We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

Which Christchurch hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

Hi,

I am visiting Christchurch with my partner on my first visit to New Zealand over the last two weeks of January. Then planning a week long road trip. I have Christchurch to Queenstown already jotted down ! Thinking of spending 2/3 nights at Queenstown and 1 night at Te Anau (to visit Milford Sound). Is it advisable to split the drive from Christchurch to Queenstown over two days ? If so where would it be worth spending the night ?

I will then have 3 days (2 nights) to make my way back to Christchurch, and not sure at all about which route to take. I could either take the Southern Scenic route to Dunedin and then back. Or could do Queenstown to Franz Josef and then back. Looking for opinions on which one to take for a more enjoyable experience. Also either way I would be able to spend one night somewhere (other than Dunedin in the former case and Franz Josef in the latter), any advise on where this should be ?

Also open to any other opinions for the 3 day return leg from Queenstown to Christchurch.

Will really appreciate any opinions !

fahd

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
31,235 posts
322 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

Definitely split the drive from Chch to QTN! Mt Cook is the obvious place (5 hr /4 hr)

You need 2 nights in Te Anau to self drive Milford Sound.

With 3 D/2/N to return to Chch, I suggest you stay both nights at the glaciers.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
1,837 posts
115 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

You don't need two nights in Te Anau for a self-drive to Milford - you don't even need one to be honest, however I would suggest one night in Te Anau - then Milford, then straight back to Queenstown.

Mt Cook is about 2.5 hours from Queenstown, and Christchurch about 3.5 hours from Mt Cook.

You've got a good amount of time to get from Queenstown to Christchurch - so you've effectively got three ways to go:

1) Via Mt Cook

2) Via the East Coast (Pig Route - staying in Oamaru)

3) Via the West Coast staying in Franz/Fox

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

Allow 4 hours plus to drive Chch to Aoraki/Mt Cook

and another 3 hours plus for the drive to Queenstown

and yes, 2 nights Te Anau works best. The Milford Road is a delight and shouldn't be rushed. Do take care as the road has a high accident rate. If pushed for time then do the ultimate day trip from Queenstown - bus to Milford, cruise, scenic flight back.

Happy travels :)

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

Thank you so much all for the wonderful responses, much appreciated ! So I have been able to update my plan a little bit based on your opinions.

Day 1 - Chch to Mount Cook

Day 2 - Mount Cook to Queenstown

Day 3 - Queenstown

Day 4 - Queenstown or Te Anau

Day 5 - Te Anau

Day 6- open

Day 7 -open

Day 8 - Driving back to Christchurch

Could flip Queenstown and Te Anau (i.e. spend Night 2 in Queenstown, go to Te Anau on Day 3, and return to Queenstown on Day 4 or 5) if returning to Chch via the west coast, in which case Night 6 and Night 7 would be spent at the glaciers as suggested (?).

If I decide to go back via the East coast, would you suggest going through the Pig Route or the Southern Scenic route. The southern scenic route seems much longer, is it worth it (I assume this would imply spending the two nights in Invercargill and Dunedin/Oamaru?)

Thank you so much once again !! Really excited about this trip :-)

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
31,235 posts
322 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

I don't know how anyone can do Chch to Mt Cook in 3:30hr! It is 330 Km so that implies nearly 100 kph average. i do this trip often and have never managed under 5 hr, including only 1 coffee stop. The AA recommends a minimum of one stop every 2 hr for driver safety, plus most vitistors will want to photograoh the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
285 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

If we travel in late May, is one of the three better ? I am concerned about driving narrow roads in the winter. I am from California and not used to driving in the wet.

I assume the Glacier option takes you through Haast through Arthurs Pass before reaching Christchurch.

The Mt. Cook option is a puzzle. I do not see a road from Mt. Cook to Christchurch.

The East route takes you through OAmuar and Timaru.

Do all three take you though Wanaka ?

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

For Aoraki/Mt Cook

click here http://maps.aa.co.nz/#directions

enter wanaka

enter mount cook village

click on add destination

enter christchurch

In May all the roads will be fine.

I think via Wanaka and Aoraki/Mt Cook the most scenic - I simply adore that drive

via Wanaka and the West Coast is nice - best bit is Wanaka to Haast

via Wanaka and Oamaru is simply okay, nothing more

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
31,235 posts
322 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

The direct route on SH8 from Chch/Mt Cook to Queenstown does not pass through Wanaka, whereas the Haast Pass road does.

Dean, it would be clearer to all if you started your own thread.

9. Re: Suggestions for a 7/8 roadtrip starting from Christchurch ?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 December 2014, 05:18