South Island Solo EP1 | Exploring Rainbow Road, Lees Valley and the Macaulay Valley

Daniel headed south for 2 weeks of filming and exploring in the South Island - sadly COVID-19 had other ideas and forced an early retreat. Even still, he managed to get down through some amazing spots - Rainbow Road, Molesworth Station, Lees Valley and the Macaulay Valley!

Trip area

In this video

Rainbow Road

One of New Zealand's most well known offroad routes, Rainbow Road is a fairly well graded gravel road with a few fords to tackle along the way. The road was built to support the transmission lines running through there.

Access costs $40 per vehicle and the road is open from Boxing Day through to Easter (please confirm before going).

Gates are unlocked daily from 7 am – 6 pm, you won't be able to pass through outside of these hours without prior permission from Rainbow Station.

Grade
Easy
Time
6 hours
Distance
95 km

Lake Tennyson Campsite

An amazing campsite on the edge of Lake Tennyson!

Powered sites
0
Un-powered sites
10

Clarence Valley Road

One of the two options to link Tophouse Road with Hanmer Springs. This is the less challenging option over Jollies Pass Road which is grade 2 gravel

Grade
Gravel
Time
1 hours
Distance
8 km

Lees Valley

Just out of Christchurch, Lees Valley is an easy drive through farmland. There is a ford which can be deep after rain - always get out to check it first. There are a lot of farm gates along this route.

Grade
Easy
Time
3 hours
Distance
72 km

Mackenzie Pass

A short gravel road that bypasses the highway - the views as you head towards Tekapo are pretty amazing!

Grade
Gravel
Time
1 hours
Distance
25 km

Macaulay Valley

Explore the Macaulay Valley and head up to the hut. The track log is a rough guide - the river changes the course fairly often. Would highly recommend taking more than one vehicle.

Grade
Hard
Time
3 hours
Distance
18 km