QUEENSTOWN – DUNEDIN (Via Alexandra)
Travel distance is approximately 280kms (175 miles).
Allow at least 3.5 hours drive time (not including stops).
Most visitors find it hard to say “goodbye” to the the fantastic alpine resort that is Queenstown. With so many thrilling outdoor adventures and breath-taking scenery to be enjoyed, we understand if you wish you could stay in this lakeside district for another few days… or months!
So with a delightfully delicious brunch at one of the many award-winning cafes, it is time to grab a few last minute souvenirs and then say a fond farewell to Queenstown as you begin your journey towards the historic city of Dunedin.
Today you can look forward to scenery highlights such as the vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, the deep canyons of the Kawarau Gorge, a huge dam and historic townships galore!
Some notable stops along the route to Dunedin include:
The Gibbston Valley is like no other wine region to be seen! Don’t expect to see your usual view of acres and acres of flat land and vineyards as is typical of a working vineyard, instead expect to be met with vineyards squeezed precariously between a deep, rocky gorge and jagged mountains of schist! There are a number of award winning wineries open for tastings or even lunch and dinner.
ROARING MEG HYDRO SCHEME
Located next to the Roaring Meg Stream in the Kawarau Gorge, this hydro scheme has a couple of small hydro electricity power stations fed by the Roaring Meg Dam and makes a spectacular photo opportunity.
Only 50 minutes from Queenstown, Cromwell is located beside Lake Dunstan and is a lovely place to stop and enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Visit the historic Old Cromwell Town that is now home to local craftspeople.
New Zealand’s third largest hydro power station is the Clyde Power Station situated near the quint township of Clyde. This impressive concrete gravity dam boasts the latest modern technology and makes for some fabulous photos!
Located in the heart of Central Otago on the junction of SH 8 & SH 85, the town boasts a thriving community of fruit growers, viticulture and wine making. During summer the temperate can reach the high 30’s so visitors can enjoy fresh fruit and balmy summer days. If you are travelling through in the winter then enjoy at stop at Manorburn Dam, which freezes to become a skating rink!
Nestled along side the Clutha River, Roxburgh is famous for growing exquisite summer fruits such as fresh Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, Pears, Nectarines, Apples and a variety of berries which can be purchased from roadside orchard stalls.
The city of Dunedin is situated at the head of the spectacular Otago Harbour and is the second largest city in the South Island. Along with the famous Otago University, the city is also considered New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital, offering historic Victorian and Edwardian buildings lovingly restored to make this city truly unique.
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 Dunedin tourist attractions include…
The Octagon – A well known meeting place with the locals in the heart of the city, this is where you will find plenty of ‘top-notch’ bars and cafes or just sit on the grassy bank and enjoy the bustle of the inner city.
Otago Peninsula – Take a tour with Elim Wildlife Tours or Monarch Wildlife Cruises to view this spectacular region and wildlife. View the Royal Albatross, penguins, seals and bird life galore!
Royal Albatross Centre – Located on the tip of the Otago Peninsula at Taiaroa Head, this is the only mainland-breeding colony for any albatross species within the Southern Hemisphere. View the informative wildlife displays and enjoy a guided tour.
Otago Settlers Museum – Established in 1898, the museum is considered one of the country’s most significant social history museums. Learn about the indigenous Maori, Chinese goldfield workers and other migrant groups. We suggest you pre-arrange a guided tour.
Larnach Castle & Gardens – If you love New Zealand antiques, carved ceilings, castles, stunning views and beautiful gardens then a visit to historic Larnach Castle is a must! New Zealand’s only castle boasts spectacular tower views and a Garden of International Significance where you can meander through 9 different gardens before enjoying a refreshment break in the Ballroom cafe.
Speight’s Brewery Heritage Tour – The Speight’s Brewery is truly an Otago icon and this 90 minute our of a working brewery and heritage centre is a “must see” for any visitor to the Otago region. Of course at the end of your informative and interactive tour you can enjoy the range of beers in the private Heritage Bar!
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