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.

Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

rsa
australia
Level Contributor
793 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

Hi, Looking at driving from Nelson tp Franz Josef, in one day. Is it too far to travel in one day? Our itinerary does not allow us any more time to travel this route, unless we cut short our 2 day stay in Nelson. I really would like to Stay the 2 days in Nelson, and spend one of the days at the Abel Tasman Park. How long does this take to travel from Nelson the the Park?. Could we stay closer to the Park, say Mapua or Tasman. Would this add a lot of time onto our trip the following day to Franz Josef?I hope someone can assis me . Kindest Regards RSA

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
410 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

Razza (approprite name as we approach ANZAC day)

This a long way to go in one day (Nelson to Franz is a 6-7 hour drive) the West Coast road is rated as one of the best drives for scenery in the country.

Check out all the rave trip reports and little stories from "Coaster".

Visitors to the country give us feedback on the forum that 4/5 hours a day driving is enough or you dont appreciate what is around you. Suggest you consider stopping on the Coast itself.

You can stay closer to the AT Park than Nelson (Mapua or Kaiteriteri for example - much smaller places with limited accommodation) and then cut through the Motueka Valley to join up with Nelson/Wesport road - it is the same distance from Motueka to Franz going this route as it is from Nelson to Franz.

Check this site for times and distances etc.

aatravel.co.nz/new-zealand-information/new-z…

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
88,047 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

Mapua and Kaiteriteri are pretty small. If you want an actual town with shops and restaurants, try Motueka.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
8,006 posts
211 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

If you were going to stay in Mapua or Kaiteriteri I would be inclined to book ahead. Sydneynic is exagerating with "small", they are tiny. However great things come in small parcels! The view from the cafes in either place will cause you to contemplate the meaning of life over some very fine local wine! There are some excellent boat trips from Kaiteriteri into Tasman bay and the Park. You can even row yourself! Nelson to Kaiteriteri is about 40mins but you can get stuck in one of the wineries or simply sitting on a beach somewhere.

The road from Kaiteriteri to Takaka and Tasman Bay is one of those "windy steep' roads some posters go on about. The views are incredible and there is a cave complex to walk through. Once at Takaka take in the Pu Pu springs (not it's correct name) the purest water in the world. We once stayed in a B&B in Pohara, around the bay a bit, the view was amazing. Sorry can't remember the name. There are some nice motels in Takaka and also some back packers. Deciding which of the cafes to use is a pleasant was to pass the time. Because this is not an area you "pass through" the pace is quite different.

rsa
australia
Level Contributor
793 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

Thanks to all that have taken the time to reply to my post. We have decided to break our journey up and stay at Punakaiki one night, before heading off to Franz Josef. Any good places to stay around Punakaiki? Thanks RSA

Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
38 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

Hi RSA,

glad your breaking the journey but really sad because one day won't give you enough time to explore the Abel Tasman Park.

I am almost inclined to say get up really early when leaving Frans Josef (and you are Aussies and okay with our roads!)and enjoy the coastal road and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks (20 min walk)and shortly afterwards there is a trek called Truman Trek (only 10 min but beautiful)and then try to go to Cape Foulwind and the Tauranga Bay Cafe for a late Lunch and then drive tomwards Nelson (about 3 hours from there). I would recommend you stay near Mapua, a cute village with restaurants and a supermarket. It's only about half an hours drive from there to the Abel Tasman Park. Motueka is a bit of a drive through town (sorry to all the people who live there). The Abel Tasman Park is a must see, very beautiful with lots of options. If you are flying out of Nelson, the airport is about half an hour from Mapua or if you leave by ferry it will take about 2 hours to get there.

What time of year are you travelling?

If you do want to stay in Punakaiki try Wavewatchers cottage or the big Scenic Circle Hotel there.

Enjoy your holiday in this beautiful part of the country,

Anne

New Zealand
Level Contributor
44 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

To answer your original question, driving from Nelson to Franz Josef is very possible to do in one day. In fact, I did much more than that just a few weeks ago. I drove from Palmerston North —> Wellington —> Ferry to the South Island —> Blenheim —> Franz Joseph. Left at 5:00 AM and arrived at 8:00 PM.

The West Coast is beautiful, but there is a very good chance that you will have absolute crap weather while driving down there and you won't get to see any of the beautiful scenery anyway. Greymouth and Westport are two of the most depressing towns in New Zealand, so don't plan on stopping there unless you need supplies or something.

Nelson is amazing and Franz Josef is great, too, so don't worry about missing too much stuff in between.

7. Re: Driving time Nelson to Franz Josef

-:- 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: 11 November 2009, 07:31
Get answers to your questions about Nelson
Recent Conversations