in all the sites it has to offer. Don’t miss the country’s most photographed building, Dunedin Railway Station, which was constructed in 1906!

Queenstown and its surrounds captivate visitors from all corners of the globe. The snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and outdoor adventure activities so often seen on postcards are all found in Queenstown. Kayak across Lake Wakatipu, go bushwalking, skiing, white water rafting and canyon-swinging – these are just a few of the adventures to be had here.

The amazing Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail takes you past glaciers, mountains, golden highlands and vineyards. Another popular attraction, which is located in the middle of the Waitaki region’s coastline, is the mysterious Moeraki Boulders. The sight of these two metre high, spherical boulders scattered across the beach at sunset is a photographer’s delight.

There’s no shortness of pristine beauty in Fiordland. The region has crystal-clear lakes, lush forests and tumbling waterfalls – each as breathtaking as the other. Cruise the glacial waters of the south island’s biggest lake, Te Anau, or around the famous Milford Sound. Take a tour to the glow-worm grotto near Lake Te Anau, where the caves are geologicall active. Wherever you go, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences in Fiordland.


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Places to stay in the South Island

By Christchurch / New Zealand / South Island /

There are plenty of accommodation options in New Zealand’s South Island for your road trip adventure. Taking New Zealand campervan rental or car hire around the country is an all-time favourite of visitors from around the world, yet while DriveNow can look after your hire needs to get you from A to B, you’ll need to look at booking your accommodation or Caravan Park in advance as well.

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