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This 770km loop based out of Christchurch encompasses a wide variety of interests and sights, and travels through not just one but two mountain passes, (not at all intimidating ones though).

Arthurs Pass joining the two coasts is a fantastic experience, winding it’s way through some impressive mountainous landscapes. Once over the on West Coast you have dramatic seascapes, plus the historical interests of places like Reefton. 

Trekking back through the central Lewis Pass you have the choice of not one but yes you guessed it, two Hot Springs at either Maruia (smaller, more basic but better views), or Hanmer (larger, more theme park and sanitised). Add to that whale watching at Kaikoura, and all the activities, dining and shopping available in Christchurch itself and you have a superb drive.

Christchurch West Coast to East Coast Central Loop

Delights that await you...

Click through the gallery below to see just some of the delights that await you en route, many of which were taken on my own adventures, (you can probably spot those ones….)

Arthurs Pass Road
Arthurs Pass Road

Don't worry that's the camera angled on Arthurs Pass, not the road itself...

The Bearded Miners, Reefton, spinners of dry and authentic mining tales...cameras weren't good in those days...

Relax in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs

Kaikoura, Credits Andy Jackson

007 might stay here - Bond Estate, Christchurch

New Brighton Pier shines bright at Christchurch

Arthurs Pass Road

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Which car to take...?

We’re going to leap into our Mercedes SLK roadster for this one. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for roof down time to truly take in those stunning mountain views in a way no ordinary rental car can, and should it get a little squally on the West Coast it’s just 25 seconds to stop and pop the automatic hard top roof up to be all snug again.  Plus it looks pretty darn cool parked up outside the trendy boutiques and cafes of Hanmer and Christchurch!

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