The drive from Queenstown to Christchurch is one of the most stunning in the country.
Don't miss the fact that in New Zealand the area you are driving through is as much a part
of your scenic enjoyment as a final destination. Mt Cook is but a small but significant part
of the whole of what is know as the Mckenzie Country.
From Queenstown you leave on route 6 and pass through the Kawarau Gorge a
magnificent drive in its own right and the location of the original bungy jump and the
area’s top wine producing country. A side trip to there is a stop in Arrowtown the historic
gold mining town.
From the Gorge you come to Lake Dunstan and cross the bridge to the town of Cromwell
that was re-built in its present location after the damming of the river. Taking route 8
north along Lake Dunstan on your left and the Dunstan Mountains on the right you
experience some of the top Merino sheep country the along the Lindis River to Lindis
Pass. This is one of the most awesome drives with the stark beauty of the area
The town of Omarama, glider capital of the world, and next to one of the top ten trout
streams in th world, the Ahuriri River. In the Totara Flats Gallery there is an extensive
display of costumes from the Xena TV show (free)...
On through on route 8 crossing the Ohau River and a smattering of small lakes until
reaching Twizal. A side road trip that comes out up the road is to the Pukaki Canal and a
salmon farm as well as the one you will spot on the way from Twizal. The drive along the
canal is worth it.
Next is the turn off on route 80 to the Mt. Cook region driving along lake Pukaki. It is
only a 1/2 hour trip. Lots of places to stop for photos. The road ends at Mt. Cook and the
Hermitage Hotel. You can also take the Tasman Valley Road a very short distance to the
Tasman Glacier just before that. You are surrounded by mountains that are put in context
when seeing a car along the road or a building. Lots of activities up here also such as
boating on a glacier.............
Back to the main route 8 and continue the tip through the Mckenzie Country next stop
just before Lake Tekapo on the left is take the Godley Peaks Road up to the top of Mt.
John and see one of the most spectacular views in the country. An observatory is there
plus a small glass enclosed cafe with a view you won’t believe....
Now back down the mountain and on to Lake Tekapo. A brand new outside hot tub, pool
area along the lake just started and will be the hit of the place especially in the winter.
The opaque turquoise blue of the glacial waters that fill the lakes is spectacular to see. Go
down by the lake to see the Church of the Good Shephard.....just a beautiful spot to be.
Then from the Mckenzie Country heading toward Christchurch take route 79 through the
valleys and along the mountain sides through real country. At Geraldine is a god spot to
stop as you enter town on the right for a break and maybe a coffee at Easyway cafe. On
the way out of town on the right be sure to stop at the gallery of one of New Zealand’s top
Maori artists, Peter J Caley............fabulous work....(gallery is free too). ‘From Geraldine
you enter the flat area of New Zealand, the Canterbury Plains and on then to the city of
Christchurch. Stop to see the giant salmon at Rakaia the home to salmon fishing in New
Zealand. Good cafe there too.....
more info at www.newzealandtravelguide.net
photos at - http://www.jeber.com/Members/ronlaughlin/Gallery/133/
and the video on the Mackenzie Country - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w0djssH0cA...re=channel_page