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15 BEST Stops on the Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef

15 BEST Stops on the Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef

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Are you looking to enjoy some of the best road trips on the South Island? Then you can’t miss out on the scenic drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef!

This super short journey is full of surprises, and on my time doing this route I actually missed a ton of stops along the way. I don’t want the same to happen to you, which is why I decided to put together this guide so you can have the best experience possible.

Here are 15 of the best stops along the way – don’t forget to take plenty of photos, and of course, have an amazing time!

About the Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef

The scenic drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef is, without a doubt, one of the most common (but undeniably incredible) journeys people take on the South Island. The 284-kilometer (176-mile) trip heads north from the Lakes District of Wanaka and Queenstown and travels through Glacier Country, also known as the stunning West Coast.

The drive will take you just over 3.5 hours along a windy road that passes some amazing natural attractions, some of which even the locals might not know about!

One mistake many travelers make is not allowing enough time to complete the trip. If you plan on stopping along the way (and you should), this road trip should take the majority of your day.

Yep, that’s right, the trip from Wanaka to Franz Josef should take around 8 hours if you plan on stopping to enjoy the scenery and experience the best attractions. You may even want to stop along the way to spend a night in one of the remote towns, such as Haast or Fox Glacier!

It’s important to know that the highway to Franz Josef is single-lane the entire way with very sharp bends and blind corners. In bad weather, you should take it slow, and during rain, be sure to check weather reports as major slips do happen on this route. These can cause flooding and close the highway from time to time.

The west coast is a wild place and for those who love adventure, it’s going to be one road trip you remember for the rest of your life! Just be sure to enjoy all the best things to do in Wanaka before you leave.

Related Read: Be sure to fill up with an awesome breakfast in Wanaka before you go too. You have a long drive ahead of you, plus, there are some amazing restaurants worth checking out in Wanaka.

Wanaka to Franz Josef FAQs

A lady stands in the middle of the road on New Zealand's west coast on the South Island between Wanaka and Franz Josef
Stunning views on the road trip!

15 Best Stops on the Drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef

1. Lake Hawea

A lady sits on a cliff at Lake Hawea
Lake Hawea is beautiful!

Lake Hawea is a 15-minute drive outside of Wanaka and our first stop on this epic road trip. Although it’s not as famous as Lake Wakatipu (in Queenstown) and Lake Wanaka, it’s still absolutely gorgoeus and worth a stop.

Lake Hawea is New Zealand’s 9th largest lake and surrounding the lake is a truly stunning landscape with tall mountain peaks and even wildflowers in the spring. The lake itself is very popular with keen fishermen as well as kayakers and kite surfers. For me though, visiting Lake Hawea is all about sitting above the cliffs and viewpoints to admire the views.

As you drive towards Franz Josef, you’ll pass Lake Hawea on your right, and along the drive there are a few different places to stop. The first is the Lake Hawea Dam lookout (pictured above). This viewpoint gives you breathtaking views of the lake and the best part is that most people miss the turn, so it’s a quiet place to stop.

The second and the more popular stop-off point is the Lake Hawea Lookout further down the road. This viewpoint is often crowded, but the views are pretty spectacular, so no wonder!

There’s also a great 3-4 hour loop track here that starts in Lake Hawea township and follows Timaru River to Timaru Creek. The track ventures through native beech forest and along the braided Timaru River. The Timaru Creek is also a gorgeous place to stop and enjoy a picnic.

2. Lake Wanaka Lookout (just after “The Neck”)

Bailey at Lake Wanaka Lookout
It’s such a magnificent lake!

You can’t just enjoy views of Lake Wanaka from Wanaka! The lake is simply too big to enjoy from one spot. So, I suggest stopping at the Lake Wanaka Lookout just after “The Neck”. This is where Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea once connected and are now separated by a narrow piece of land known as an isthmus or “The Neck” as it’s more colloquially known.

At the viewpoint there is a small parking lot to pull your car over, this is just a quick photo stop and offers a different viewpoint of Lake Wanaka. This stop can get very busy in the summer months, so there may be limited parking.

3. The Blue Pools

A suspension bridge over the Blue Pools on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island
You won’t be able to believe your eyes when you go, it’s that blue!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Blue Pools are currently closed for maintenance, with completion estimated for the summer 2024 period. Make sure to check out this website from the Department of Conservation for the latest updates.

About 30 minutes past “The Neck” is one of the most popular stops on the road from Queenstown to Franz Josef. The Blue Pools are pretty well-named – these pools from the Makarora River are perfect for a quick dip or “day at the beach”, and they’re really blue!

You can reach the Blue Pools via a short, easy walk through the native forest just off the highway. The walk is considered one of the best hikes on the South Island and will take you over two swing bridges, with the second giving you a prime view of the bright blue, Gatorade-like waters below.

If you’re feeling brave or if it’s a particularly hot day, you may want to cool down in the freezing cold waters. The average water temperature here is just 9 °C (48 °F) so be prepared for a polar dip!

There are also a huge number of annoying sandflies that like to hang out at the Blue Pools, so be sure to wear insect repellant as well as long pants to keep them at bay. Their bites are super itchy and if you’re not used to them, they can hang around for a few days or even weeks!

Interesting Fact: The Blue Pools get their color from the nearby glaciers. These glaciers crush rock into a fine powder known as rock flour as they are formed. When they melt, the rock flour travels with the water and reflects the light, creating that striking blue color.

Related Read: There’s a lot to learn about the Blue Pools. You can find out everything you need to know in this blog!

4. Haast Pass Lookout

Next up is a quick stop to stretch your legs! Haast Pass is the mountain pass you’ll need to climb, which separates Otago and the western coastal region. Just under a 10-minute drive from the Blue Pools is the Haast Pass Lookout. There’s a popular walking track here (Haast Pass Lookout Track), which is a 2-kilometer (1.2 mi) return track that should take you about 20 minutes or so.

The hike offers fantastic views of Mount Aspiring National Park and for such a short walk, it’s a must-do on your drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef!

5. Fantail Falls

Bailey at Fantail Falls in New Zealand
It’s only a quick stop!
Fantail Falls, South Island, New Zealand
The water is crystal clear!

Just past Haast Pass Lookout is the beautiful Fantail Falls. A short two-minute walk from the parking lot here will bring you to the Haast River and this gorgeous waterfall standing at 23 meters (75 feet) tall. This stop is only short, but it’s a beautiful place for lunch and one of the best places to visit in Mount Aspiring National Park.

If you have an extra day or two and are after a unique adventure on the road from Queenstown to Franz Josef, then, I highly recommend hiking from Fantail Falls to the Brewster Hut. This track is considered an advanced hike, so some experience is advised. The track will take you about 4 to 5 hours to hike up, and you will have to cross the Haast River on foot (no bridge!), as well as climb through the forest.

At the end of the trail, though, you’ll get to spend the night at the stunning Brewster Hut located high in the mountains. This is a really unique experience and must be booked in advance on the DOC website! The hut sleeps a maximum of 12 people and costs $40 NZD per adult. 

6. Thunder Creek Falls

Thunder Creek Falls, NZ
Don’t miss Thunder Creek Falls!
Bailey stands at the Thunder Creek Falls Viewpoint in NZ
It’s huge!

The first waterfall I ever saw on the South Island was Thunder Creek Falls, and it got me so excited to explore New Zealand. Wow, that brings back some (long-distant) memories!

Now, Thunder Creek Falls might not be your first waterfall, but you shouldn’t miss this stop on your road trip from Wanaka to Franz Josef. The falls stand at a whopping 28 meters (92 feet) and are accessed via a short 5-minute walking track from the parking lot on the side of the highway.

It’s just a quick stop and with so many sandflies, it’s likely you won’t stay long! Trust me on that one, my pale Canadian skin fresh off the plane did not do well that day!

7. Haast River Lookout

Bailey at Haast River Lookout, New Zealand
Haast River on a moody day!

Another beautiful but quick stop along this road trip is at the Haast River. This lookout point has gorgeous views downstream with the gorgeous Mount Aspiring as a backdrop. The views here are especially beautiful on a cloudy or rainy day, when the clouds float midway between the brightly colored river and the mountains.

There’s a small gravel pull-off here for you to pull your car off the road and stop safely.

8. Roaring Billy Falls

Bailey at Roaring Billy Falls in New Zealand
Roaring Billy!
Roaring Billy Falls, New Zealand
The glacier water makes the river so blue!

More waterfalls? Yep, there are plenty on the west coast! I really enjoyed the 15-minute walk along a fern-lined track that brings you to the aptly named Roaring Billy Falls. You’ll encounter some more rare trees along the way too, including the miro, matai, and silver beech trees!

Roaring Billy Falls is a typical example of a cascade waterfall and is 30 meters (98 feet) tall. There’s a viewing platform here (perfect for snapping those Instagram photos), and the track itself is considered easy without many uphill climbs or stairs. Once again, it’s another great place for lunch or a snack, and surprisingly, this stop isn’t usually busy!

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9. Haast town

Displays at the Haast Visitor center, New Zealand
And it’s free!
Bailey at the Haast Visitor center, New Zealand
The visitor center is well worth checking out!

A short stop in Haast town is a great opportunity to fuel up or grab some lunch or a snack on your road trip. I recommend the Otoko Espresso on Marks Road for a strong coffee and a bite to eat! If you’re feeling tired after the drive from Queenstown, then Haast is also a great place to spend the night, with a variety of accommodations available.

While in Haast, I strongly recommend stopping at the Visitor Center. Here, you can ask any questions you may have about the area, as well as grab brochures about hikes and nearby attractions. But besides the info, the Haast Visitor Center is actually like a mini-museum, and it’s free to visit! There are interactive exhibits and displays that are well worth checking out.

Also, worth seeing in Haast is the Haast River Bridge, a narrow one-lane bridge surrounded by stunning scenery. At 737 meters (2,418 ft) long, it’s actually the longest one-lane bridge in New Zealand!

10. Knights Point Lookout

Knights Lookout on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island
The rugged coastline of the West Coast!

As you drive along the west coast, those coastal views will slowly slip away and give way to rivers, lush forests, and mountains! However, as you pass Haast town you’ll get a glimpse of the coastline once again, and wow is it beautiful. My favorite spot on this part of the journey is Knights Point Lookout!

This epic viewpoint peers over cliffs with views of the Tasman Sea. Below, you’ll see some cool rock formations and be able to smell and feel the rough ocean below. So be prepared for high winds!

There is a large parking lot and toilet facilities at Knights Point Lookout, so it’s worth stopping here to take some photos and stretch your legs.

11. South Westland Salmon Farm

Eggs Bennidict at South Westland Salmon Farm, New Zealand
The salmon benedict is so good!
Salmon farms at South Westland Salmon Farm
The salmon farm.

Salmon farms are dotted all around the South Island and most come with a cute café to try their products. South Westland Salmon Farm on the west coast is no exception to this rule! Dating as far back as 1986, this salmon farm and café is just a 50-minute drive south of Fox Glacier and is a pretty unique stop on your journey from Queenstown to Franz Josef.

South Westland is a pond-rearing farm, and they farm Chinook, King, Spring, and Quinnat salmon here. All were originally found in the Sacramento River in California before being brought over to New Zealand – I wonder if they’ve caught the accent yet?

Of course, at the on-site café, salmon is the specialty, but they also have a host of counter foods like cakes and sandwiches if you’re after something lighter. Sandwiches start from $10 NZD, with more filling meals like eggs benedict and big traditional breakfasts available too.

12. Fox Glacier

Close up photo of the Fox Glacier
A close-up of the Fox Glacier. It looks so cool!

As you drive towards Fox Glacier, you’ll begin to see the landscape change. The valleys will open up, and you’ll soon realize you are in New Zealand’s glacier country!

Fox Glacier descends from the Southern Alps down into the rainforest on the West Coast. It’s one of the most accessible glaciers in the world at only 300 meters (984 feet) above sea level – few glaciers in the world come this low! At a huge 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in length, Fox Glacier is the West Coast’s longest glacier.

You can arrange an ice-hiking adventure here. Fox Glacier is also not as steep as the neighboring Franz Josef Glacier, so it’s a better ice-hiking option for those less experienced or with mobility issues. That said, a guided tour like this 4-hour heli hike adventure has to be my favorite way to experience the Fox Glacier.

Not only do you get to hike with a professional and friendly local guide, who will fill you in on all sorts of wonderful facts and stories about the glacier as you go, but you also get to see the glacier from the sky as part of the heli tour!

Starting from $673 NZD per day, this isn’t a cheap tour, but when it comes to experiencing the best of what Fox Glacier has to offer, you can’t beat it. You can book your spot here online – you must book in advance as this tour is often fully booked.

If you want to see the glacier but don’t want to pay for a tour, you can hike the Fox Glacier Valley Walk. This 1-hour return track gets you as close as you can to the glacier without a guided tour, but it’s honestly still pretty far away. They’ve recently closed the track that once got closer to the glacier.

Back in the town of Fox Glacier, there are some good options for food if you’re hungry, including Betsey Jane Eatery & Bar and The White Pub on Cook Flat Road. There are also a few accommodation options here if you fancy spending the night to help break up your journey.

There are also glowworm caves a short walk from the town center that are well worth a visit. To see them, head out at night along the Minnehaha Walk.

13. Lake Matheson

Bailey at Lake Matheson with reflections on the mountains
This is one magnificent spot!
Bailey on the edge of Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Bailey on the edge of Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Only a 5-minute drive from Fox Glacier town is the beautiful Lake Matheson. It’s one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand and a personal favorite of mine. On a calm, clear day, Lake Matheson reflects New Zealand’s highest mountain – Mount Cook! This photo of the reflection is famous around NZ, and you’ve likely seen it before!

To reach the lake, you’ll need to take a short walk from the parking lot and trailhead. The hike is easy and to complete a loop of the lake you’ll need around 1.5 hours. With that said, some choose to only hike to the pontoon at the lake, which takes around 40 minutes.

The track takes visitors through tall rimu and kahikatea trees to the pontoon, which is the ideal spot for a photograph. Long-finned eels can also be found in the dark water of Lake Matheson.

This is also a fantastic chance to join a guided nature walk to Lake Matheson, where you’ll be able to take in all the scenery while listening to the stories and history of the area from your friendly local guide. I always try to fit in at least one guided nature walk when I’m visiting somewhere new, as by the end of it, I always feel like I know the area just like a local might do!

At just $90 NZD per person and lasting 3 to 4 hours, it’s also very affordable and a great way to snap up some epic trip photos to show the folks back home. After all, nobody knows the best spots to explore like the locals do. You can check availability and book your spot on the tour here.

Did you know: Lake Matheson is a traditional mahinga kai (food gathering place) for the native Maoris!

14. Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier trekking tour
Walking on a glacier is an unworldly experience!

The Franz Josef Glacier is arguably the most visited glacier in New Zealand. Like Fox Glacier, it descends down to around 300 meters (984 feet) above sea level and is a whopping 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) long.

To see the glacier without a tour, you can opt for the 30-minute walk on the Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk. The trail takes you through the native forest up to a viewpoint. It is quite far from the actual glacier itself (a few years ago you could get much closer) but still, a worthy place to check out.

I’ve walked the Franz Josef Glacier Valley walk a few times, but I have to say that my most memorable experience here was when I tried out this 3-hour heli and hiking guided tour. I mean, it’s one thing to walk the trails to viewpoints across the valley and another to explore the mystical ice caves and see it all from above in a helicopter!

Of course, helicopter experiences don’t tend to be cheap, but if you’re looking for that signature experience that helps define your trip, then this is definitely worth checking out.

Tickets cost $709 NZD per person, which includes all equipment, the scenic helicopter ride, as well as guidance from your professional guide for the 2-hour hike. Don’t forget to check out available dates and reserve your spot online in advance here (this tour is often sold-out months in advance, so this isn’t one to wait on!)

If hiking isn’t quite your style, you can still enjoy the views from above on this twin glacier helicopter flight. Soaring high above the glacier is, without a doubt, the best way to get a full glimpse into just how large it actually is, and as you peek out of the windows you’ll also get to hear plenty of interesting stories and facts from your pilot!

15. Franz Josef Town

Bailey walks down the main street in Franz Josef town, New Zealand
I love Franz Josef!

The last stop on this road trip is, of course, Franz Josef. I love Franz Josef and on any road trip up the west coast, it’s a place I always stop for a night or two. Franz Josef is only a small town, but it’s a lively place that makes for the perfect place to stop!

There are lots of different activities to try here in Franz Josef. You can enjoy bike rides, gorgeous walks, and even action-packed adventures like rafting! For the super adventurous among you, Franz Josef is one of the best places in NZ to go skydiving – I mean with this kind of scenery, it’s hard to beat!

This Franz Josef skydiving experience is definitely one of those activities you’ll remember, so whether you’re a complete beginner to skydiving or have given it a go before, you’re in for some serious thrills. You also have the option of choosing between different heights you’ll jump from, going up to a whopping 19,000 ft (5,791 m), which is seriously cool!

If soaring through the skies isn’t quite for you, you can leave it to the birds on a guided tour of the white heron colony at Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve. This is one for the nature lovers out there, and if you’re traveling between September and February, you’re in time for nesting season!

Bailey reads a sign at the West Coast Wildlife Center in Franz Josef
Reading up on these little birds at the Franz Josef Wildlife Center
Bailey with a beer at Snakebite Brewery in Franz Josef
Having a beer at the local brewery – cheers!

You can also grab yourself a ticket to the Franz Josef Wildlife Center to see and learn about the adorable Rowi – the world’s rarest kiwi. There are unfortunately only 600 of these left in existence in the country and the sanctuary helps breed them.

This is such a great family-friendly activity, and you can even get backstage passes, which takes you behind the scenes to learn all about how the kiwis are hatched and cared for! You can check all available passes and book online here.

Another activity I love in Franz Josef is a visit to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools. These beautiful hot pools are so relaxing, especially after a long drive or hiking adventure. There are three public pools that are all at different temperatures as well as private pools.

After all that driving and exploring, you’re sure to be hungry, so this is a great chance to enjoy some tasty food in the highly recommended Alice May or Monsoon, both on Cron Street in town. If you love craft beer and pub food, then Snakebite Brewery is a must. It’s my favorite place to go for a hearty meal!

There is more to see and do, so be sure to check out my guide to the best things to do in Franz Josef. It includes a lot of beautiful hikes that are hard to find elsewhere, as well as free activities and even the best tours!

Related Read: Heading to Christchurch next? Check out my blog about all of the best stops on any road trip from Franz Josef to Christchurch.

Essential Information to Know Before You Go

Views on the Roberts Point Track in Franz Josef
Stunning views of the glacier!
  • The Wanaka to Franz Josef route is 284 km (176 miles) in total, which should take you just over 3.5 hours. But considering all the stops I’ve listed here, you can easily turn this into a full-day affair.
  • In the winter months (May to September) you should carry snow chains with you as the roads can get slippery during bad weather.
  • Be sure to bring appropriate clothing – the West Coast (Haast, Franz Josef & Fox Glacier) is notorious for its high rainfall. So, bring good wet weather gear as well as suitable footwear if you plan on walking to the glacier.
  • It’s a good idea to fuel up before you leave Wanaka as there are limited gas stations along the route. There are small gas stations in Haast, Fox Glacier town as well as Franz Josef town.
  • Bring insect repellent! Sandflies can be a real pain, and you will most definitely run into these little guys at some point along this road trip.

Things to do in Wanaka Before You Leave

The Cardrona atv tour
Photo credit: The Cardrona ATV Tour
  • Cardrona Valley Mountain Quad – Zip up into the mountains on a quad bike! This tour makes sightseeing a little bit more thrilling as you’ll follow your guide through winding dirt tracks past lush farmland. Look to spot sheep and cattle and learn from your local guide about the area! You’ll stop to take in the panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains of the Cardrona Valley. It’s only a 2-hour tour, so you will still have a lot of time for other activities.
  • Wine and Maori Culture Tour – You’ll get to taste wine right from the land of the indigenous Maori people in Wanaka. This tour is a half-day experience that includes round-trip transport, so you don’t have to worry about driving. Just focus on the wine and beautiful landscapes as you visit the different wineries and enjoy the provided cheese platter.
  • Horse Riding Trek – This is the perfect leisurely sightseeing activity that takes you up into the countryside and past historical gold-mining locals for some fabulous views and information from your local guide about this area’s past. You’ll navigate through cattle farms and across a river and end the day with a free beer from the Cardrona Pub on the way back to base.
  • Jet Boat, Hike, and Raft Adventure – This tour is for thrill seekers! It’s a full day of activities including a jet boat and rafting ride on the Matukituki River and a nature trek to take in the beautiful landscapes of Mount Aspiring National Park where you’ll stop for lunch at the base of a glacier! It costs $379 NZD per person, but it is more cost-effective than booking these activities separately.

Where to Stay in Franz Josef

Franz Josef town, New Zealand
Franz Josef town, New Zealand

The small town of Franz Josef may be small, but it’s such a beautiful place to stay with lots of lively restaurants, bars, and other fun attractions to check out in town! There are lots of fantastic accommodation choices in Franz Josef to check out too – here are some of my favorites:

Glow Worm Accommodation – $

For budget travelers, Glow Worm Accommodation is a great choice. It’s located within walking distance of everything and offers dorm and private rooms at really affordable prices. I stayed here on my first-ever trip down the West Coast and had a social night with other travelers. The private rooms here are also really nice, and super affordable!

A bed in a dorm here starts as low as $40 NZD per night, and you can nab a private room from around $115 NZD per night. This is a popular accommodation choice though, so make sure to check out your dates in advance. You can book your stay here on Booking.com or here on Hostelworld.

Aspen Court (Franz Josef) – $$

For those with a slightly larger budget, the Aspen Court Franz Josef is a good mid-range option with outstanding reviews. The hotel is located on the outskirts of town but is only a short walk from the best restaurants and bars. They also have apartments and studios, so it’s perfect for those who like to prepare their own meals or those traveling in a group/family.

A one-night stay here at Aspen Court starts from around $297 NZD for a studio room, with all rooms coming with a kitchenette too. You can check out available dates and book your stay here on Booking.com.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat – $$$

If you’re a luxury traveler, the Te Waonui Forest Retreat is pure bliss! The entire retreat is surrounded by lush forest, and you’ll be able to hear the sounds of nature right from your balcony. Rooms are also large and well decorated, and you’ll also have access to their state-of-the-art spa during your stay, offering massages, facials, and more.

Don’t forget about their incredible on-site restaurant too! The Canopy Restaurant and Bar offers “fine dining in the rainforest,” where you’ll dine among the treetops, savoring local produce and the world-famous Otago lamb!

Rooms here at the Te Waonui Forest Retreat aren’t cheap, starting from around $900 NZD per night. That said, if you’re celebrating a special occasion, looking for the perfect place to enjoy your honeymoon, or simply want to experience one of the best hotels Franz Josef, this is the place for you! You can check your dates online here and book your stay here on Booking.com.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!

You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:

  • Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
  • Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It’s what most budget travelers use for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your campervan or motorhome through JUCY or Star RV! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey smiles at the camera in Franz Josef
Thanks for reading!

After reading this guide it’s not hard to see why the road trip from Wanaka to Franz Josef is a favorite of mine. Seriously, with all these amazing places to stop, how could anyone not enjoy it!?

I hope this blog has helped you plan your amazing adventure – I’m so excited for you! If you did, then don’t leave just yet! Stick around and check out more of my travel guides from all around New Zealand and especially on the South Island. If you’re looking for something particular, check out Queenstown, Wanaka, road trips, or my hikes category! I’ve also listed a few of my most popular guides below to get you started.

75 EPIC Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

40 Best Hikes on the South Island of New Zealand

The BEST Time to Visit New Zealand – Weather & Activities

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    Kelly

    Tuesday 28th of May 2024

    Thanks for the wonderfully helpful information regarding travel on the South Island! We will be visiting that area in February 2025; in your opinion, do we need to/should we book accommodations in advance or is availability such that it’s safe to find them without reservations ahead of time? Kelly

    Bailey

    Thursday 13th of June 2024

    Hey Kelly,

    So sorry about the late reply. You should 100% book in advance. February is a bust time of year in NZ!

    Thanks Bailey