The Crown Range – Friday 17th February 2012


The Crown Range road links Wanaka to Queensland. In various places this journey is written of as a “destination” rather than a journey because of its scenery. In Ron Laughlin’s “The Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide” there is a comment that this is the highest road in New Zealand and “not recommended at any time”, it goes on “rental vehicles are not allowed”! Rubbish Ron! My edition is copyright 2011 and the Crown Range road was fully sealed in 2001.

Maybe don’t try this with a mobile home, and certainly not with a trailer but… What a fantastic road it is! The hairpin bends at the Queenstown end are hairy. We travelled from the Wanaka side and if you have a choice I’d recommend you do the same – that way you get the best views!

It’s simply one of the most impressive drives in New Zealand: and we loved the Haast Pass yesterday! From Wanaka the road climbs steadily until it reaches an old gold mining town, Cromwell.

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Several historic building remain here. Then the road continues up to a view point, which is magnificent!

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We walked up from this viewpoint for a while and John decided to go even higher than me. So I spent some time trying to take the best photo of me and the view.

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For lunch we went to the old bridge across the Shotover River. Look at that blue water again. It’s not just the sky that’s doing this. The water IS blue!
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Then onto Queenstown. We have chosen to take an apartment here. Complete with separate bedroom, well fitted kitchen, lovely bathroom, brilliant sofa, sound system, washing machine and tumble dryer. We set to washing immediately!
Then we begin to plan how best to pass our time here!

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