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Which route to take - to/from Kaikoura

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Hello:

First time posting in the NZ forum. I have been following the discussions and trip reports here which are invaluable to my itinerary planning. I have a couple questions regarding routes:

1. We will be leaving from Springfield area to Kaikoura. Which route is more scenic or interesting after Waipara? via Chaviot? or the inland route via Waiau?

2. The next day, we will leave from Kaikoura to our accommodation outside of Motueka. We originally planned to take the Queen Charlotte Drive. However, I was advised that the inland route after Blenheim (Wairau valley and north from Saint Arnaud) is faster and easier. I looked at some images on Google and start to lean towards taking the inland route. Are we missing a lot by not taking the Queen Charlotte Drive?

Thank you very much for your advice!

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