What is the best driving route from Christchurch to Wanaka, New Zealand?

What is the best driving route from Christchurch to Wanaka, New Zealand?

We’re going this Saturday and I was wondering what’s the best route to take. Thanks!

I do that trip heaps. I find the best way is to go south on State Highway 1 until the town of Rangitata, where you turn right at the sign pointing to Geraldine. Then follow that road for hours. You then turn right just after Tarras, and follow the signs to Wanaka. You might want to look at a map if you don’t know that part of the country. You see some good scenery this way – lakes and stuff.

6 Comments

  1. I can give you the best routes here in Australia,but NZ is thousands of kl from Australia and we are two different country's I am unable to help you with your "Route"
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  2. i do that trip heaps. I find the best way is to go south on State Highway 1 until the town of Rangitata, where you turn right at the sign pointing to Geraldine. Then follow that road for hours. You then turn right just after Tarras, and follow the signs to Wanaka. You might want to look at a map if you dont know that part of the country.
    You see some good scenery this way – lakes and stuff.
    References :

  3. Three ways:
    Check out the route properly on a map before setting out.
    1/ Over Arthurs Pass and down the West Coast then through the Gates Of Haast. Will take 2 days – the most scenic way to go.
    2/ Towards Ashburton and thence to Geraldine, over the hill to Fairlie, over Burkes Pass to Tekapo and Omarama (through the MackenzieCountry) then over Lindis Pass, turning right at Tarras – probably the quickest way, about 7 hours.
    3/ Down Highway One to the Waitaki River, turn right and head up river to Omarama, then over Lindis Pass and turn right at Tarras. Maybe about 7 hours.
    All 3 ways are very picturesque and you should allow time to stop and look at things on the way.
    Driver T
    References :

  4. Did this a few years ago.

    Looking at a map – Took SH1 through to Timaru, then SH 8 from Timaru and headed inland.

    There is an alternative if you continue south on SH1 through Timaru and take SH 83 and head inland. You will eventually meet up with SH8 in or near Omarama.

    Thats as far as my map takes me. So check out the NZ automobile site for the rest. The site also gives weather conditions, if i remember correctly, so given the changes recently in weather, it may be worth a check before you leave.

    http://www.aa.co.nz/Pages/default.aspx

    Safe travels

    The NZ Automobile Association should have maps for you
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  5. maybe try posting this to New Zealand not Australia.

    Otherwise try lonelyplanet.com

    or a maps website
    References :

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