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QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

Media, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
1 helpful vote
QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

Hi All,

I am in QT now and am leaving tomorrow to spend 2 nights in Wanaka and then 2 nights in Mt Cook. We fly out the same day as we check out of Mt Cook. Looking for advice on the driving routes we should take. We will have more time for stops on the way to than when we return and will be catching a flight out in QT. Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
Level Contributor
24,759 posts
749 reviews
511 helpful votes
1. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

what time do you fly out. keep an eye on weather forecasts. its winter so if bad weather is forecast the roads could be closed.

road delays arent uncommon in nz so you are cutting it fine in winter driving from mt cook national park to queenstown and flying out on the same day.

Edited: 25 May 2024, 20:40
Media, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
1 helpful vote
2. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

When I originally booked-- our flights were at 8 pm but the airline changed them to 3:30pm. Our plans are to leave Mt Cook at 8am-- which gives us 5 hours to still be 2.5 hrs before our flight.

Looking at the weather forecast -- I do not see freezing temps for the 2 days we are in Mt Cook.

Media, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
1 helpful vote
3. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

I stand corrected-- I was looking at the wrong location. It looks like snow on Tuesday and chance on Wednesday. We would leave on Thursday. hmmmm.

Media, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

I have canceled our booking in Mt Cook and will plan to return to Queenstown the night before our flight. Even the receptionist at the Hermitage agreed it was a smart idea to cancel based on forecasts for the next few days. I will just extend our stay in Wanaka. Thanks nzOpp for your feedback.

Arrowtown, New...
Level Contributor
8,316 posts
68 reviews
65 helpful votes
5. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

Remember to check the Queenstown Lakes District Council website/ Facebook page for their 7am daily road report for road conditions in the area... they'll inform where CMA or grit have been applied, and areas to warch for black ice etc.

NZTA (Waka Kotahi) will have wider region roading info, closures, delays, webcams.

And of course Met Service for the weather and any snow road warnings

... though so far tonight it's quite warm and windy.

Edited: 25 May 2024, 22:46
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
Level Contributor
24,759 posts
749 reviews
511 helpful votes
6. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

or you could have spent 2 nights at mt cook first and then wanaka and queenstown. but you will still be able to have two full days at mt cook and just leave mid afternoon. i havent seen any severe weather warnings (but anything more than 3 days out isnt accurate in alpine areas). the high winds are an issue though and are throughout most of nz for a few days it seems .

i frequently visit mt cook national park, i love the area. but it is an alpine area and is subject to gale winds and in winter snow and ice. however, road closures due to vehicle accidents is the most common delays we have encountered in our recent trips. it just depends how your stress levels go.

all things being equal you should be fine to drive same day as afternoon flight. but in winter it adds a whole new layer of issues on the roads

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New Zealand, Tasmania
Level Contributor
28,296 posts
440 reviews
245 helpful votes
7. Re: QT-Wanaka-Mt Cook- QT

You might have been better to cut Wanaka a day short and head out to Mt Cook on day 2 and 3

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