Via the mighty Crown Range road – Queenstown to Wanaka
Driving from Queenstown to Wanaka is easy. The Crown Range road is one of two main routes from Queenstown to Wanaka, and offers some remarkable views looking over Queenstown and the Cardrona Valley.
Wanaka is about an hour and twenty-minute drive from Queenstown city centre. Our advice is to add on 30 minutes or so, this will allow for a few stops including the Crown Range summit, which sits at 1076 meters. There is plenty of room for parking at the summit, and 360* spectacular scenic landscapes to photograph.
From the summit heading down to Wanaka you follow the Cardrona River down the tussock covered Valley, which opens up to the township of Cardrona. The Cardrona Hotel makes for a perfect stop to grab a coffee, a drink, or even a meal if you have time. The town of Cardrona was very populated in the 1860’s during the Otago Gold Rush, but is now scarcely inhabited by a few locals and offers home to a cluster of holiday homes.
Continuing west and about 20 minutes from Cardrona, you arrive in Wanaka. Wanaka offers plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, and of course we must mention the amazing lake and mountain scenery on offer! There are activities to suit everyone, or if you just prefer you can sit by the lake and absorb the tranquil beauty. Wanaka is certainly worth the drive; we suggest you stay a night or two!
Please note: if you are traveling in the winter months of July, August, September please carry snow chains, check road condition and obey all signs.
Cardrona Hotel / Cardrona, Otago, New Zealand