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Spectacular road trips. South Island New Zealand

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The South Island of New Zealand has three times fewer people as the North Island. Think open roads and adventure. The island is characterised by dramatic scenery, diverse marine and bird life, national parks and of course, bungee jumping! 

From the highlands of Malaysia to the beaches of Australia, the intrepid travel team at Budget Direct Insurance has been celebrating the magnificence of the road trip in a series of posts. Here is our all-in-one trip planner to New Zealand’s South Island. 


Queenstown is a seriously fun capital to visit. Even if you aren’t interested in the hiking, golf, mountain biking, fishing, wine tasting, skiing, zip-trekking, jumping off a cliff or bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. Just a gorgeous town. So if an adrenaline rush isn’t your thing, then just soak up the atmosphere as Queenstown sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, with the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps. 

Bungee Jumping

This is the home of commercial bungy jumping. The world’s first permanent commercial bungy site was opened at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge near Queenstown by AJ Hackett more than 26 years ago. 43 metres above the river you can now choose to jump, twist, flip, or any combination from the bungy jump menu! 

But if you think the bungy jump was invented here you would be wrong – find out more at the end of this post. 

Milford Sound

This is an absolute must on any trip to New Zealand. Author Rudyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World. It is a fjord with steep cliffs rising dramatically from the water formed by glaciers millions of years ago. Try kayaking, diving, flightseeing or just a majestic boat trip to really get to know it. Mildford Sound village is very small and has limited places to stay, so book early or visit the Sound on a day trip from Te Anau or Queenstown.


In New Zealand walking, rambling or hiking can be called tramping. There are tramps you can do by yourself, organised tramps, one day tramps or tramps you have to book and stay overnight in huts. The latter get very booked up. Among the best known are the Milford and Routeburn Tracks. Decide if these tramps are for you as they involve several hours walking a day, staying in a basic hut overnight and cooking your own food. You’ll be rewarded with stunning countryside, fresh air and not a car in sight. A chance to dump the hire car temporarily!


Taking to the road in New Zealand is easy. The roads are relatively quiet and parking is usually not an issue, although it can get busy during the NZ holiday time of December and January. 

The first ever modern bungy jump …

was made in Bristol, UK, in 1979 by David Kirke and Simon Keeling, both members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club. They jumped from the 250-foot (76 m) Clifton Suspension Bridge. They were arrested after they had (successfully) completed the jump but did go on to do several jumps more in the U.S. 

Good travel and car insurance is a must on any trip home or away.

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