Crown Range Road, Queenstown Overview

The Crown Range Road is the highest main road in New Zealand at 1121 metres, and offers the most breath taking views of the city of Queenstown and its neighbouring areas. It is, beyond a doubt, the most memorable way to travel from the cities of Queenstown and Wanaka – with blind turns and steep roads that lead into the clouds and keas flying all around. During the winter, there is a heavy snowfall on the route, which makes it even riskier, so make sure you carry tyre chains with you!

It is the most spectacular drive for anyone who is into adventure biking and seeking the thrill. Every twist and turn in the road will give you a better view of Queenstown, and will want to make you stop for pictures! The twinkling lights of the vast city, dotted with lakes and towns, beneath you will surely take your breath away.

The road also goes through Cardrona, which is a small hamlet where you can stop for snacks and some amazing, fresh soft serve! You can choose to either take on the driving yourself, but if you’re not used to New Zealand driving, then it would be better to leave the work to an experienced driver, who knows every crick and quirk of the route!

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to drive along the road would be ideally be when it is dry and not very crowded. It gets crowded during the summer, which is also when tourism activity is at its peak.

You can go earlier in the day during the summer to avoid the rush. The road gets very dangerous and icy during the winter months, when it snows heavily at the peaks, and the chances for accidents are heightened.

Make sure you carry chains if you use the road during the winter, and check road conditions before you leave!


Here are a few tips to make your journey even more memorable:
  • Enjoy the view – Make sure you stop your vehicle on the side while clicking pictures and taking in the natural beauty of the area.

  • Watch out for turns – This road can be quite a tough drive for someone who isn’t used to driving in the hills, and going at a slow and steady pace while concentrating on the road is advisable.

  • Carry chains during winter – Although it is best avoided, but if you do happen to use the road during the winter, make sure you know how to attach them to the tyres.

How To Reach Crown Range Road

The Crown Range Road is located at the Crown Range, which are the mountains around the cities of Queenstown and Wakana. The road connects the two cities, and is the highest road in the country. While it is also the shorter route between the cities, it is also more scenic and memorable. It also goes through the small hamlet of Cardrona. The longer route goes through Cromwell, and is longer and less scenic.

The Crown Range Road is located at a distance of 34 kilometres, which is a 40 minute drive, from the city of Queenstown. You can use the following means of transport to get from Queenstown to Wakana:

  • Car – This is a beautiful road, and the highest in New Zealand, and offers the most beautiful views. You should be very careful while driving as the road gets very slippery and dangerous when it snows. There are also several sharp and blind turns, which one must look out for. If you’re coming from the Queenstown route, there is a very clearly marked sign which leads to Crown Range Road.

  • Taxi – This would be the best way to experience Crown Range Road, as you can sit back and take in the view without worrying about the next blind turn. The drivers around the area would also know how to navigate the icy roads, and you can leave it to them. The average cost for a taxi from Queenstown to Wakana would be around $150 to $200, if you book one through Uber.

  • Bike – You could also hire a motorcycle from the cities close by, and go on a biking adventure on this beautiful road! Make sure you keep your focus on the road while driving, and look at the view only while stopping in the concern of yours and others’ safety.


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