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Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

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Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Hi, we will be in Dunedin in March. We have a day to travel up to Te Anau from Dunedin and I'd welcome opinion and thought on whether it is worth the long day driving the scenic route via Invercargill, or drive the more direct route via Gore?

We will have a baby with us (6 months old) and the next day we need to leave early to get an early cruise at Milford Sound.

My thinking is that as much as we'd love to do the scenic route, its probably not viable / sensible.

If that is the case, perhaps you could also advise on whether the direct route has any good places to stop / scenery worth checking out / places to eat / feed baby?

Many thanks!

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Dunedin
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Otago Region, New Zealand
Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Invercargill
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Southland Region, New Zealand
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Te Anau
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1. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

To drive the SSR from Dunedin to Te Anau can take 8-9 hours, so a long day. No specific places to feed the baby, but there are plenty of laybys, and you pass through a few towns, so probably not a problem.

IMO the best parts of the SSR are between Balclutha and Papotowai. If you are short of time,(and you will be) turn off SH1 at Balclutha and take the SSR to Kaka Point. From there you can take a short spectacular walk to the Nuggets Point Lighthouse. Take the bypass to Owaka, maybe for lunch and a feeding stop. Visit the local museum if it is open (staffed by volunteers). Continue on the SSR to Papotowai, taking walk to the Purakanui falls perhaps. Visit "The Lost Gypsy Caravan" at Papotowai. Continue on the SSR to the Florence Hill lookout, overlooking Tautuku Bay. Absolutely spectacular crescent of golden sand.

Then. Either backtrack to Papotowai and take the road through Tahkopa to Wyndham and Gore, then to Te Anau. (Parts of this road are unsealed).

or. Continue on the SSR to Fort Rose. Shortly after Fort Rose, take the road to Edendale, thence to Gore. (You will need a GPS to do this. I always get lost, even having done it many times.)

Or. Continue on the SSR to Invercargill, and thence to Te Anau.

All these routes are shorter than the full SSR which continues from Invercargioll to Riverton, Tuatapere, and Manapouri to Te Anau

Another alternative is to visit Kaka Point, the Nuggets Light, and Owaka, then backtrack from Owaka to Balclutha and continue of SH1. This would be the shortest option, and IMO is the best part of the SSR.

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Dunedin
Dunedin
Otago Region, New Zealand
Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Invercargill
Invercargill
Southland Region, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand
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2. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

VBC gave great advice. I think with your time constraints, you should go for VBC's last alternative. Absolutely see the Nuggets at Nugget Pt. Owaka is just a small town, but the visitor center is nice and the town has services. The view from the Florence Hill lookout, overlooking Tautuku Bay is gorgeous.

The drive from Gore to Te Anau is easy. Gore is also a nice little town, much bigger than Owaka. Their small art museum, Eastern Southland Gallery, is worth popping into.

I can add that it takes us 90 minutes to drive from Dunedin to Nugget Pt. We take the more scenic route, (rather than SH1) out of Dunedin. This is officially the start of the Southern Scenic Route, but I think a lot of people skip this part and leave Dunedin by way of the motorway. …govt.nz/Documents/…ssr-catlins-journey.pdf

southernscenicroute.co.nz/index.php/…dunedin

We start at St. Clair Beach then drive up to Middleton-Blackhead Beach Road. Blackhead Beach Rd. takes you past the turn-off for Tunnel Beach Road (which you may not have time for on the way to the Catlins), past Blackhead Beach, through the small communities of Waldronville and Brighton to Taieri Mouth. From there, we take Finlayson Road to Lake Waihola, where we rejoin SH1. On a sunny day, this coastal road is incomparably more pleasant than the motorway. While you are in Dunedin, try to walk down to Tunnel Beach, especially if the weather is clear. It's a short steep track, but folks with baby carriers are a regular sight on this track.

dunedinnz.com/visit/…tunnel-beach

dunedinnz.com/visit/…top-five-beaches

I love the Catlins. Too bad you don't have enough time to spend a couple of days in this area to see the more southerly parts of the Catlins. You'll just have to come back!

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3. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Some great advice offered here.

My suggestion was going to be - if the weather is great take the SSR, if bad go via Gore.

Happy travels :)

London
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4. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Thanks guys. Rough duration from Gore to Te?

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5. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

A previous poster once complained I give out too much homework -

nope, I merely provide the tools

so here you go, do it yourself drive times - http://maps.aa.co.nz/#directions

happy homework :)

London
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6. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Great stuff thanks.

I don't know how many people realise how different the AA times are to the Google times - you could seriously screw up your plans if you weren't aware!

Dunedin, New Zealand
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7. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Let's say 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. See the Gore, NZ website:

http://www.gorenz.com/visit

Biggar, United...
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8. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Great detailed information on this thread. I wish I had some of it when we visited the area back in November 2013 but I'll store it somewhere for future reference.

The Catlins are a lovely scenic area of the country and often get by-passed but I'd recommend to anyone visiting. Fill up on fuel in Dunedin area as petrol stations are few and far between on the route and being a rural area don't necessarily operate 24 hours.

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9. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Hi everyone,

We'r planning to travel South Island via car.

From CHC - Dunedin - Te Anau - Queenstown - Cromwell - Arrowtown - Mt Cook - pass by Lake Tekapo - CHC.

I'm using AA Maps. While renting a car there, we'll be adding in GPS.

Please advice whats the most accurate info we should be relying on.

Seems to bme there are various ways from one destination to another such as the one from Dunedin to te Anau.

In the AA MAps, it states that from Dunthat Motel to te Anau, it only takes 3 hrs 42 mins here about with a total of 287 km. According to the direction given ( covering most part of the journey ) :

Go left into SH 1 - Caversham Bypass Mwy all the way til Waipahi Hwy

after which going into various roadsfrom Mcinnon Rd, Whiterig Rd, Knapdale, Otama, Roversdale Pyramid, Two CHains Rd, ... Lumsden Hwy

Is this route one of the shorter and scenic way ?

Thanks a million for any help rendered.

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South Island
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Dunedin
Dunedin
Otago Region, New Zealand
Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
singapore
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10. Re: Dunedin to Te Anau - Direct route or scenic route?

Hi everyone,

We'r planning to travel South Island via car.

From CHC - Dunedin - Te Anau - Queenstown - Cromwell - Arrowtown - Mt Cook - pass by Lake Tekapo - CHC.

I'm using AA Maps. While renting a car there, we'll be adding in GPS.

Please advice whats the most accurate info we should be relying on.

Seems to bme there are various ways from one destination to another such as the one from Dunedin to te Anau.

In the AA MAps, it states that from Dunthat Motel to te Anau, it only takes 3 hrs 42 mins here about with a total of 287 km. According to the direction given ( covering most part of the journey ) :

Go left into SH 1 - Caversham Bypass Mwy all the way til Waipahi Hwy

after which going into various roadsfrom Mcinnon Rd, Whiterig Rd, Knapdale, Otama, Roversdale Pyramid, Two CHains Rd, ... Lumsden Hwy

Is this route one of the shorter and scenic way ?

Thanks a million for any help rendered.

Mentioned in this post
South Island
South Island
New Zealand
Dunedin
Dunedin
Otago Region, New Zealand
Te Anau
Te Anau
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand