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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Do it if you can!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Crown Range Road

Ranked #252 of 1,170 things to do in South Island
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Crown Range Road is the highest main road in New Zealand and offers amazing views.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,403 reviews
429 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,112 helpful votes
“Do it if you can!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

If you are driving any where from the North to Queenstown and approach Cardona, do not take SH 6 or 8 or 1 or whatever the map shows. Instead follow your GPS (at least mine brought me to this road under the fastest option), and it will put you on a breathtaking stretch of about 20 kms of road that is just breathtaking and stunning in its scenery, and a challenge to drive on. It is the most curvy and undulating stretch of road in very stark, barren surroundings that I have ever experienced. No travel guide or book mentions this road. It is almost a hidden gem. At times it appears almost surreal, and if you do it in the late evening with the sun going down, the play of light will be amazing, because your car will be turning 360 degrees within 1km! There are some view points, but for me this drive itself provided the best experience. Best of all, it is very sparsely traveled, so you will have the entire road almost to yourself. But beware, the road is 2 lane and in very good condition, but is narrower than other NZ roads, constantly goes through dips, twists and turns almost like being on a rollercoaster. Enjoy it.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank ZenHealer7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

72 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great views”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2014 via mobile

This drive is worth taking. It's quite easy as long as you and other drivers adhere to the road signs and speed suggestions.

Views are excellent. Fortunately we had good weather

Visited January 2014
Thank osmosishol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cromwell, New Zealand
Level Contributor
82 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“"Must do" road to travel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2013 via mobile

You won't be disappointed. Breathtaking views to die for and a real NZ picturesque haven for photography. Truely spectacular if a little scarey the first time but a road once travelled never forgotten. Enjoy!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Beverley1962642254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Unintentional ride but turned out well!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

The original plan to go via Cromwell from Wanaka to Queenstown but we took the wrong route and turned into Crown Range instead. Oh well, it turned to be a rather nice, scenic and much shorter ride instead. Especially liked some parts where we felt sandwiched between the gorges and mountains. Some winding and hilly slopes but it wasn't that bad as long as you keep within a safe speed limit, especially nearing turning points. Wonder how we got so high up there where there didn't seem any sleep slopes at some point!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank smNg09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
281 reviews
174 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Crown Saddle - Highest Sealed Pass in New Zealand”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2012 via mobile

Have heard many things about the Crown Range Road. "Steep winding climb" "Hairpin turns" We decided, with some trepidation, to give it a try. The weather's good (you may want to avoid it if there's ice and snow on the roads) and it is the shortest route from Queenstown/Arrowtown to Wanaka.

Naahh...it really isn't that scary, at least not for experienced drivers. Go slow (stop by the lookouts for photos!) and keep a watchful eye on the road. It turned out to be a great scenic drive for us.

2 Thank nlaykhim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Crown Range Road also viewed

Cardrona, Otago Region
South Island, New Zealand
Arrowtown, Otago Region
Arrowtown, Otago Region

Been to Crown Range Road? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing