When driving between Wanaka and Queenstown there are two routes that can be taken. The more dramatic of the two is the Crown Range Road, the highest main road in New Zealand. At 70 kilometres it’s a shorter journey than the road through Cromwell but with the hairpin bends of the Zigzag and multiple stops to admire the scenery it will definitely take longer.
Just out of Wanaka the hills are resplendent with lupins, growing wild in a rainbow of colours. Cars are parked along the roadsides while travellers become landscape photographers.
The road continues through the old gold mining town of Cardrona, between the Crown and Criffle Ranges and onwards to the summit. At an altitude of 1076 metres the views look across to Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.
From there it’s all downhill. Hold tight on the winding switchbacks of the Zigzag all the way to the turnoff at Arrow Junction.
To be continued…