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dmjapril Jan 19th, 2006 02:03 PM

Drive from Te Anau to Fox Glacier
Is it possible to drive from Te Anau to Fox Glacier in one day, allowing for rest stops and photographs? It's difficult to tell how accurate the online distance calculators are. Or is it worth having a stopover in either Wanaka or Haast to break up the journey? Any suggestions anyone? Thanks

kodi Jan 19th, 2006 04:04 PM

Yes, it is possible, but don't rush too much. We left Franz Joseph at 10 am and only got to Wanaka that day, I think around late afternoon.
Don't miss the Blue Pools on the way down. We also stopped at Billy Rock Falls. The walk through the little forest is great.

Then the next day we stopped to see Arrowtown on our way south.

So you may not have time to see some of the great spots if you try to get to Te Anau in one day.

Good luck.

Melnq8 Jan 19th, 2006 04:37 PM

I use this driving distance calculator on all my trips to NZ and I've found it to be pretty accurate:

It shows the drive from Te Anau to Franz Josef taking 7 hours. If you're only going to Fox, you can deduct about 45 minutes.

As Kodi mentions, there's alot to see and do along the way, and the distance calculator does not account for leisurely stops.

On our last trip to NZ we drove from Queenstown to Franz Josef in 7 hours, stopping at the Blue Pools, the falls, and for lunch.

I wouldn't suggest driving from Fox to Te Anau in one day - it's a long drive through beautiful countryside, and if you rush, you'll miss alot along the way.

dmjapril Jan 19th, 2006 11:37 PM

Thanks Kodi and Melnq8 for your replies. Based on the distance calculator Wanaka looks about the half way point and probably a good place to stay. Are places like the Blue Pools and Billy Rock Falls signposted on the road? Is Gillespies Beach worth a visit?

Melnq8 Jan 20th, 2006 02:57 AM

Yes, the Blue Pools and the falls are well marked (we stopped at Thunder Creek Falls). They'll also appear on your driving map, so just keep an eye out.

As far as Gillespies Beach, here's an excerpt from my 2002 trip report when we tried to find the seal colony:

We then drove to Gillespies Beach and attempted the hike to the seal colony. We hiked for 2.5 hours, finding the miner’s tunnel, but here the trail had been blocked, so we attempted the alternate route. Unfortunately, the alternate trail became impassable with mud, so we had to give up and turn around. We were told later by the owners of the motel that we probably wouldn’t have seen seals anyway.

In other words, I dunno. Perhaps someone who's actually found the seal colony will chime in.

It was a nice walk, we were just disappointed that we couldn't actually find the oft mentioned seal colony.

Jed Jan 20th, 2006 06:03 AM

If you have the extra day, it would be best to split the trip. You could leave TA in the AM, stop in QT for lunch, speedboat, walk around town, etc. Then head out seeing the bungee jumping, Arrowtown, and stay around Wanaka. Then the second day you would have time to see the sights on the way to Fox. ((R))

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