Queenstown to Auckland Road Trip

Feb 23rd, 2019, 05:47 PM
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Queenstown to Auckland Road Trip

We're going to be visiting NZ in July (20th-30th) and planning a road trip from Queenstown to Auckland. Wondering if we would be ok finding hotels if we're not prebooking, or if we should prebook? Would like the freedom of being able to determine each day where we are going, rather than having a set route and timetable as would be needed if we pre-book hotels. Thoughts?
yds is offline  
Feb 24th, 2019, 01:44 AM
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This is ski season, so you should pre-book for the ski resorts of Queenstown and Wanaka, if you're going there. If you plan on being in Wellington on July 27th, book a hotel there, too, as there's an All Blacks vs. South Africa rugby game (lots of South African expats in NZ and lots of All Blacks fans). Aoraki Mt. Cook has limited accommodation and while you'll most likely be able to find last-minute accommodation there in July, it might not be your first choice of accommodation.

Also, 10 days is not much time to drive from Queenstown to Auckland, and actually spend a day or two in places along the way, especially if winter road conditions cause unforeseen travel delays (road closures, cancelled interislander ferry, etc.) What routing do you plan to take? The roads can be very winding in places and the days will be short and you shouldn't drive at night.

Say you spend 2 nights in Queenstown or Wanaka, that would leave you only 8 days to drive to Auckland. What places do you most want to see? Because you'd save time by flying from the South Island to the North Island. say from Christchurch to Auckland. I would say, spend all your time on the South Island or North Island. Or spend 6 days in Queenstown, or 6 days to drive from Queenstown to Christchurch, then fly to Auckland for 4 days. You could make days trips from these places, such as a day tour to Milford Sound from Queenstown, or Rotorua and/or Waitomo from Auckland.

Last edited by Diamantina; Feb 24th, 2019 at 01:58 AM.
Diamantina is offline  
Feb 24th, 2019, 12:50 PM
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Ditto what Diamantina says. You really don't have sufficient time. I assume you plan to take the ferry from Picton to Wellington and then drive to Auckland from there? You'll be spending most of your time in transit, which presents a whole lot of issues in the dead of winter.
Melnq8 is online now  
Nov 1st, 2019, 06:02 PM
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We did it

Just thought I'd let people know what we ended up doing. We did do the drive from Queenstown to Auckland, starting in Queenstown on Aug 4th, arriving in Auckland on Aug 12th. Yes, it was a good bit of driving, but we don't really feel like we missed out on too much. If we did it again, I think we might spend a bit more time in Wellington, and perhaps a visit to the West Coast of South Island. But overall, I felt like we saw lots and weren't overly rushed. And perhaps we lucked out, but the roads were fine the whole trip. Only bit of snow we saw on the roads was when we drove up to Mt Cook.

Our itinerary: Queenstown-->Lake Tekapo-->Christchurch-->Picton (two nights)-->Wellington-->Taupo-->Rotarua-->Hamilton-->Auckland (2 nights). Along the way we stopped plenty and took in plenty of sights: Mt Cook, Dark Sky Project, Quake Museum, Kaikoura, Marlborough Wine tour, Zealandia, Napier, Wai-O-Tapu, Te Puia, Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave (better than Glowworm cave), and Ngarunui Beach.

If anyone wants to read about our trip (which included a couple weeks in Australia too) I have it on my family travel blog. Let me know if you have any questions!
yds is offline  
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