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Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

Calgary, Canada
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Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

My husband and I were suggested by some forum members to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown in March next year for our South Island visit.

We'll have been traveling all over the world for almost 8 months by then and have seen a lot and are going to drive through Arthur's pass, and do a Routeburn hike from Queenstown and see Doubtful or Milford sound later on.

I need help finding out where to stop and stay in our drive between Arthur's Pass and Queenstown. A lot of places have bad reviews on tripadvisor and I don't have a reference point for what the areas are like.

I don't know if it makes sense to stop at the glaciers, since I heard you can't do a look around by yourself, just tours. We're doing a lot of tours so we'll opt out of that. We also already went to Iceland this summer and plan to go back there some day too to see glaciers.

It's almost a 7 hour drive from Arthur's Pass to Queenstown says google maps, without any stops. Any suggestions for where to stop and stay for one night before continuing?

New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

Use this for a more accurate indication of drive times www.aatravel.co.nz/main/td-calculator.php

Chch to Q'town via Arthur's Pass is about 11 hours of non-stop driving.

You could drive;

Chch to Franz Josef

Franz to Queenstown

but it makes for two very long days. And as you have no interest in the glaciers you might be best to either take the far shorter route of Chch to Tekapo and then on the Queenstown, total drive time about 7 hours....or... take the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and go

Chch to Punakaiki

to Franz

to Wanaka

to Q'town

Hope this helps, happy planning :)

Takapuna, New...
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2. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

If you plan on visiting Arthur's Pass, then from there I would be inclined to take the West Coast road (SH6) past Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. It isn't the shortest route but imo is the most scenic route. On this road I would overnight at Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge. I have stayed there twice and really enjoyed the lodge and the area, and although it was a few years ago, they continue to get mostly positive reviews. It is around 360km from Arthur's Pass to Lake Moeraki and a further 240km to Queenstown.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1413980-d31824…

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

Thanks for the tips.

How is the driving down the Westcoast? I've been mapping it out on googlemaps, but as we've learned traveling everywhere you cannot know what a place will be like to drive through by looking at a map! We're hoping it won't be too weird driving on a highway on the left side...

Takapuna, New...
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4. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

It's a pretty relaxing drive. Two lanes all the way (one each way) except for the one way bridges that are shared with trains. Not much traffic. Sealed all the way except for any road works. You will enjoy it. It's not that difficult to keep left. I manage to keep right most years when I holiday in US or Europe. The biggest challenge I find is driving in a shopping center car park and there aren't that many of those on the West Coast.

Edited: 2:57 am, November 13, 2010
Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

Thanks this is helpful. I'm glad it won't be a stressful mountain drive! Some countries have terrible mountain roads and it's quite unpleasant. We're looking forward to New Zealand. :)

Takapuna, New...
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6. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

The West Coast of NZ is not stressful mountain driving. The road is a little narrower than the Squamish Highway from Vancouver to Whistler drive I did this year, but no more difficult. Enjoy your trip.

7. Re: Mar 2011 driving Arthurs to Queenstown, where to stop?

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