Queenstown to Christchurch via Mount Cook

7 Days
376km
234mi

Route

Central Queenstown 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

Hooker Valley, Aoraki/Mount Cook

Photo by Miles Holden

Day 4 / 7

Queenstown - Omarama - Mt Cook Village

3 hrs

22 mins

269 km

168 mi

Queenstown

The vineyards of the Gibbston area are the first temptation on your journey. Then stop and admire the Roaring Meg power station in the Kawarau Gorge. The restored heart of Cromwell is a treasure for visitors, or take a detour to the old gold workings of Bannockburn. Lake Dunstan is a fine place for a picnic before you launch yourself into the beautiful Lindis Pass – just magic when there’s snow around.

You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. This area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. The northwesterly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres. Scenic soaring can be arranged.

The road to Mt Cook hugs the edge of Lake Pukaki. The exquisite opaque turquoise colour of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. The landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains.

The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park includes the highest peak in Australasia (Mt Cook - 3755m). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. 

Bungy, Queenstown

Start in Central Queenstown

Queenstown is a place for adventure and indulgence. From sky-diving to fine dining, this resort town offers something for everyone.

View of Aoraki Mt Cook across Lake Pukaki

End in Aoraki / Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, with a height of 3,754 metres.

Things to see and do

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