Dont go directly. You will miss the beautiful arthur pass. go to arthur pass. and next day go to hokitika.
By the time you add stops for food, loo, sightseeing etc the drive will take far far longer.
It is a ridiculously long drive for one day - why the rush? Driving directly isn't even the most scenic route - 175 is correct - drive to Chch for the night then the following day drive Arthur's Pass to Hokitika or further south to Franz.
Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately neither of these things are options. We'll be going from Christchurch to Picton and have no reason to go back that way. Also, we have been to Arthur's Pass on a previous trip. We will be going from Picton to Hokitika directly so my original question still stands about the time. We won't be making any long stops - just lunch, toilet stops and driver changes.
Can anyone please advise a reasonable time for this trip? If we can't reasonably do this in one day the option will be not to go north. We're Australian. We're not afraid of long drives. And we've been to NZ before so we know it takes longer to go a shorter distance there. Just looking for info on this direct drive please.
It certainly can be done. I have driven from Franz Josef to Motueka in a day and have arrived in the late afternoon.
Sounds OK to me. Stop for morning tea at St Arnaud (do take the time to go down to the lake shore for a few minutes!), lunch at Reefton, coffee at Greymouth. Allow all day so you're not rushing the windy bits.
Thanks again everyone for your responses. Sounds like it is doable but a long day so we'll make our decision based on that.
Why don't you go Chch -Hokitika-Picton? Where are you going afte Hokitika?
Let me please clarify what we're doing. We have 2 weeks. Arrive Christchurch at nearly midnight 1st March. Leave Christchurch early morning 16th March. The middle weekend is the Wild Food festival in Hokitika and is not negotiable. We will be staying with a friend there for 3 or 4 nights and doing several things we didn't get to do last time we stayed there. The first few days before that are negotiable so could completely avoid the north but as we've never been there would like to spend a few days. Afterwards we will be visiting our son in Glenorchy before heading back to CHC to fly out. All I want to know is how long it will take to drive from Picton to Hokitika (as per my original question) so we can make an informed decision about whether to cut our time in the north short by a day.
I get that everyone is trying to be helpful with their suggestions, but I'm not looking for itinerary advice at the moment.
Several years ago we did that drive in 7 hours, but that included a picnic lunch at Killary Overlook, a number of stops at antique and craft shops, a walk out to the seal colony at Cape Fowlwind and time watching the blow rocks in Punakaiki.
Don't see that the drive should be a problem for you. But then I've heard that Texans and Australians share our necessities of often driving long distances to the doctor, store, etc.
Thanks for that. That sounds very manageable for us. As we went to the seal colony and Punakaiki on our last trip we don't need to stop there, but we might go back to the seals as it's a bit earlier in the year than last time and hopefully there'll be more babies on the rocks. We'll see how we're travelling on the day.