5 Star Lane

5 Star Lane, Queenstown, 9300, New Zealand
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Lake WakatipuLake Wakatipu




Forum Posts

Best route from Christchurch to Queenstown

by yas1981

Hi. I am visiting newzealand in november this year. Me and my friend are planning to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown. What is the best driving route to take please? We have about 12-13 days total.

Plus is it cheap to check into hostel or motels whereever or is it better to book it beforehand. As we are students we cant afford expensive hotels

Thank you.

Re: Best route from Christchurch to Queenstown

by 2Cities1Love

Depends how long you want to take to get there.....

A good option would be via Mt Cook for an overnight stop. It's a beautiful spot with many walks.

Or if you want to do it over a longer period, go via the west coast. Either Lewis Pass or Arthurs Pass. The west coast is nice with things like the pancake rocks, Franz & Fox Glaciers and also Haast Pass and Wanaka on the way through to Queenstown.

We have a few videos that will show you what you can expect to see. We spent 14 days driving around the south island and loved it.


Sue & Col

Re: Best route from Christchurch to Queenstown

by imstress

maybe you would like to take a look at my South Island page with all the driving routes, how long it took and petrol prices. we stayed in a double room at all the BBH hostels at a very reasonable rates.

we did a 14 days self drive trip from Christchurch in Dec 2005.

Re: Best route from Christchurch to Queenstown

by yas1981

Thanks for all the help. appreciate it.

Travel Tips for Queenstown

The Writing on the Wall

by Kakapo2

You might notice a meandering one-line plaque on the quay wall along the Queenstown lakeside, between the Kawarau Jet Wharf and the Boardwalk. It is called: “Waipounamu: The Lakes District”. It is a poem, written by David Eggleton, who is a NZ poet and reviewer. He has written for quite a number of different formats: for dance, landscape photography, for installations, walkways, and film.

This one on the shore of Lake Wakatipu is hommage to the beautiful landscapes of the Lakes District, and if you are patient enough to read from the meandering tiles and around people who cover some of the writing, you will read many places you have been or want to go to, about Wakatipu, Glendhu Bay, Glenorchy, even the Kingston Flyer.

Thanks to Naomi Castle from Destination Queenstown who provided me with the poem, so I did not have to invest an hour into copying it from the quay wall :-)

by David Eggleton

Hoisting history on his back like a sugar – sack,
The swagger strides along greenstone trails.
All night the crib creeks are humming home,
And drowned towns float in their canvas shrouds.
They are just the ghosts of their original selves,
An emotional investment looted by snow-melt for,
Schemes to answer the question of illumination.
To tap this yearning for a golden age,
Singing shepherds held wisps of tussock
Which curled like lighted Chinese joss-sticks
On the fan – tan tables of sly-grog dens,
Frozen in that glacier known as the past.
In the forgotten graveyards, hair grows into grass
While wind sifts the sweet vernal over ands over,
Like diggers letting gold dust pour through their fingers.
The Kingston flyer is chuffing
On the great Northern Railway to Wakatipu,
John Turnbull Thompson cut the run holders loose
With a panoramic survey and the confidence of a faith healer
In the middle of Queen Victorias royal century,
When the boom-time harvest of celtic place names
Seeded central like a nouveau-Hiberian dialect
From Balclutha to Glimmerburn to Glendhu bay.
Winter arrives on time in a glitz blitz of powdery snow.
The hoar frost in a Quartztpoils of ice crystals
Turning weeping willows into frozen chandeliers.
Some strung the coils of number eight into fences
As trail bikes took to the state highway with a roar
And the rain shower passed a plume
Over small towns that are hardly seen for hills.
Tarns prickle with bubbles from upland soakage
at the start of Wakatipu on mounts Humboldt and Forbes.
Pasture stands four- square
To the intersection of lakes Hawea and Wanaka, from where
Nat Chalmers shot the gorge in a flax raft with his guides
After descending Mount difficulty in flax sandals,
The first Pakeha to see Lake Wakatipu, for which he paid
Reko and Kaikora a three legged pot – Te Kohoa!
Viper’s bugloss is the honeyed heart of the hive and veranda shadows are dark as delphiniums.
The four-fold path of the farmer leads to hot and cold taps, the meat-safes a Muslim bag, but the kerosene lamp’s gone
The way of aunt Daisy’s and uncle scrim’s voices on the wireless
Or goals from the boot and pine-tree when rugby took a capital.
Braids of rivers run dreadlock plaits from a taniwha’s
Stone head, so his blind eyes spurt waterfalls
and his chest is the sucking valley of a mudslide,
when swollen rivers heave against mountain flanks
and sinkholes laden with silt roar old man floods here!
He’d ride the whaleboat molyneaux from its tributaries
To the sea, or disgorge the matau of its spears and hooks,
If they hadn’t drained the hydro-electricity, way back.
Rivers rule our lives, gurgling, puddling, dripping,
Working the lake country round like a greenstone,
Turning out a tiki of interlocking curves flowing
Into Waipounamu, which breathes its green glow,
Of purple grape froth trickling a ripe roses scent
And beetroot palate into our salad day memories.
Views of the lake in its many moods: sometimes quiescent,
Like a windowpane stippled with rain, behind which
Cucumber leafage and swollen twigs revolve, and you
Can imagine fridge-fulls of rare home brews,
Or spiced-plum brandy, tots doled out to travellers;
Sometimes waves snapping fierce enough to whip out
All the tent pegs in canvas-town, with a wind able to upturn a wedding marquess’s trestle tables tomorrow.
Days of wooden coach wheels bumping out of Ida valley on the old Dunstan road in journeys of the pioneers.
Days realising meteorological balloons into a delicate apricot sky
In this landscape we invent, as it invents us –
From rock flake and spring water, from a skiff of froth
Tumbling over a weir into the after glow of the Aurora

Skiing/Snowboarding not too expensive.

by LoucoSP

Queenstown has cool place to ski/snowboard, The ski field isnt to far from the city and prices is reasonable. I suggest that if you want to rent your clothes , do it in Downtown , because the price in the mountain is more expensive.

Guided and Self-drive Tours to Deer Park Heights

by Kakapo2

Most Lord of the Rings tours you can book in Queenstown do not include Deer Park Heights where they shot a lot of scenes in 2001. Up there you can see where Gandalf rode towards Gondor, where the refugees escaped from Rohan, where the attack of the Wargs (wolves) occurred and where Eowyn provided Aragorn with his tasty stew.

They do not drive up this roundish hill between Queenstown and the Remarkables because it would cost an extra NZ$ 20. And you can easily do it on your own. You just have to pay those $ 20 (per car, not per person). Ian Brodie’s LoR location guide book is of help here but not absolutely necessary if you know the scenes.

Having paid this access fee, you are free to explore the station, get to the film locations which are signposted, so you will not miss a thing. And you can also feed the tame animals up there, like thar, llama, alpaca, red deer, bison, merino sheep, feral goats, Kune Kune pigs, yaks, donkeys, miniature horses, and highland cattle. You now get an idea where the name Deer Park Heights comes from ;-)

They also offer guided tours (Deer Park Safaris) at $ 75 per person (price as December 2008). Check their combos if you plan more activities and tours (jetboat, helicopter, etc.).

Contact details:

Deer Park Safaris
Freephone within NZ (0800) 84 33 33
Phone (03) 442 2949
Fax (03) 442 2943
Website: http://www.deerparksafaris.co.nz
Email: antony@deerparksafaris.co.nz

Directions for the self-drive tour:

Leave Queenstown on SH 6A towards Cromwell/Airport. In Frankton, turn right onto SH 6 (Te Anau/Kingston). After some few kilometres the turn-off to Deer Park Heights is signposted to your right.

Connection to the Remarkables:

If you are on a LoR mission, on your way back turn right again onto SH 6 and drive some more kilometres. Turn left onto the access road to the Remarkables. The road is rough and corrugated, you can drive up in a normal car in good weather conditions only. Still the ride is very bumpy. But already from some kilometres up the road you have a great view of this monolith-like hill of Deer Park Heights, the Kawarau River, a part of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.

However, to get to Dimrill Dale from LoR, you have to drive up to the top of the skifield. From the carpark it is a further 20 minute hike to the tarn of Lake Alta.

Lakes District Centennial Museum

by kiwigal_1

The Lakes District Centennial Museum is located down one end of Arrowtown's main street.

The museum has information on Maori history in the Lakes District and the colonial history of the region. There is also a showcase on the gold rush of the mid 1800's.

The museum also acts as an information and booking centre and can help with advise on accommodation in the region. There is also a retail outlet with maps and post office. There is a small charge (about $5) to go into the museum

Traditional Irish Pub

by cnango about Pog Mahones Irish Pub

This traditional Irish Pub was actually shipped over from Ireland !! The interior has a bar and several tables in a cozy pub setting. The outside patio ( pictured here) overlooks the dock on Steamers Wharf. It is a nice place to drink a beer, chat with mates & eat a very good meal.

The day we visited Pog Mahones the weather was lovely so we decided to lunch on the patio .The Special of the Day was Bluenose Cod & Chips, my son ordered that and really liked it. I ordered the Prawns & Avocado Salad with Creamy Paprika Dressing. it was really delicious and they did not skimp on the Prawns :)


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