12 May, 2018
Last updated on 19 July, 2022
Posted by Spaceships Crew
Creating the ultimate travel bucket list or your to-see-list for your road trip can be done in various ways. The easiest one is checking out Lonely Planet’s latest book ‘50 Natural Wonders to Blow Your Mind’ (first edition released in May 2017). One road trip in New Zealand and you can tick off 3 items from that list.
Our little country has three natural wonders listed on Lonely Planet’s list. How cool is that? There aren’t that many countries in the book that are listed with more than three items. Australia has 3 natural wonders listed and the mighty USA has 5 of them. So you can imagine that us Kiwis are stoked with our 3 mentions by Lonely Planet.
A road trip is the easiest and most fun way to tick off these 3 New Zealand natural wonders. It's also the most flexible way to get around in New Zealand. Hop into a Spaceships campervan and go for it. Our campervans can be picked up in Auckland (between the airport and the city centre) or Christchurch (next to the airport) and there are no one-way fees.
These mysterious boulders on the beach are a 3hrs 30-minutes drive from Christchurch. Follow State Highway 1 south and you’ll see the signs soon enough. Of course, it’s more fun to take your time and make more stops along the way. For instance, start with a trip to Akaroa on Banks Peninsula to see some rare Hector’s dolphins.
Moeraki Boulders | photo: Eli Duke (CC BY SA 2.0)
On your road trip from Christchurch to the south-west of the South Island, you’ll come across amazing places like Geraldine, Lake Tekapo and Queenstown. And of course, all the amazing things to do and see along the way.
But at the far end of that road trip State Highway 94 will take you to Milford Sound, the second natural wonder you’re about to check off your Lonely Planet travel list. Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice age. It’s a fiord with high cliffs and dark water. It’s an impressive place that you can enjoy by boat or view its underwater world at the Underwater Observatory.
Milford Sound - one of the 50 Natural Wonders to Blow Your Mind
Waitomo Glow-worm Caves
Back to the North Island for the 3rd natural wonder on that list by Lonely Planet. Waitomo is a 2 hrs 30-minute drive from our Auckland depot, so it’s perfect as one of the first or last things to do on your road trip.
If it wasn’t on the Lonely Planet’s list of ‘50 natural wonders to blow your mind’ it would still be a must-see attraction. Park your Spaceship and go for the famous boat ride under the magical glow of these little creatures, the glow-worms. More info on the official website of Waitomo glow-worm caves.
Spaceships Rocket campervan parked, ready to enjoy the Waitomo Caves | photo: Jens Hilligsøe (CC BY 2.0)
See more natural wonders in New Zealand
We understand that Lonely Planet only had room for just a few amazing places to see in New Zealand on their worldwide list of those 50 items. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeing the rest of the country.
Hey, New Zealand is one big natural wonder. And to see it all (well if that’s ever possible in one road trip) you’ll get two free guidebooks with your Spaceships campervan. It’s the NZ Frenzy guidebook, specifically written for exploring New Zealand like a local. It’ll take you to places that other more famous guidebooks won’t even mention.