South Island trips

Queenstown to Christchurch via Mount Cook

3 Days
376km
234mi

Route

Queenstown Central to Christchurch

Highlights

  • Charming Arrowtown
  • Southern Alps Scenery
  • Lake Tekapo

Best time of year

All year

You will see mountain landscapes in every direction on this itinerary. After the excitement of Queenstown, Arrowtown will seem beautifully quaint and calm. Explore old gold mining sites and enjoy one of the many excellent cafes. Your next destination is to reach Aoraki/ Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest peak. The high country towns of Omarama and Twizel are good stopovers along the way. Walk one of the trails that begin at Mt Cook Village, then drive through Mackenzie Country tussockland to the glacier-blue lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo. Small museums provide interest en route to the attractions of Christchurch.

Info

From Queenstown it’s easy to escape to the mountains.

Photo by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

Day 1

Queenstown - Arrowtown

47 mins

44 km

28 mi

Queenstown

The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It's the home of adventure, and activities include bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.

It’s not far to Arrowtown, and you have a choice of two routes. The slightly longer, but potentially more scenic route takes you over the historic Shotover Bridge and through Arthur’s Point. The shorter, more conventional route runs past the airport and then around Lake Hayes.

Arrowtown is one of the most charming historic towns in New Zealand. Once a gold rush settlement, today it’s a perfectly preserved piece of the past. Explore the Chinese miners’ settlement by the Arrow River, visit the Lakes District Museum, then find a convivial café to soak up the surroundings. Horse trekking and gold panning will appeal to more active travellers, browsing the shops will suit those who just want to take it easy.

 

In Queenstown, every day offers new excitement - like a lake cruise on the 100-year old TSS Earnslaw

Start in Queenstown Central

In winter, scenery-packed Queenstown is a base for skiers and snowboarders. At other times of the year, it's a place for adventure and indulgence.

In Queenstown, every day offers new excitement - like a lake cruise on the 100-year old TSS Earnslaw

End in Queenstown Central

In winter, scenery-packed Queenstown is a base for skiers and snowboarders. At other times of the year, it's a place for adventure and indulgence.

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