Crown Range Road drive to a Queenstown lookout

Get a description and see a video of the 22 km scenic drive up the Crown Range Road during winter to a Queenstown lookout to see snow-capped mountains.

This driving route starts at the bottom of the Crown Range Road when coming from Queenstown and heading towards Wanaka.

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It is approximately 11 km (7 mi) from the bottom of the Crown Range Road to a scenic lookout point.

The Crown Range Road consists of a few long and straight stretches of road on the Crown Terrace, but overall it is a fairly winding road when going uphill or downhill with hairpin turns on a few locations.

Naturally, you won’t be able to maintain 100 km/h (62 mph) while driving on the Crown Range Road.

Nonetheless, it is a fairly short drive uphill to the viewpoint and should take you between 15 and 20 minutes to complete without stopping in between, and even if there is snow or ice on the road as is often the case during winter in New Zealand.

The Crown Range road is not a restricted road, which means that rental cars are allowed to drive on the Crown Range road. This makes sense, because the Crown Range road is not only a sealed (paved) road, but also a main road between Queenstown and Wanaka.

How to get to the Crown Range Road

The Crown Range Road can be approached from 3 different directions:

  1. When driving from Cromwell to Queenstown on State Highway 6.
  2. When driving from Queentown to Cromwell on State Highway 6.
  3. When driving from Wanaka to Queenstown via the Cardrona Valley Road.

Note: If you drive from Wanaka, you’ll only experience the downhill part of the scenic drive described in this article.

Queenstown mountains lookout at the top of the Crown Range Road in New Zealand

Basic info for the Crown Range Road scenic drive

Driving distance: 11 km (7 mi)
Driving time: 15 – 20 minutes to the lookout point
Road type: Sealed (paved) main road
Road condition: Good; generally smooth driving
Best time to drive: Late morning
What you’ll see: Mountains, farmland, Kawarau River, Lake Wakatipu, and snow in winter

Click here to see a map for this scenic drive from the junction of State Highway 6 with Crown Range Road to the lookout point at the top of Crown Range Road.

Video of the Crown Range Road scenic drive in winter

The following 3-minute video gives you a taste of what to expect on this scenic drive up the Crown Range Road to a scenic lookout point and then back down for fantastic views of snow capped mountains, the Kawarau River, and a piece of Lake Wakatipu.

 

Note: Roads can be changed or get closed. The information presented here was accurate when it was gathered.

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