Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Driving from Glaciers to Queenstown - How'm I gonna do that?

Driving from Glaciers to Queenstown - How'm I gonna do that?

Jan 5th, 2006, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 955
Driving from Glaciers to Queenstown - How'm I gonna do that?

First trip to NZ and will be in South Island late Feb early March. After time in Christchurch and Akaroa (Banks Peninsula), considering driving island counter-clockwise from Christchurch over Arthur's Pass (sounds beautiful) to eventually fly the glacier(s). Then drive to Queenstown. After a few days there, proceed to Te Anau for the Milford Sound experience, then on to Dunedin.
But, Galciers to Q'town seems like an aggressive driving day of 6+ hours assuming no weather problems Haast pass, and not much stopping. But where to break the drive? Any ideas.
Am I better off forgetting Arthurs Pass and driving Christchurch to Mt Cook and taking in the glaciers from that side?
Reading all of the intineraries here sure has helped. Hope someone can give me a little advice on this one. Thanks.
BillJ is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,657
We drive from Queenstown to the glaciers every time we visit the South Island. Our last trip took 7.5 hours, and included stops (and walks) at The Blue Pools, Thunder Falls and lunch in Fox Glacier, before stopping in Franz Josef for the night.

There are several places to stop between Queenstown and the glaciers - Wanaka, Makarora and Haast come to mind. The biggest of these is Wanaka, the others are tiny, but if you're looking for a place to stop for a rest or a food break, these are good options.

There are also alot of scenic stops along the way.

It's a bit of a drive, but it's easy to do if you get an early start.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,229
I usually stop in Wanaka rather than Qtown, which is an hour? or so closer. I think spending one night in Hokitika and then the next night in Glaciers is good if you have the time.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 96
There is so little traffic on the west side of the South Island you can cover huge distances.

We left Haast one morning and travelled 47 km before a car came the other way, then another 20 odd before we saw another one.

We drove from Picton to Queenstown stopping at both glaciers with overnights at Hokitika and Haast. Got to say it was the most enjoyable drive I have ever done.
mickrory is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 955
Thank you for your response. Now it appears my plans are changing and I will be in the Nelson/Motueka area before heading down to the glaciers, then on to Queenstown.
Mickrory: may I please verify. You drove all the way from Picton to Hokitika in one day, took in the glaciers the next day, that night in Haast, then on to Queenstown? Is that correct? Did you stop at the Pancake Rocks?
I am interested in this because it is very encouraging for my own changing plans. Thanks again.
BillJ is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,657
BillJ -

FYI - the drive from Picton to Hoki is 392 km - about 5 hours.

Hoki to Haast is 281 km - about 3:30 hours.

Not sure of the routing, but these distances/times were taken from the following site - a resource I use for all my trips to NZ and have found to be pretty accurate.

Melnq8 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Australia & the Pacific
Apr 25th, 2015 08:35 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Sep 25th, 2010 03:25 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Apr 20th, 2007 04:50 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Dec 13th, 2005 08:16 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Nov 5th, 2003 07:48 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:48 AM.