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Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

San Diego...
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Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

How doable is the drive from Abel Tasman to Queenstown in two days? I have two friends coming to visit me here in NZ and they are trying to fit as much into their trip as possible, since they may never get a chance to return again. They want to drive the coast route between Abel Tasman and Queenstown to soak in all the beauty of the region, but I will be doing the driving. It sounds like too much to me, but my friend did some research and found that it is 12 hours total without stops. What do you think?

New Zealand
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1. Re: Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

Locals do it, but it isn't a recommended way to travel the country for a tourist.

12 hours driving assumes you are capable, confident and EXPERIENCED at driving on the left and in particular, exprienced at driving NZ's narrow, steep and twisty roads. Plus the drive has a lot of one lane bridges to negotiate - 20 of them just between Wanaka and Franz - which tourists usually do as a 6 hour drive for that section alone.

Plus the road has a lot of rain, can you maintain the same maximum speed through a deluge and flooded roads?

I think what you are attempting is not smart planning. Driver fatigue is the most common cause of NZ road accidents, please don't add to the statistics.

.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

The recommended roue to drive is

day 1 drive to Wanaka

day 2 drive to Franz Josef - allow 6 hours from Wanaka with stops for lunch and one short 20 minute walk

day 3 drive to Punakaiki

day 4 drive to Nelson or Abel Tasman

San Diego...
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3. Re: Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

Thank you Wanaka Lakes. That is the kind of advice I needed. We will rethink that part of our trip!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

Cheers :)

It might have helped you better if I had done the route round the right way for you...

day 1 drive to Punakaiki

day 2 drive to Franz

day 3 drive to Wanaka

day 4 drive to Queenstown

5. Re: Driving from Nelson to Queenstown in two days November 9-10.

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