South Island driving route



  • The family and I are planning to drive from QT to PN when our self iso is over. Looks like we have 2 options to Picton, via ChCh (10hrs), or via the west coast (closer to 12hrs).

    Is it worth the extra couple of hours to take in the glaciers and rugged beaches of the west? We will be doing the whole thing in c. 2 days, so not much time for sightseeing.

    Family has seen none of either route previously

    Any advice and/or must-see towns/landmarks would be appreciated

    Cheers



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Is it worth the extra couple of hours to take in the glaciers and rugged beaches of the west? We will be doing the whole thing in c. 2 days, so not much time for sightseeing.

    Hell yes! Some of the best driving in the world.

    The pass from QT over to the west coast is amazing - the mountains; Punakaiki, etc. Definitely go and see it, loads of great mountains.

    East cost is good, but canterbury plains are flat and boring, and Kaikoura road is probably still a bit smashed



  • @nzzp said in South Island driving route:

    @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Is it worth the extra couple of hours to take in the glaciers and rugged beaches of the west? We will be doing the whole thing in c. 2 days, so not much time for sightseeing.

    Hell yes! Some of the best driving in the world.

    The pass from QT over to the west coast is amazing - the mountains; Punakaiki, etc. Definitely go and see it, loads of great mountains.

    East cost is good, but canterbury plains are flat and boring, and Kaikoura road is probably still a bit smashed

    A hundy this. There is no question that the West Coast route is one of the most spectacular drives anywhere!! If you have the opportunity, try and incorporate Arthurs Pass. That is simply breath-taking.



  • I agree with @nzzp and @Hooroo in principle but not if you intend to do it in 2 days.

    Go up via Lewis Pass inland route to Christchurch. Weather permitting you still get great views all the way to Tekapo then up the Kaikoura coast.

    It may not be quite as spectacular as the West Coast but its still pretty impressive and you wont arrive in Palmie exhausted



  • @dogmeat fair call, but that Wanaka to Haast drive is just hnnnngh.

    https://jonistravelling.com/wanaka-to-west-coast-driving-new-zealand-scenic-road/



  • @nzzp Have to take your word for it. I've driven it three times and never seen a thing as it was pissing down on each occasion.

    It would still be my preference but not over only two days.



  • @dogmeat said in South Island driving route:

    I agree with @nzzp and @Hooroo in principle but not if you intend to do it in 2 days.

    Go up via Lewis Pass inland route to Christchurch. Weather permitting you still get great views all the way to Tekapo then up the Kaikoura coast.

    It may not be quite as spectacular as the West Coast but its still pretty impressive and you wont arrive in Palmie exhausted

    You meant Lindis Pass rather than Lewis Pass, perhaps?



  • @nzzp said in South Island driving route:

    @dogmeat fair call, but that Wanaka to Haast drive is just hnnnngh.

    https://jonistravelling.com/wanaka-to-west-coast-driving-new-zealand-scenic-road/

    Is "hnnnngh" good or bad?!!



  • Unless you are intending to visit Punakaiki and the Tasman area you could drive to Hokitika via Haast and the glaciers then across Arthurs Pass to Chch. Then up the Kaikoura coast to Picton the following day to catch the ferry north.



  • @Bovidae that puts me at about 14 hours though?

    Screenshot_20200323-130712_Maps.jpg



  • @dogmeat so this?

    Screenshot_20200323-130826_Maps.jpg



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    @Bovidae that puts me at about 14 hours though?

    Yes, but I was suggesting stopping in Chch for the night to break up the journey. The next day you drive to Picton to arrive for whatever ferry you have booked, have a rest on the ferry before the final drive from Wellington to PN (based on your 2-day timetable).

    It really depends on what you want to see on the SI drive (glaciers/West Coast/Arthurs Pass vs Mt Cook/Tekapo). The latter would be an inland route via Lindis Pass.



  • @Smudge doh - yes Fucking Aucklanders eh....



  • @Bovidae gotcha. Think 9hrs on Day 1 will be too much for my tribe.

    I'm thinking maybe we go via Haast to Hokitika Day 1 @ 6.5hrs, then the remaining 6 to Picton the next day - will have to leave Arthurs Pass til next time

    a0ee8f7c-df7f-43ce-ac74-557a56b67c11-image.png



  • @voodoo If you go that way at least go via Punakaiki. That's a nice drive along the coast. Reefton won't be a must-see place to visit.

    Edit: check that the Pancake Rocks remains open to the public first.



  • well this thread died in the arse pretty quickly



  • @voodoo sorry bro, but I had to laugh at that!!

    Find some humour where you can at the moment!



  • @taniwharugby absolutely! 🀣



  • 6hr max driving time? You need to train your clan if you want to see things. πŸ˜‰

    Here’s the pros and cons of the two routes

    Via Mackenzie country:
    Pros: Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass, Aoraki ( if weather good), Kaikoura coast.
    Cons: Need to break trip in Canterbury (Geraldine is an option), Cantab plains ( for ages and ages), boring once you leave the coast Through to Picton.

    Via West Coast
    Pros: Crown range, Wanaka, Haast Pass,
    Glaciers, coast drive, Buller Gorge.
    Cons: need to find somewhere interesting to stay, boring once you get through Buller.



  • @Crucial thanks for this. On the basis tjat we can leave home and the ferry is operating, I think we will go West. Stay in Greymouth (I know) as it's just over halfway. We will need to be on the ferry at 2pm on Day 2 as it's sold out after that



  • @voodoo If the weather is clear, I reckon it's a no contest - go via the West Coast.

    I reckon Hokitika is a nicer place to stay than Greymouth and time-wise it's not a huge difference.



  • @Chris-B said in South Island driving route:

    @voodoo If the weather is clear, I reckon it's a no contest - go via the West Coast.

    I reckon Hokitika is a nicer place to stay than Greymouth and time-wise it's not a huge difference.

    If you need to cover some serious distance in one day, then you can't go wrong with the 5am start with kids (depending on age). Get up, have a coffee, get the car ready, then very last thing move the kids, strap them in, throw a blanket on top. You then get a solid 2-3 hours of uninterrupted driving time before you stop for breakfast.



  • Thanks fellas. All looking a bit moot now, but fingers crossed πŸ™



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Thanks fellas. All looking a bit moot now, but fingers crossed πŸ™

    So how are you getting home? I see you have until Friday but do you have a ticket on the ferry?

    Just hoping you're not stuck away from home, even if it is the beautiful Queenstown.



  • @Hooroo said in South Island driving route:

    @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Thanks fellas. All looking a bit moot now, but fingers crossed πŸ™

    So how are you getting home? I see you have until Friday but do you have a ticket on the ferry?

    Just hoping you're not stuck away from home, even if it is the beautiful Queenstown.

    Hi mate

    Woke up this morning in a bit of a state to be honest!

    Latest guidance has extended travel until Friday as you say, but we are technically supposed to stay in self isolation until next Wednesday. Friday will be Day 10

    I can't see anything clear for people like us who still haven't reached final destination.

    There are also flights to Welly from here on Friday, and they all have social distancing measures in place.

    Really confusing time. Mum is ok for now, but she is on her own, and could easily go downhill fast. Really don't want to be stuck away for an extended period.



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    @Hooroo said in South Island driving route:

    @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Thanks fellas. All looking a bit moot now, but fingers crossed πŸ™

    So how are you getting home? I see you have until Friday but do you have a ticket on the ferry?

    Just hoping you're not stuck away from home, even if it is the beautiful Queenstown.

    Hi mate

    Woke up this morning in a bit of a state to be honest!

    Latest guidance has extended travel until Friday as you say, but we are technically supposed to stay in self isolation until next Wednesday. Friday will be Day 10

    I can't see anything clear for people like us who still haven't reached final destination.

    There are also flights to Welly from here on Friday, and they all have social distancing measures in place.

    Really confusing time. Mum is ok for now, but she is on her own, and could easily go downhill fast. Really don't want to be stuck away for an extended period.

    Oh man! Good luck. Genuinely mean that. Keep us updated.

    Don't forget that we are a community (The Fern) as your Fern Help thread suggests. If you need anything post to you, let us know as we are still mobile.



  • @Hooroo appreciate that mate.

    Went for a 2hr walk up the QT track and came to the decision to stay put here. Feels like the right decision. Hopefully Mum's condition doesn't change in the time between now and us being able to get there, whenever that is!



  • good luck man! i hope it works out, i really do.



  • @mariner4life cheers fella



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    @Hooroo appreciate that mate.

    Went for a 2hr walk up the QT track and came to the decision to stay put here. Feels like the right decision. Hopefully Mum's condition doesn't change in the time between now and us being able to get there, whenever that is!

    Tough call!

    Perfect outcome is that your Mum gets through this well and you get to isolate yourself in probably one of the most beautiful places on earth!

    Are you staying in a Hotel or going into a more self contain accommodation??



  • @Hooroo said in South Island driving route:

    @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    @Hooroo appreciate that mate.

    Went for a 2hr walk up the QT track and came to the decision to stay put here. Feels like the right decision. Hopefully Mum's condition doesn't change in the time between now and us being able to get there, whenever that is!

    Tough call!

    Perfect outcome is that your Mum gets through this well and you get to isolate yourself in probably one of the most beautiful places on earth!

    Are you staying in a Hotel or going into a more self contain accommodation??

    that was my question too, where are you staying?



  • @Hooroo @mariner4life 2 friends of mine went in on a holiday house here. We have it for 3 more weeks. Imagine we can also extend, cant see their next guests making it!



  • Well, this trip didn't quite eventuate, though the drive from QT to ChCh was still awesome.

    So we are now in the North Island, will stay in Palmy for a couple of weeks, but will then look to move a bit (assuming L2 allows it). And while I'm bombarding the Fern with recommendations for skiing, I thought I may as well do the same on North Island destinations.

    The parameters:

    • 3 weeks max to get from Palmy and back to Palmy
    • needs to include 1-2 nights in New Plymouth (friends, visit Green School), 1-2 in Hamilton (friends), and 3 nights at Lake Rotoiti (friends)
    • no more than 3hrs driving per day, family gets car sick and don't love driving as a result
    • wife has seen Rotorua, Auckland already, but kids haven't seen anything

    Otherwise pretty flexible. Currently I'm thinking:

    • Day 1 PN to NP, overnight NP
    • Day 2 stay NP
    • Day 3 NP to Hamilton
    • Day 4 Hamilton to Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 5 stay Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 6 stay Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 7 - Lake Rotoiti - Whangamata
    • Day 8 - Whangamata - Waiheke Island
    • Day 9 stay Waiheke
    • Day 10 stay Waiheke
    • Day 11 Waiheke - Waitangi
    • Day 12 Waitangi - Russell
    • Day 13 stay Russell
    • Day 14 - 17/18 ish drive back from Russell to PN, maybe via Hawkes Bay, potentially Gisborne?

    What have I missed in there? Any must see stuff on that route, or necessary deviations?

    Cheers in advance!



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    Well, this trip didn't quite eventuate, though the drive from QT to ChCh was still awesome.

    So we are now in the North Island, will stay in Palmy for a couple of weeks, but will then look to move a bit (assuming L2 allows it). And while I'm bombarding the Fern with recommendations for skiing, I thought I may as well do the same on North Island destinations.

    The parameters:

    • 3 weeks max to get from Palmy and back to Palmy
    • needs to include 1-2 nights in New Plymouth (friends, visit Green School), 1-2 in Hamilton (friends), and 3 nights at Lake Rotoiti (friends)
    • no more than 3hrs driving per day, family gets car sick and don't love driving as a result
    • wife has seen Rotorua, Auckland already, but kids haven't seen anything

    Otherwise pretty flexible. Currently I'm thinking:

    • Day 1 PN to NP, overnight NP
    • Day 2 stay NP
    • Day 3 NP to Hamilton
    • Day 4 Hamilton to Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 5 stay Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 6 stay Lake Rotoiti
    • Day 7 - Lake Rotoiti - Whangamata
    • Day 8 - Whangamata - Waiheke Island
    • Day 9 stay Waiheke
    • Day 10 stay Waiheke
    • Day 11 Waiheke - Waitangi
    • Day 12 Waitangi - Russell
    • Day 13 stay Russell
    • Day 14 - 17/18 ish drive back from Russell to PN, maybe via Hawkes Bay, potentially Gisborne?

    What have I missed in there? Any must see stuff on that route, or necessary deviations?

    Cheers in advance!

    πŸ™‚ Day 8 ain't happening.



  • Unless you want to travel more than 3 hrs



  • nor day 11....



  • @Hooroo said in South Island driving route:

    Unless you want to travel more than 3 hrs

    Close enough? It's 3hrs driving, not 3hrs total travel, that I'm looking at

    Screenshot_20200504-155806_Maps.jpg



  • @taniwharugby said in South Island driving route:

    nor day 11....

    This however looks to be an error!!!

    Where to stay in between?

    Screenshot_20200504-155912_Maps.jpg



  • I would normally say to stay on the Central Plateau, but with everything closed you will simply be driving past a mountain.

    You seem to be missing Mt Maunganui. Still a nice spot, despite development.

    Why NP to Tron then back down to Rotoiti? That is a long and shitty drive NP to Tron and if you really must go there the detour coming off the Coromandel isn't much and the roads are better.
    Maybe NP to Taupo?



  • @voodoo said in South Island driving route:

    @taniwharugby said in South Island driving route:

    nor day 11....

    This however looks to be an error!!!

    Where to stay in between?

    Screenshot_20200504-155912_Maps.jpg

    TR will put you up and provide a feed.

    What about Mangawhai or Te Arai.?


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