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driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Vancouver, Canada
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driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Hi all,

We want to take 3 days to drive from Queenstown to Christchurch and have two questions.

1) Which route should we take and

2) where should we stay each of two nights looking for unique or interesting accommodations with three teenage kids 2X19, 15.

Ideas?

New Zealand
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1. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Welcome to the forum C :)

There is no route you should take. it depends very much on your interests and how much driving you wish to do.

One route to consider - about 731 kms

1 drive Haast Pass to Franz Josef

2 drive to Punakaiki

3 drive Arthur's Pass to Chch

my favourite route - 606 kms

1 drive to Wanaka

2 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

3 drive to Chch

once you have determined which route we can then possibly help suggest accommodation options.

hope this helps :)

Scone, Australia
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2. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Hi CarlSvangtun,

My husband and I are travelling in New Zealand the end of July for 10 days.

We fly into Christchurch, drive to Wanaka and after 7 days, drive back to Christchurch. We are doing the both ways 'WanakaLakes' described.

We have booked the following B&B's on our way:

1 night at Three Rivers Lodge, Lake Tekapo

7 nights at Wanaka Springs Lodge, Wanaka

1 night at Reflections Lodge, Fox Glacier

1 night at Hokitika Heritage Lodge, Hokitika

We booked these B&B's after we read the reviews on Tripadvisor.

Will let you know how it was.

Sandra

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Wanaka Lakes always has the best ideas but here are two more variations on the theme:

QTN to Aoraki/Mt Cook (2 N)

Mt Cook to Chch

OR

QTN to Aoraki/Mt Cook (1 N)

Mt Cook to Tekapo (1N - opportunity for star-gazing at Mt John or hot pools)

Tekapo to Chch

Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

That's a tough choice as all those routes are excellent for different reasons.

I would argue that the Glacier/Arthur's Pass route has the benefit of gorgeous roadsign scenery almost 100% of the way and it has a better selection of shortwalks (we did about 10 on this route and they were all fabulous). I also liked the way the scenery would change constantly (e.g high country grasslands - beech forest - lush rainforest - wild, rugged coastline etc). On the flipside, the roads are longer and more difficult to drive, and you have quite a high chance of rain along the West Coast.

The Mt Cook/Tekapo route on the other hand is quite beautiful until Tekapo and then, IMO, becomes a bit average. On the flipside, the moments when this route is at it's most beautiful, it absolutely takes your breath away. Both my husband and I thought the road into Mt Cook was stunning, plus he thinks it's the best road he has driven in this country in terms of the layout of the road and the way the views open up in front of you. Our stay at the Alpine Lodge in Mt Cook was probably our favourite NZ accommodation to date. Mainly due to the priceless views out the window.

Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo are also gorgeous and, thanks to WanakaLakes, I now know that December is a great time to visit Tekapo due to it being lupine season.

How many days are you spending in Queenstown? If quite a few, can I suggest stealing your last night from there and spending it in Wanaka. One, because Wanaka is a great place to stay, and two, because it will shorten your journey on day 1 of the above itineraries. While QT to Aoraki is not too bad, I would argue that QT to Franz is too much driving for one day. Particularly if you want both time to stop and enjoy the roadside scenery and time to enjoy the destination.

Edited: 25 May 2012, 20:03
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

lots of great info folks, thank you!

(4 days in Queenstown)

Greymouth, New...
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6. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

another route which hasnt been sugested, is via central otago, down the Cromwell Gorge to Dunedin. stay dunedin and check out sights such sas out the Otago Peninsular, then drive north to Oamaru, and inlland to Omarama, Twizel, (MtCook for short detour) Tekapo then to Chirstchurch via fairly and Geraldine.

again all threee routes available are dependant on wat you like to see and do and what is different to what you are already familiar with.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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7. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Hi Coaster, Thanks. That is one of my favourite routes as I find it very scenic. It doesn't often get a mention here. It is a bit of a wander around but isn't that what traveling is all about. It also gives you access to the Central Otago Rail Trail and all it's features. (Somewhere else that doesn't often get mentioned)

http://www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz

Pretoria, SA
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8. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Hi WL,

Taking the sugested 606km Route,

1 drive to Wanaka

2 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

3 drive to Chch

I will appreciate suggestions accommodation options.

Tx

New Zealand
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9. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

It is a gorgeous drive, enjoy :)

Wanaka has an excellent selection of B&B's and lodges to choose from, ranging from moderate through to luxury. If looking for a friendly, centrally located B&B consider Renmore House http://renmore-house.co.nz/

Aoraki/Mt Cook has The Hermitage

take a look at www.wotif.com for discounts.

Happy booking :)

sunshine coast qld
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10. Re: driving from Queenstown to Christchurch over 3 days in Dec

Hi There,

Just a suggestion for your stay at Mt. Cook, we stayed at Aoraki/Mt.Cook Alpine Lodge and just loved it. Big lodge style accomodation with a fantastic viewing deck to see Mt. Cook and surrounding mountains in all their glory. A big cosy communal lounge with a kitchen to make coffees or cook, this is not a hostel just a fabulous friendly lodge, and not the usual run of the mill hotel style accomodation. (Lots of pictures on wotif) Enjoy your stay wherever you decide, you will love it.