MT COOK VILLAGE – QUEENSTOWN (via Twizel & Omarama)
Travel distance is approximately 258kms (161 miles).
Allow at least 3.30 hours drive time (not including stops).
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before packing up and ‘hitting the road’ as you hug the road around the beautiful Lake Pukaki on route to Twizel.
Your self-drive journey today will show case some of the best untamed scenery of the MacKenzie region as you travel towards the most popular visitor place in New Zealand… Queenstown!
Some notable stops along the route to Queenstown include:
Fast becoming a popular Kiwi holiday base for holidaymakers that enjoy getting outside! Base yourself here for kayaking, horse trekking, mountain climbing or biking, ski-ing and even bird watching! A great place for a driver reviver, get out and stretch your legs and grab a coffee at the cafe.
CLAY CLIFFS WINERY
New Zealand’s highest-altitude vineyard has a wonderful Tuscany-style restaurant with plenty of ambience of peace and tranquillity. A great place to enjoy a delicious meal or wine tasting in the wine cellar. If you are the driver please do not drink and drive, we suggest you leave the wine tasting to your non-driving passengers.
Internationally recognised as one of the top gliding locations in the world thanks to the unique geography combined with the northwesterly wind that creates thermals that can take glider pilots to a dizzyingly 10,000 metres!
If you have time, a scenic gliding flight is a pretty spectacular and ultra-special way to enjoy an aerial view of this part of New Zealand.
The Mackenzie Basin is linked with Central Otago through the stunning Lindis Pass. At an impressive altitude of 971 metres above sea level, the views are impressive as you cross the saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers. During winter you can expect to see snow beside the road at times, and the surreal brown tussock landscape in summer is picture worthy!
This tiny township became famous for Lord of The Rings filming on the banks of the Clutha River just outside the township. Many of the sequences featuring the Black Riders as they searched for Frodo, pursuing him across the golden plains, and of the Orc attacks on the Fellowship were filmed right here!
Considered New Zealand’s premier ‘year round’ lake and alpine resort, this stunning town is nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by majestic mountains.
Truly your one-stop holiday spot, Queenstown has something for everyone, from the adrenalin junkie to the nature lover, the honeymooners or the party group, whatever your reason for visiting Queenstown, you wont be disappointed!
You will have no problems finding suitable accommodation! From ultra luxurious romantic resorts to holiday houses, self catering apartments, luxury hotels, motels, bed & breakfast or camp grounds… it’s all here!
As far as dining goes… where do you start? Cheap takeways to first class, award winning dining, its all here for the tasting! Along with the normal choices of fast food options, there are a great range of cafes and restaurants offering some of the best local cuisine.
Highly recommended Queenstown tourist attractions include…
Bungy Jumping – Queenstown is home to AJ Hackett bungy jumping and there are an impressive six very different experiences in Queenstown to be had, including the Nevis Arc, Nevis Highwire Bungy, Kawarau Bridge Bungy, The Ledge Bungy, The Ledge Sky Swing and the Bungy Tours.
Jet Boating – Rev up your excitement in Queenstown with a thrilling jet boat ride on the spectacular Shotover River, including the world famous 360º spins!
White Water Rafting – A chance to experience New Zealand’s white water river rafting at its best! Choose from a range of numerous rafting packages to suit your timeframe and adrenaline level! Exciting rafting trips are available on the Kawarau and Shotover River’s.
TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise – Cruise across the beautiful Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, also known as ‘The Lady of the Lake’. Transporting goods to remote settlements since 1912, now you have the chance to enjoy a lake cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
Queenstown Gondola & Luge – Located high above the town is the distinctive outline of the Skyline complex, home to the best views in Queenstown! Reputed to be the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, the gondola carries visitors high above Queenstown to the Skyline complex located on Bob’s Peak. For the more adventurous you can choose to come back down at a hurtling pace on a luge!
Ski-ing & Snowboarding – Queenstown is one of the most popular places for winter fun! With some of the best ski fields in the world, visitors flock from around the world to hit the slopes of Coronet Peak, Cardona and more!
New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
- 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
- 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
- 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch