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The Southern Scenic Route: summer road trip heaven

Nothing beats a summer holiday! While a jaunt across to the Gold Coast might be off the cards for now, there’s plenty to see and do here at home in Aotearoa. Take the Southern Scenic Route and discover an incredible little slice of New Zealand.

Kiwis love a good summer road trip. And, while we don’t mean to boast, one of the best Kiwi summer road trips can be found right here on the back doorstep of The Lodges at Transport World in Invercargill. The Southern Scenic Route has just been named one of the top summer road trips Kiwis are keen to discover – for good reason.

Taking in the largely-undiscovered and remote beaches, fiords and coastlines as the road weaves its way from Dunedin to Queenstown, the Southern Scenic Route was on 66 percent of survey respondents’ top five summer road trip must-dos.

The Lodges’ team is here to help give you some insider tips you just can’t miss while you explore the Southern Scenic Route. First up? Ōtepoti – Dunedin!


Otago Farmers Market

If your summer road trip discovering the pleasures of the Southern Scenic Route sees you in Dunedin – the South Island’s second-largest centre – on a Saturday morning, there’s only one place to go.

The Otago Farmers Market is full of incredibly friendly, enthusiastic vendors keen to show their wares. From fresh flowers to brighten your day, to nibbles of unusual locally-made cheeses to aromatic fresh coffee (Dunedin’s café scene is incredible – the town takes its brews seriously) and hearty southern pies with a modern, gourmet twist, the Otago Farmers Market has it all.

Pro tip – the early bird catches the worm. Get up early and beat the crowds, and you’ll have a chance at nabbing some of the baking and sweet treats made by Dolce Vita.

Held each Saturday from 8am – 12.30pm in the carpark at the beautiful Dunedin Railway Station, you can find out more about the Otago Farmers Market here.


Toitū Otago Settlers Museum

We adore a great museum collection, and Toitū is an absolutely mind-blowing insight into the Otago region, its history, and its people. Follow the collection as it weaves its way through the ages, and discover displays that explore the Kai Tahu story, the sealers and whalers who made this rugged land their home, the region’s gold rush and the early Chinese immigrants whose influence on the region is still felt today, and more. Engaging and thoughtfully-displayed, the exhibits here are perfect to browse through for a couple of hours or a whole day. Enjoy, and take it all in. Click here for more.



Blink,  and you’ll miss it (Pequeño translates to ‘small’, after all). This lounge bar has quietly glamorous ambience in spades. It’s literally a hidden gem in the heart of the city: tucked behind Dunedin marquee names Etrusco and Jizo, guests to Pequeño enter from Princes Street before heading downstairs, to be firmly ensconced in a refined and cosy atmosphere that can’t be beaten.

With delicious tapas, exposed brick, and a crackling fireplace for those summer nights that turn chilly, it’s also the perfect spot to sample excellent handcrafted cocktails. Our favourite is the Lemon Meringue. Visit their Facebook page for more.



Dunedin is home to a veritable smorgasboard of incredible dining experiences: from vegan cafés to fine dining, the southern city is home to some truly excellent cuisine. Perched above the salty shores at St Clair, tastebuds will be delighted at tītī. Serving a two or three-course lunch, and a three or five-course dinner, fare changes to reflect seasonality and the mood of the talented team preparing these experiential – but accessible – dishes. Opened in early 2020 by the team that brought Dunedin’s dining scene the highly-regarded Glenfalloch Garden and Restaurant, you simply must put tītī on your Dunedin itinerary. Find out more here.


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