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Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

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Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Hi all,

In my self drive trip itinerary, one day I will be driving from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch, stop at the Countdown supermarket in New Brighton to buy some grocery before I proceed on to Akaroa, planning to visit Port Hill and Lyttelton on the way.

Can anyone suggest which is the best scenic route to drive? Is there any road still closed after the earthquake? I asked this because google map does not seem to allow me to travel one part of the scenic Summit Road.

Any suggestions for rest stops or photo stops are also very much appreciated.

Thank you.

Too few days to cover too many beautiful places.

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

New Brighton is a long way off the normal route from Hanmer Springs to Akaroa! I hope you have a good map or GPS!

If you put Chch to Lyttelton into a mapping progrmamme it will take you through the tunnel. If you want to travel ver the Port Hills you need to put Governors Bay in as your destination and it will take you up Dyers Pass Rd and down into Governors Bay just SE of Lyttelton. Turn left and backtrack into Lyttelton if you want to. From Governors Bay you continue round the shore of the harbour and turn right at Teddington to rejon the main road to Akaroa at Motukarara, or continue round the Harbour to Diamond Harbour, Pigeon Bay etc - a very winding road but very scenic.

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2. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Going to a New Brighton supermarket will a add at least a hour to this trip.

You would be driving past other Countdown, New World or Pack n Save branches

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3. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Hi Zhuhai and Mike,

Thank you for the info.

I planned to go New Brighton supermarket because I thought it is on the way to Lyttelton and so to enjoy the sea view. However now I will think twice if I am going to miss Port Hills taking the tunnel road. May be I can pick up the grocery from the supermarkets located at the Main North Road (Northwood). Just checked out the map and learn that there are two supermarkets (Countdown and New World) opposite each other.

Mmmm....., don't know which is the better one.

What a shame I cannot drive through Summit Road. Sad :-(

Too few days to cover too many beautiful places.

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

I explained how you can cross the Port Hills instead of taking the tunnel in post # 1.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Hi Zhuhai,

Yes, I got your advice, and I am changing my route accordingly. In fact, I also take your advice to drive round the Harbour to Diamond Harbour, Pigeon Bay after Governor Bay. Looks like a wonderful scenic drive.

Thank you.

Too few days and too many beautiful places to cover.

Edited: 19 September 2013, 17:59
Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Hi Kiwitonita

Thank you for the info. It is definitely good to hear from the locals. Sorry to hear that many of the roads in Christchurch are still damaged. Hope everything will be okay soon.

And yes, I will be driving from Picton to Christchurch via the scenic Kaikoura coast. Can't wait to be in New Zealand now.

Too few days and too many beautiful places to cover.

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7. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Please can I suggest that you don't drive around the harbour with diamond harbour and pigeon bay. The road beyond pigeon bay to Akaroa is hard to drive and quite dangerous.

The route you need to take is Kaikoura to Christchurch. After Northwood turn right into Northcote road (opposite St Bedes). Follow this road (SH73) around the city, it becomes Greers then Grahams, then Peer then Curletts road. Eventually you turn Right into Halswell road (well signposted) to go to Akaroa. 2 hours drive from here.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Hi Anniess

Thank you very much for your info and concerns.

The route you suggested is the shortest driving from Christchurch to Akaroa, but I planned to visit Port Hills on the way, so do not mind taking a bit detour.

You said: "The road beyond pigeon bay to Akaroa is hard to drive and quite dangerous.".

That's really worried me. I will be driving a Toyota Previa (8 seater MPV), how hard and dangerous to drive around the diamond harbour and pigeon bay? I have checked out the route in google map, looking at the photos, the roads look quite okay. Or the photos do not reflect the true condition of the road after the earthquake?

Can other members in TA commend on this too?

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9. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

I misled you slightly. It is the road between diamond harbour and pigeon bay that is difficult. It is about 20 Kms of gravel and can be quite steep.

If you want scenery the other option from Chch is to go over Dyers pass into Governors Bay and then turn right near Teddington onto Gebbies Pass road. This meets with SH 75. The drive over dyers pass is quite steep and windy but it is a sealed road.

The main road from chch to Akaroa is scenic.

Anyway I advise against the road between Diamond Harbour and pigeon bay

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10. Re: Drive from Christchurch to Akaroa

Yes, I agree about the road between Port Levy and Akaroa being scary - I had a passenger almost in a nervous fit on that road as there are no armco barriers and nowhere to pass! However this is not the route the OP is planning. She is talking about the Port Hills road as I explained in #1 which is an easy drive.