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Long Weekend Road Trip - Christchurch to Mount Cook

Easter's long weekend is approaching and although you have the luxury of an extra two days off work, it’s not quite long enough to travel very far and still have the opportunity to unwind.

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Long Weekend Road Trip - Christchurch to Mount Cook

 

Easter's long weekend is approaching and although you have the luxury of an extra two days off work, it’s not quite long enough to travel very far and still have the opportunity to unwind. A road trip from Christchurch offers a great way to get out of town and unwind if you stop along the way and explore some of our small townships along the way.

Canterbury has endless great destinations, including Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill to name a few. However, a road trip to Mount Cook, Aoraki is personally one of our favourites and a perfect one to undertake over a long weekend.

Geraldine

The first main stop, just a two-hour drive south of Christchurch, is the small township, Geraldine. Many may tell you that there’s not a lot to do and see in this small South Canterbury town. However, if you want to kick off the weekend with a bit of adventure, then Geraldine is a good place to begin. From forest walks and mountain biking to grade five white water rafting and horse trekking, there are plenty of activities to keep you and your family entertained.

Geraldine isn’t short of accommodation either, with a campsite right in the centre of town, as well as a farm stay campground around seven kilometres south. However, if you fancy resting up somewhere a wee bit cosier, then there are plenty batches and bed & breakfasts in the local area.

Tekapo & Mount Cook

So far, the drive has been flat with fairly mediocre scenery. However, once you set off from Geraldine, the drive will soon become hilly and winding, with incredible views. Once you arrive at the beautiful Lake Tekapo, it’s a good chance to stock up on supplies and grab some breakfast, lunch or brunch from one of the cafes, bakeries or bar & grills. This place isn’t short of places to eat and there are a variety of options to chose from that will guarantee to please the entire family.

Once you arrive at Mount Cook Village, a good place to start would be at the Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre, arguably one of the best DOC centres in New Zealand. Get information and advice on walking routes and other activities as well as the weather forecast for the next two days.

If the weather is set for good conditions, we suggest you enjoy one of the half day walks. A favourite of ours is the Hooker Valley track. If it’s a rainy day, then you can fill your time at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, a multimedia museum that is a tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary.

The Mackenzie region is renowned for it’s stargazing and if you’re feeling too tired to make the trip back to Tekapo to experience a stargazing tour, then you can always look at the evening sky from a table at Mount Cook’s finest, the Old Mountaineers Cafe, Bar & Restaurant.

Mackenzie Adventures

For your last day in the Mackenzie region you may just want to do another relaxing walk in the native forest or seek a quiet place to enjoy the views. However, if you’re keen for adventure, this area offers a wide range of activities from water sports through to scenic flights and glacier exploration. Whatever you’re feeling up to, you can be assured that you’ll be taking home with you a collection of happy memories.

If you’re heading back to Christchurch, we suggest taking the alternative drive through the Inland Scenic Route from Geraldine to prolong the beautiful views and an unforgettable long weekend.