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Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

Brisbane, Australia
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711 posts
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Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

We're trying to decide whether we'll have time to do the Taieri Gorge rail journey. We'll be travelling from Invercargill via the Catlins and would like to take in the beautiful scenery enroute, stop for photos etc. Doing that, is it still feasible to arrive in Dunedin by, say, 11.30 am in time to catch the train at 12.30?

Te Anau, New Zealand
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for South Island, Te Anau
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1. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

No,

To drive straight through without stopping will take about 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Factor in stops and you are looking at 6 hours or so.

It does get light about 4am, so y ou could make an early start, but it would still be a very full day.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

Thanks vbc. Appreciate your advice. I think we'll give the train trip a miss. We're actually touring NZ in May next year so I guess it wouldn't be light until 7 am? We'd prefer to relax and enjoy the Catlins and we intend taking the Tranzcoastal from Picton to Christchurch so we'll experience at least one train journey during our stay.

Te Anau, New Zealand
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for South Island, Te Anau
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3. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

Probably a wise choice. May is getting into winter, and as you say the days are shorter. probably light about 7am and dark about 6.30pm. Also a great time to travel for bargains with accommodation and tours. Check out WOTIF for hotel deals up to 28 days in advance.

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

I drove the Catlins in May 2 years ago. It's beautiful and rugged, but can be extremely windy with the southerlies coming off of Antarctica. Make sure you take a couple of layers of clothing if you plan to stop at any of the places along the coast such as slope point or nugget point. I think it took us about 6 hours as vbc suggested and we stopped about 5 times.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

Thanks for your advice. We'll certainly make sure we're well equipped for cold and windy weather. Actually, we toured the SI of NZ back in 2004 and really enjoyed the cold weather. Coming from warm and humid Brisbane the change was welcome and we just loved the autumn tones, something we don't see here.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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6. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

The "sights" of the Catlins are all off the main road so there is no point even trying to drive in less than one full day, ideally with a night somewhere like Owaka. I travelled from Te Anau to Owaka, with lunch in Invercagill & an evening walk to the seal colony in December, actually about the longest day. Next day we made Dunedin by mid-afternoon - time to tour the Cadbury Factory before dinner!

7. Re: Time to travel between Invercargill & Dunedin via Catlins

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