Need to Know: Take a pit stop in na­ture on this long South Is­land drive

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Stop and en­joy some of the great spots in na­ture on the long drive be­tween Pic­ton and Christchurch this sum­mer, says the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion.

Pic­nic by a lake, take a for­est walk, mar­vel at a water­fall or pitch a tent for the night in a DOC camp­ground.

These are some of the op­tions for tak­ing a break in the con­ser­va­tion ar­eas trav­ellers will drive by on this seven and a half-hour al­ter­na­tive route.

DOC has launched a cam­paign to high­light places to visit be­tween Pic­ton and Christchurch, with a new on­line map and brochure (www.doc.­ton­tochch), and fun video fea­tur­ing ‘Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple’ ac­tor Co­hen Hol­loway (#Pic­ton­ToChch).

DOC Op­er­a­tions Di­rec­tor for the North­ern South Is­land, Roy Grose, says DOC wants trav­ellers to be aware of con­ser­va­tion sites on the route to en­cour­age peo­ple to stop and take a break.

“This will be a new route for some and a long drive for all so we’d love it if peo­ple stopped and dis­cov­ered some of the DOC scenic spots and fa­cil­i­ties along the way.”

“We want trav­ellers to have a safe trip and to con­sider tak­ing a break in na­ture to re­fresh and re­lax on their jour­ney,” says Roy Grose.

The route tra­verses state high­ways 63, 6 and 7 and passes through sev­eral con­ser­va­tion ar­eas, in­clud­ing Nel­son Lakes Na­tional Park, Victoria For­est Park, Lake Sum­ner For­est Park and Han­mer Con­ser­va­tion Park.

DOC is work­ing along­side the New Zealand Trans­port Au­thor­ity (NZTA) and other tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions to pro­mote safe trav­el­ling on the Pic­ton to Christchurch route.

State High­way 1 be­tween Pic­ton and Kaik­oura is closed due to mas­sive slips trig­gered by the se­vere earth­quake in Novem­ber which af­fected the North Can­ter­bury and Kaik­oura area.

Top: Camp­ing at Mar­ble Hill Camp­site. Mid­dle: Co­hen on an Alpine Na­ture Walk. Be­low Co­hen at Marua Falls.

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