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Driving from Te Anau to Franz Josef

Ireland
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85 posts
38 reviews
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Driving from Te Anau to Franz Josef

Hi,

I am driving around the south island for one week with my husband.

Our plan is to stay in Queenstown for 2 days depart to Te anau on day 3. Take in Te Anau and Milford Sound on day 3 and we were going to depart te anau on Day 4 to head to Franz Josef. It looks like a very long drive approx 10 hours would that be correct from Te Anau to Franz Josef? I could see diffferent driving times depending where I looked!!

Would anyone have any suggestions on what I could do when departing Te Anau before we get to Franz Josef? If I have a day to spare is it preferable to spend it in Te Anau or Franz Josef( we are already spending one day & night in each)

We will be travelling on to Christchurch for 2 days from Franz Josef at the end of our trip.

Thanks

melbourne
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1. Re: Driving from Te Anau to Franz Josef

twinklesplodge

I would probably say an extra day in Franz Josef, as I was blown away by its size. When you walk down from the carpark to the first observation point, you just don't realise how far it actually still is because of its size. It is very deceiving as you think you're close but it is another 30-40 minute walk to the terminal(face) of the glacier!

It was one of my favourite things, so I wanted to spend time just taking it in.

Thats my humble opinion anyway

regards

chris

Wellington New...
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2. Re: Driving from Te Anau to Franz Josef

Te Anau to Franz Josef is a long drive. Its about 550 km but you would be lucky to average 70km. You have to travel through Queenstown, Wanaka, over the Haast Pass, and then up the west coast of the South Island to Franz Josef. That's 8 hours on the road without more than a short comfort stop, perhaps longer if it is raining or cloudy. 10 hours is realistic. The road is sealed all the way, one lane in each direction, mainly light traffic, but with a substantial climb over a mountain pass between Wanaka and Haast. Even if you wanted to do it that way the real pity is that you will be passing through a lot of interesting places and beautiful country to arrive at Franz Josef. Franz is a glacier, and some accommodation and tourist services, and that is it. If glaciers are your greatest interest you'll be as pleased as the person in the other reply you've had. Personally if I had a spare day I would do Te Anau to Wanaka, perhaps travelling over the Crown Range road, looking at the historic areas (such as a stop at the Cardrona hotel), stay the night in Wanaka, and have an easier trip through to Fox the next day with time for the national park and other scenic country on the way through. But you need to watch the times for glacier access, and the weather constraints. Your itinerary generally looks very well planned..

3. Re: Driving from Te Anau to Franz Josef

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