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Queenstown or Wanaka as base?

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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:23 PM
  #1
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Queenstown or Wanaka as base?

I will be in QT for two days – post Milford Sound hike – for some adventure activities and checking out the town. After that, I would like to do a winery tour (day three) and then the Routeburn day hike (day four). I’ve researched winery tours from this forum and found a good one based out of QT and another good one based out of Wanaka.

Does it make sense for me to use QT as a base to do the winery tour and Routeburn hike? Knowing I would be out and about most of day 3 and day 4, is there much I could even see in Wanaka? I’m debating whether it’s just better to stay in QT and drive back and forth one day for the Routeburn hike or if I should switch hotels for a night or two. I’ve heard Wanaka is very nice but I also think it might not be worth it to switch hotels just for one night.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Mar 27th, 2014, 11:23 PM
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Queenstown makes the better base for the Routeburn and for wineries. It's about a 45 minute drive from QT to the start of the Routeburn on the Glenorchy side. Wanaka is in the opposite direction.

There's only one winery IN Wanaka, the rest are between Wanaka, Cromwell, Arrowtown and QT, so it isn't a particularly good base for wineries as you'd need to drive some distance to them (or the tour driver would). It's a good base for other things, such as Mt Aspiring Nat'l Park access (an hour's drive), but you'll have plenty of that on your planned Routeburn hike.

There are an abundance of wineries within easy reach of QT.

Short answer, QT makes a much better base for what you have in mind.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Thank you Melnq8!
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 02:37 PM
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Melnq8,
Just found this question and it is one I was mulling over. We will be in QT after hiking Routeburn. Our farm stay fell through so we have two nights before heading to Auckland for our flight.
Should we do a day trip to Wanaka, maybe one night, or make QT our base until we leave?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Sonya
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 11:52 PM
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Hi Sonya -

I assume you're flying out of QT to Auckland?

For so little time, and assuming you've not spent any time in QT prior to hiking the Routeburn, I'd suggest staying in/around QT - if you're not interested in the hustle and bustle of QT itself, nearby Arrowtown and the surrounding countryside makes a good base and provides quicker access to both Wanaka and the airport, which is on that side of QT, and still gives you easy access to the activity of QT, without having to stay in the thick of things.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Melnq8,
Good thought about Arrowtown and it's central location. No interest in wineries etc just want to soak up as much of the beautiful SI as possible.
We will have enjoyed 2 days in QT prior to our hike.Is that enough? I thought we might be tuckered out afterwards and could avoid unpacking/packing etc for two nights. Is there really "hustle and bustle"in QT? We live in the Bay Area and can't imagine QT could be more hectic.

I'll look into Arrowtown.
Thanks for weighing in.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 10:13 PM
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QT is small, but it's a very popular spot and does get quite busy - although it only consists of a few streets in the town area, those few streets get quite congested and parking can be a royal pain in the butt. Add to that drivers unfamiliar with driving on the left and negotiating the roundabouts, and it can be a bit of a cluster, which is why I personally avoid it, but you may not mind the hustle as much as I do.

I find Arrowtown the best of both worlds, but that's just me. I don't stay IN Arrowtown, but in the countryside within a few minutes drive to Arrowtown, which is more my cuppa.

As for whether or not two days is sufficient for the QT area, it wouldn't be for me, but then again I'd be out exploring the tracks and the area surrounding QT (like Glenorchy), and not the town of QT itself, so it really depends on what you hope to accomplish.
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Jan 5th, 2015, 05:06 PM
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Queenstown compared to San Francisco? I've been to both and there's no comparison.

Picture the really bad intersection in your SF commute. Yes, you might sit at it for a few minutes and it aggravates you because there are going to be 20 more aggravating intersections after that.

Queenstown is one intersection. No problem.
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Jan 5th, 2015, 06:00 PM
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Edited to add:

Population Queenstown <30,000.
Population San Franscisco >830,000.
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