State Highway 1 between Picton and Kaikoura remains closed due to slips triggered by the November earthquake.
If you’re driving between Picton and Christchurch this summer, you’ll need to take the Alternative Route. Luckily, there’s plenty of natural places to visit along the way! Our friend Kenneth takes a closer look at spots along the journey:
The route traverses state highways 63, 6 and 7 and passes through several conservation areas, including Nelson Lakes National Park, Victoria Forest Park, Lake Sumner Forest Park and Hanmer Forest Park.
Download the alternative route map and brochure here. Some of the journey highlights include:
Kerr Bay campsite, Lake Rotoiti
Accessed from SH65, 23 km south of Murchison, the Maruia Falls track starts from the carpark and descends to the Maruia River bank. From here there is an excellent viewpoint of the falls, which were created following the 1929 earthquake. It’s only a 10 minute return trip.
Marble Hill campsite
Explore the valley’s alpine beauty and native birds in amazing red beech forests. Maruia Hot Springs are nearby. There’s also a number of short family walks in the area like the Lake Daniell Track. Find out more about the campsite here.
The Alpine Nature Walk in Lewis Pass
The Alpine Nature Walk in Lewis Pass provides an opportunity to break up the long drive while enjoying spectacular scenery and beech forest. This is a 20 minute loop track at the start of the St James Walkway. It leads through an alpine wetland, with views of Gloriana Peak and the Spenser Mountains. Picnic tables make it a great spot to stop for food.
For more spots to visit and more information about the Alternative Route, visit www.doc.govt.nz/PictonToChch.