Driving up versus driving down in South Island

Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 14
Driving up versus driving down in South Island

Sorry for the double message. I forgot to pick a search topic.

Anyway, we're planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand for this August. We'll be spending a week in South Island. We will have a car, and want to take a driving tour between Christchurch and Queenstown.

Is it better to drive Queenstown to Christchurch or vice versa? I'm not sure if it makes any difference that it will be in August. Also, we will be going to Sydney afterwards, so does that make any difference.

Thanks for any advice.
williams44 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
At first I thought this was trick question. Well to be honest with you, there is no difference in driving either north to south, south to north. The weather in August, on the south island, can be imclement, rainy/showers, overcast, etc.
If you haven't been to NZ before, I would suggest, that after seeing the sights of Christchurch, drive down the Canterbury Plains, and go down the centre of the south island, that is via Tekapo, Hawea, Mt.Cook, Wanaka, etc. great trout fishing lakes, beautiful mountain scenery.
tropo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 235
Well, most people drive around; from Christchurch, down the West Coast via the Glaciers to Queenstown, then to Te Anau and Milford Sound. then back to Christchurch either via Dunedin, on the East Coast, or up the centre of the island, via lakes Pukaki and Tekapo.

If you are on limited time it may make sense to drive just one way, and the choice of entry points depends on where you are coming from. You can fly direct to Queenstown from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. From anywhere else you have to land at either Auckland or Christchurch, so it would probably make sense to start your trip there.

It's not possible to see all that the South Island has to offer by driving just up, or down, you really have to do a loop, and quite a few zig zags in between, and you still won't see it all.

If you give some more information on your interests, and the amount of time you have I could make some more informed suggestions.

vbca is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Oops, posted a bit prematurely...

I don't think your route will matter all that much in August. You'll only be there a week, and it's winter, so it's probably going to be a bit chilly no matter where you visit.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Okay, this is freaking me out. I posted this earlier, and it appeared on one screen and not the other, so here we go again:

We usually choose our route based upon the time of year in an attempt to maximize our chances for good weather. For example, if we begin a trip in April or May, we'll go south first, because as winter approaches, it will only get colder down south. We'll leave the North of the South Island for last, as it's usually quite a bit warmer.

Let's see where this post ends up...
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 26th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
I have heard that driving north to south gives you better fuel econmoy than driving south to north. seriously I have heard that.
bhuty is offline  
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