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Noora
Singapore

Noora from Singapore asked

Drive from Wellington to South Island?

I am planning a trip to Queensland, NZ (first time to NZ). Should I fly straight to Queensland or would a drive from Wellington to Queensland be a better option. I have a week in NZ.

New Zealand

6 Answers
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answered by
Aaron from Spain

Agree with Paul, rent your car from the ferry terminal in Picton (book in advance) then take the route down the west coast. Check out the glaciers, lots of place to stop, maybe stay in Hokitika and/or another place like Haastfor a night to break it up.  

Check out Punakaiki rocks, Franz Josef GlacierFox Glacier on the way. Def check out the view from lake front at lake Wanaka.


Enjoy


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Christie
Yes, the lake front view in Wanaka is spectacular
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Picton (city)
  2. Hokitika (city)
  3. Haast (city)
  4. Punakaiki (city)
  5. Franz Josef Glacier (attraction)
  6. Fox Glacier (city)
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answered by
Christie from Hershey

I may differ in opinion from others, but to me, Queenstown is ok - but a bit touristy and I prefer other places in NZ, so I would include Kaikoura and down the coast, cut in to get to Tekapo and Pukaki.  I think that is spectacular. And then head south to Qtown.


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  1. Queenstown (city)
  2. Kaikoura (city)
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answered by
Paul

Hi Noora, I have lived in most parts of NZ and planned holidays for thousands of people here. For those with a week only, starting in Wellington and going to Queenstown I advise them to do the drive from Picton to Blenheim to Murchison then down the Buller Gorge Swing Bridge, through to the Great Ocean Road to the Gold Coast. Stop off at the Punakaiki and overnight in Greymouth. You could allow a half day to do one of the local adventures on route. There are some great glow-worm cave adventures in this area but heaps of other stuff to.

Then head to the glaciers and overnight there. On to Queenstown.

This route provides the traveller with the most diverse types of landscapes for the time spent and it is also the Quickest Route with the least traffic. You'll get stunning photos of a huge variety of landscapes with plenty of amazing places for quick stops on the way that don't cost anything too. 

You can decide on the way how much or how little time you want to spend on this route as you go.


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Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Wellington (city)
  2. Queenstown (city)
  3. Picton (city)
  4. Blenheim (city)
  5. Murchison (city)
  6. Buller Gorge Swing Bridge (attraction)
  7. Punakaiki (city)
  8. Greymouth (city)
  9. Queenstown (city)
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answered by
Jae from Singapore

If you really enjoy driving, you could do the drive in under a week as it is a nice drive! However, you'd be leaving yourself so little time in Queenstown or to explore surrounding locations such as the Milford Sound or Wanaka. Take note that you can rent a car after you cross by ferry in Picton and save a bunch of money on crossing with your car. 

We had a rental and drove from Picton to Queenstown, stopping along the way here and there. That part of the trip took about a week, so it is possible. New Zealand is a great place to explore by car (or campervan). Enjoy your trip!


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Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Queenstown (city)
  2. Milford Sound (city)
  3. Wanaka (city)
  4. Picton (city)
  5. Picton (city)
  6. Queenstown (city)
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answered first by
Gita from Mumbai

Hi,

I'm guessing you mean Queenstown. It's a beautiful drive from Picton to Queenstown, if you take the Ferry from Wellington to Picton, but I'd suggest you check how long it'll take you based on how much you would want to drive every day since you'd be there a week. There are lots of beautiful places, in between, that you may want to stop.

Have a great trip!


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Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Queenstown (city)
  2. Picton (city)
  3. Wellington (city)
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answered by
Marion from Galway

As you have only a week in NZ, I suggest you go directly to Queenstown and explore that area. There is loads to keep you occupied there. The journey from Wellington needs a week at least to even scratch the surface. Enjoy a wonderful spot.


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Noora
Thanks all! Yes I decided to fly straight to Queenstown and rent a car there and take a day trip to Milford Sound instead.
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Queenstown (city)
  2. Wellington (city)
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