Driving in winter

Old Jun 13th 2010, 12:46 pm
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Default Driving in winter

Were thinking of coming over in August and we were going to drive from queenstown to greymouth or christchurch to greymouth. Is my husband right in thinking we would be driving through the mountains and if so we were wondering what the road conditions would be like.
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving in winter

Can´t help with that but unless you have a very complicated case I´d suggest you unselect your agent and DIY it with help from those on the forum....may save you a huge amount on their fees.... just a thought
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Driving in winter

Yes, you do drive through mountains on those routes - more so on the west coast route than to QT. However, the roads usually remain open and snow free except for maybe 5-6 days per winter, so you should be OK if you have some flexibility with our itinerary.
Choose a nice day for your driving, the scenery on the drive down to QT is stunning
-Just re-read OP and noticed you're not driving CHC-QT. Both of your routes are over passes, Arthur's pass (CHC-greymouth) being the higher I think

Last edited by lapsed kiwi; Jun 13th 2010 at 7:04 pm.
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Old Jun 14th 2010, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Driving in winter

Queenstown to West coast is through the Haast Pass.

Christchurch to Greymouth is through Arthurs Pass.

Just check the Weather before you go and you will be ok. It's not always snowing up there in the winter, lots of days are clear and cold. Just watch for ice going through the passes and take Snow chains just incase of unexpected weather.

the roads are good roads.
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Old Jun 14th 2010, 4:38 am
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Default Re: Driving in winter

Most rental companies offer an option of snow chains.

They are very useful but tricky to put on and take off. If you haven't ever done it, I would practice or get the rental people to show you how to fit them before you set off. Oh and pack an old pair of heavy gloves, and a jumper or something you don't mind getting dirty....snow chains are dirty to put on and take off....and a torch 'cause you might have to do it at night.

You would only use them in compacted snow and ice and tkae them off as soon as the condtions allow...and drive VERY slowly....but they are a comfort to have knowing that you can drive out of just about anything.

Otherwise go for renting a 4*4. Again the peace of mind will be worth it.

Last edited by Wooly_Cow; Jun 14th 2010 at 4:40 am. Reason: added glove bit
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Old Jun 15th 2010, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Driving in winter

Thanks everyone... snow chains sound a bit tricky, never used them before
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Old Jun 15th 2010, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Driving in winter

The Haast Pass is beautiful. It may be tricky in winter because the road is narrow. I went to that area a few years ago on a Summer camping trip (ok the campground was the back yard of a motel, however) so you won't be eaten alive by blackflies (sandflies) like I was ! The bites didn't hurt but the itchy scratchy bite sites did a few days later. I was so glad to get to the nearest town to get to a chemist and get some lotion for them.
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