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Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

Miami, Florida
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Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

As part of my South Island trip, I will be driving from Wanaka to Mt. Cook and then on to Christchurch. I am hoping to get some reasonable drive time estimates that take into account stops for photos and to stretch legs.

I used the following site and hope it’s accurate, aatravel.co.nz/main/time-distance-calculator… . I know some people on these forums have said some sites can be off with their estimates.

So is it reasonable to guess the drive from Wanaka to Mt. Cook will take roughly 3 and a half hours?

The drive from Mt. Cook to Christchurch to take 5 and a half hours.

Also, will the sunrise/sunset time in Mt. Cook going to be similar to that of Christchurch? I am trying to guage how much daylight we will have so as to help avoid driving at night.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

The drive from Wanaka to Mt Cook will take les than 3.5 hours. As a guide, it takes us this long. You will take longer as you don't know the road so well, and will want to stop for photos:

Wanaka to Omarama: 1 hour

Omarama to Twizel: 30 minutes

Twizel to Mt Cook: not sure about this bit as we don't drive it, but I would say about an hour.

On to Christchurch:

Twizel to Tekapo: 30 minutes

Tekapo to Fairlie: 30 minutes

Fairlie to Geraldine: 30 minutes

Geraldine to Ashburton: 30-45 minutes

Ashburton to Chch: 1 hour

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

I find the AA times very safe. They err slightly on the conservative side, but be aware that there are speed cameras regularly on the straight between Omarama & Twizel.

Mt Cook is actually on a very similar latitude to Chch so sunset should be similar, except for the shadowing effect of the Alps. Don't cut it fine as you'll want to be settled with a chilled beverage in hand to watch the sunset!!

London, United...
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3. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

I can vouch for the speed cameras. There were mobile units either side of Twizel when we were there earlier this year. One was a van with cameras out of the open back doors and the other an unmarked car. Apparently they are always there, so it's not locals they're catching.

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

Thanks for the info. I don't plan on doing any speeding during my time driving in NZ.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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5. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

You can comfortably drive Wanaka to Aoraki/Mt Cook in 3 hours. It is a glorious drive :)

re speeding - the flats around Omarama can be deceptive - so flat and so straight you feel like you aren't moving. So while you don't intend to speed, many do inadvertently. And this the police know - they sit and wait.

Safe travels :)

6. Re: Wanaka to Mt. Cook to Christchurch

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