Christchurch to Queenstown

Jun 15th, 2005, 10:29 AM
  #1  
koa
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Christchurch to Queenstown

WIll be on the south island in mid agust. Whats the best route from christchurch to queenstown and will I need chains for my vehicle?
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Jun 15th, 2005, 06:32 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm not sure which is considered "best" but there are several options, depending on the time you have and your interests:

A direct route would be SH 1 to Omarau, then 83/8 to Queenstown via Cromwell. This drive takes you along the east coast, which isn't very interesting or pretty IMO, but the scenery does improve as you go inland.

Another possibility is to take SH 1 to Palmerston (past Omarau) - also along the east coast, then pick up 85 to Alexandra, 8 to Cromwell and then 6 to Queenstown. This route takes you by Moeraki Boulders, which is a good stop.

Yet another option is to take SH 1 down the east coast all the way to Milton (past Dunedin), then pick up 8 to Alexandra and Cromwell then 6 to Queenstown - this route will probably take you a bit out of the way though and is the least scenic option IMO.

A more scenic option would be to take SH 1 to Timaru, then pick up 8 to Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Cromwell, then pick up 6 to Queenstown. This route will take longer, and you'll want to allow time to stop along the way.

Can't really help with the chain question - your rental car company should be able to help you out there.

Have fun!
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Jun 15th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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If time isn't an issue, and you plan to stop overnight once or twice along the way, here's yet another option (very scenic). Chirstchurch to Arthur's Pass via 73 to Greymouth, then SH 6 down the west coast, through Franz Josef and Fox Glacier and on to Queenstown. This is a long journey but a good choice if you want to see alot of NZ and aren't in a hurry. You might run into some snow on Arthur's pass and Haast Pass.
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Jun 17th, 2005, 03:28 PM
  #4  
koa
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Thanks for the responses. Plan on going straight to queenstown from christchurch. Sounds like the are few different routes. Looking for the safest, fastest route.
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Jun 18th, 2005, 03:19 AM
  #5  
 
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Koa -

Either the first or second route I mentioned would be the most direct as it's major state highway most of the way and minor state highway the rest. The second route is more major state highway than the first route, but 85 appears more squiggly on the map than 83/8, so that might be a factor. I'm sure I've taken both routes, but can't remember any details.

As I mentioned, the east coast isn't particularly scenic, but you'll get there faster than on the other routes mentioned.

Safe? I have yet to run into a road in NZ that I'd consider unsafe. They're all very well maintained and well marked.

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Jun 18th, 2005, 04:33 AM
  #6  
 
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Not a bad idea to have chains on your vehicle in winter just in case. That being said, it's quite unlikely you'll need them driving from ChCh to Q'town. Did that trip last July (via Tekapo)...no snow, not even on the side of the road.
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Jun 18th, 2005, 07:09 PM
  #7  
koa
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Thanks again for all the help. So if i take the most direct route and weather is no problem, how long of a drive in hours is it?
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Jun 18th, 2005, 10:08 PM
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According to the following distance calculator, about 486 kms, 6 hours, 15 minutes.

I have no idea which route they base these figures on, but I suspect it's the most direct route, allowing for stops.

http://www.accommodationz.co.nz/distances2.html
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