OAMARU – CHRISTCHURCH (Via Timaru & Ashburton)
Travel distance is approximately 246kms (154 miles).
Allow at least 3.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
From Oamaru you can look forward to easy driving routes as the highways take you safely back towards ‘the Garden City’ of Christchurch.
Some notable stops along the route to Christchurch include:
Located in the central South Island, the rural township enjoys an Edwardian ambience with vibrant plantings of flowers and trees throughout the main streets. Take a drive into the Piazza to enjoy stunning views of Caroline Bay while enjoying lunch in one of the lovely cafes or restaurants.
A popular summer holiday spot, the bay attracts thousands to relax in the sun or frolic in the ocean in one of New Zealand’s safest swimming beaches. Other fun activities include a maze, mini golf, kiddy paddling pool plus playground.
CENTRAL TIMARU HISTORIC WALK
Enjoy an easy 30 minute stroll that covers a delightful range of historic places and buildings within the Timaru area. Simply visit the information centre for a map and you’re away!
AIGANTIGHE ART GALLERY
Located in Timaru, this art gallery is internationally renowned for its art collection and innovative exhibition. The museum holds the South Island’s third-largest public art museum collection.
TEMUKA POTTERY SHOP
Temuka homeware pottery is a New Zealand icon that has been creating pottery since the 1920’s. The cafe and pottery factory offers a wide selection of New Zealand made and hand decorated homeware.
Adjacent to SH 1, the expanding town of Ashburton is a great place to stop and enjoy the high quality shopping facilities, cafes and restaurants, craft shops, nationally recognised art gallery and museum.
ASHBURTON AQUATIC PARK
A small detour in Ashburton will take you to Lake Hood where the lake, its park surroundings and Huntingdon Park form the Ashburton Aquatic Park. Catering for nearly every water sport imaginable, enjoy the 8 lane international specification rowing course, international water ski course, jet skiing area and plenty of room to either swim, leisure boat, windsurf, kayak or just sit by the lake and relax. Kayaks available for hire.
The South Island’s largest city is also known as ‘The Garden City’ and if you visit in Spring or Summer you will understand why. Hagley Park is buried under a sea of daffodils during Spring and colourful public gardens are scattered throughout the inner city.
Christchurch is very visitor friendly and it is easy to navigate around the inner city and botanical gardens on foot, or else hop on the historic Tram which runs a circuit throughout the day past the inner city and popular Arts Centre, Gallery, etc.
Accommodation is plentiful in the city and surrounds, from swanky inner city furnished apartments to motels, quaint B&B’s, luxury hotels and the typical hotel chains.
You wont go hungry when in Christchurch! The Strip and South Of Lichfield (SOL) are both popular areas, which are just restaurants, cafes and bars, while there are many seriously fabulous restaurants boasting an international flavour, from Italian to Mexican, to Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and Cajun to name just a few.
Highly recommended Christchurch tourist attractions include…
Christchurch Gondola – Enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, Lyttelton Harbour and Pacific Ocean.
Christchurch Botanical Gardens – Established back in 1863, today the gardens are a haven for roller blading, walkers, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers! 30 hectares of park-like gardens surrounded by the Avon River and a diverse range of gardens and flowers throughout… and it’s free!
The Arts Centre – During the weekends you can sample all the international flavours from the different food stalls, including popular and some rarer ethnic culinary delights while strolling amidst the markets, bustling with the sights and sounds of artists, craftspeople, musicians, buskers and more. Situated in the historic buildings of the original Canterbury University College, the Arts Centre is one of Christchurch’s most significant cultural attractions.
Punting On The Avon – Sit back and relax custom built punt as your friendly boatman guides you past the sights of the central city as you meander along the Avon River.
Cathedral Square – Located in the heart of the city, the Visitor Information Centre is located in ‘the square’. A multi-cultural feeling exists in this exciting part of town, always popular with tourists and lunch time dwellers. Be entertained by buskers, grab a coffee from Starbucks, or just watch life colourfully go by!
Christchurch Tramway – The ultimate inner city tour that lets you experience the magic of the central city onboard a beautifully restored tram. The 2.5 kilometre track takes about 25 minutes to complete and allows you to take in many of the “must see’ attractions. These include Cathedral Square, Aquarium of Discovery, The Arts Centre, The Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens, Canterbury Museum, Punting on the Avon, New Regent Street and Cathedral Junction.
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch