There are two routes from Dunedin to Invercargill, the largest, farthest southern town in New Zealand. The inland route and the coastal route. I have driven both of them.
One of the big reasons I drove the inland route is because of two towns, Clinton and Gore. Funny enough, Gore is the larger of the two and also known as the Country Music Capital of New Zealand and has a “big” guiter to prove it. There is also a sign on the way from driving from one town to the other that says “Presidental Highway” which I think is extremely funny and wanted to nerd it up and take a picture of.
I am glad I had the opportunity to drive both ways because if I had to one pick one route, I would pick the coastal route, also called The Catlins, hands down. It was a long fantastic, day drive. You drive along the coast, and inland into forest, stopping every so often to hike or see some animals. A great place to stop and go for a quick hike and hopefully see some animals is Kaka Point. I saw a bunch of seals sunning on rocks and then took a walk to a penguin sighting box, a place where you “hide” in a box and hopefully view some. I saw a yellow eyed penguin, during the day! It was awesome. The coastal drive was great. I got “lost” a bunch of times, but it didn’t matter, because, hey, it’s New Zealand. This is a country you can only get so lost in. If you have a good sense of direction, you’ll hit where you need to get to eventually. The weather was kind of iffy the day I did this drive and after a while of stopping and hiking and animal watching, all in off and on rain, I just wanted to get to Dunedin and probably skipped a bunch of stuff, as it is a coastal drive and not an easy one at that. But highly reccomended!
Moral: If you are only driving one way, drive the coastal route!! Or take one of the many shuttles that drive it and find one that makes some stops a long the way. Ohh, someone else driving! That actually sounds pretty fun as the roads are pretty windy and while I don’t mind getting a little lost, having someone else do the driving, will cut that out completely! This is one of the things I wouldn’t mind returning too at some point.