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Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

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Melbourne, Australia
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92 posts
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Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

Hi All

Next week (late June) I'm flying to Christchurch NZ.

The plan is to drive to Queenstown. But not actually to the slopes, just the town.

I'm unsure how bad the roads will be between the two destinations.

Should i be wary of snow/frost? Will an economy car be suitable for this?

Should i get snowchains?

Thanks in advance

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

You will need to carry chains but will probably not need to use them. I carry chains all winter. I might need them only once every couple me years but have piece me mind that they are under seat if needed.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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2. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

You will need to carry chains but will probably not need to use them. I carry chains all winter. I might need them only once every couple me years but have piece me mind that they are under seat if needed.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

whoops, sorry about double post, bit trigger happy.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

And to answer your other questions, economy car is fine. Yes, you should always be wary me ice on roads. Drive after ten and not at night and you should be fine. Just watch twisty bits and shady patches. Roads are rarely closed for long due to snow. It also depends where you plan to drive.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

Do watch the AA site or similar for road closures. points to watch out for are the Alpine passes such as Bourkes Pass (betwene Fairlie & Lake Tekapo) and the Lindis Pass ( between Omarama & Cromwell). These roads are sometimes closed at night to prevent people getting snow-bound, and are regularly "gritted" to provide extra grip when icy.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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6. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

I am with Zhuhai, the two passes listed could close at any time. Ensure you have chains in your vehicle and more importantly know how to fit them. Practice a couple of times before leaving the car rental depot. Don't accept blindly that the chains in the car are the ones for the car. Chains are made to fit the tyre and are not normally carried in rental vehicles. Remember as well that chains should be fitted to the driving wheels which means front wheels on front wheeled drive vehicles.

Oz
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7. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

Hi,

The rental company will show you how to fit chains to a tyre and wheel mounted on a stand at waist height in their office. This doesn't compare to the side of the road, in driving snow with frozen fingers as the damp creeps through your clothes.

A cheap pair of "riggers gloves”, (thin leather that provide some heat retention but allow you to feel what you are doing, an "el cheapo" blue tarp" and a torch make a "fun" job bearable. I will only fit chains as a last resort it isn't my idea of fun plus when you need them the situation is dicey.

beanb41 jogged my failing memory about fitting chains to the drive wheels. Many years ago we, (self, HO and two small boys), were stopped to fit chains near Thredbo and noticed the driver of the car behind just completing fitting chains to the rear wheels of his Renault 17 (front wheel drive). I went back and told him they were on the wrong wheels. He said something most impolite and pulled out heading up the mountain. When we got going we passed him stuck at the side of the road about half a mile further on having slipped into the drain. We all waved as we passed.

Cheers,

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

Haha cool story OZRCFLYER!

Thanks for all the info guys.

Probably an over-cautious post. But better safe than sorry.

But yeah i will grab the chains and make sure they are correct and i can fit them

Cheers :)

9. Re: Snowchains needed for Christchurch to Queenstown

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