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Driving on South Island

Newcastle, New...
Level Contributor
2 posts
27 reviews
Driving on South Island

We are heading into Christchurch in mid August and hiring a car to take us to Queenstown to spend most of our 7 days on the South Island.

As we don't arrive in Chrischurch airport until 1:55pm, clearly driving to Queenstown is out of the question. can anyone give us any good suggestions on a good distance to drive before spending the night? Are we best to stick to the coast at that time of the afternoon and say aim for Dunedin or would going inland and staying the night at Lake Tekapo a better idea? We are very new to cold, snowy conditions! We are also travelling with a 10 and 13 year old and are hiring a 4wd

Any suggestions will be great! :)

6 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
11,232 posts
73 reviews
1. Re: Driving on South Island

Why not get a connecting flight and fly into Queenstown?

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,213 posts
450 reviews
2. Re: Driving on South Island

Since you are unlikely to be picking up your car before 3pm you are not going to get far before dark. Geraldine or Fairlie would be possibilities or perhaps Methven. Avoids potential snowy roads by not crossing any of the passes until the next day.

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
3,922 posts
141 reviews
3. Re: Driving on South Island

As above. even before comming to NZ, check on the met service web site for the weather forecasts for the period you arrive http://www.metservice.com/national/home

attimes theather will be great in August , other times it may be lousy, it can change by the day and by the hour.

dont drive after dark, two reasons, 1 you dont see the scenery, and 2 it is dangerous due to the possiblity of ice.

consider staying the night somewhere like Ashburton, plenty of accomodation, and sets you on your way and there before dark.

make sure you have chains with your retal and that you have been shown how to fit them

4. Re: Driving on South Island

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Removed on: 24 May 2015, 00:50
Level Contributor
493 posts
82 reviews
5. Re: Driving on South Island

What about staying on a farmstay in Fairlie? If you drive through Fairlie at all make sure you stop at the Fairlie Bakehouse for a fantastic pie and a cream bun.

6. Re: Driving on South Island

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Removed on: 28 March 2014, 01:29
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