Mount Cook to Queenstown

Discover the breathtaking journey from Mount Cook to Queenstown. Explore stunning landscapes and adventure-filled experiences in this must-visit destination.

Mount Cook to Queenstown: A Breathtaking Journey Through New Zealand's Southern Alps

Introduction: Mount Cook to Queenstown A Breathtaking Journey Through New Zealand’s Southern Alps

Greetings, Readers!

Prepare yourselves for an extraordinary adventure as we embark on a journey from the majestic Mount Cook to the vibrant city of Queenstown. This scenic drive through New Zealand’s picturesque Southern Alps promises breathtaking views, thrilling activities, and memories that will last a lifetime.

The Scenic Route: A Painter’s Canvas

The drive from Mount Cook to Queenstown is a visual masterpiece, with each turn revealing a new scene more captivating than the last. As you wind your way through the Southern Alps, you’ll encounter snow-capped peaks, shimmering glaciers, tranquil lakes, and verdant valleys. The route is dotted with picturesque towns and charming villages, adding a touch of tranquility to the awe-inspiring landscape.

The Must-See Stops

The Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier

A short detour from the main road leads to the mesmerizing Blue Lakes and the mighty Tasman Glacier. The pristine waters of the Blue Lakes reflect the surrounding mountains in hues of turquoise and sapphire, creating a picture-perfect setting. A boat trip to the foot of the Tasman Glacier offers a glimpse of the colossal ice giant, a testament to the power of nature.

Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd

Nestled amidst the Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo is a celestial paradise. The lake’s milky-blue waters are a photographer’s dream, and the skies above are renowned for their star-studded nights. The charming Church of the Good Shepherd sits on the lake’s edge, providing a serene backdrop for reflection and contemplation.

The Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge

The Lindis Pass marks the highest point of the journey, offering panoramic views of the rugged mountain ranges. As you descend into the Kawarau Gorge, the landscape transforms into a symphony of sheer rock faces, winding riverbanks, and vibrant vegetation. The Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge offers a thrilling experience for adrenaline seekers, with bungee jumping and other high-octane activities available.

Activities Galore: Embracing Adventure

The journey from Mount Cook to Queenstown is not just about the scenery but also about the countless opportunities for adventure.

Hiking and Mountaineering

The Southern Alps are a hiker’s paradise, with trails ranging from leisurely walks to challenging ascents. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a novice explorer, there’s a trail to suit your abilities.

Fishing and Water Sports

The crystal-clear lakes and roaring rivers of the Southern Alps provide ample opportunities for fishing and water sports. Fly fishing for salmon and trout is a popular pastime, while jet boating and white-water rafting offer a different perspective of the stunning landscape.

Skydiving and Bungee Jumping

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Experience the thrill of skydiving over the breathtaking Shotover River or bungee jumping from the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge.

Travel Planning and Transportation

Distance: Approximately 380 kilometers (236 miles)
Driving Time: Allow 5-6 hours for driving, excluding stops
Public Transportation: Limited public transport options are available, but can be time-consuming.
Car Rental: Car rentals are recommended for flexibility and convenience.


Queenstown offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels.

The Perfect Road Trip: Itinerary for a Memorable Journey

Day 1: Arrive at Mount Cook and explore the Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier.
Day 2: Drive to Lake Tekapo and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Day 3: Cross the Lindis Pass and descend through the Kawarau Gorge.
Day 4: Arrive in Queenstown and indulge in adventure activities.
Day 5: Depart from Queenstown with unforgettable memories.


The journey from Mount Cook to Queenstown is a must-do for anyone visiting New Zealand. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or a nature enthusiast, this road trip offers something for everyone. From breathtaking scenery to thrilling activities, the Southern Alps and Queenstown promise an unforgettable experience.

Readers, if you’re planning a trip of a lifetime, consider embarking on this incredible journey. Discover the beauty and adventure that await from Mount Cook to Queenstown, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Explore More:

  • Discover the wonders of Milford Sound
  • Unveil the secrets of Franz Josef Glacier
  • Embark on a Lord of the Rings-themed tour in Queenstown

FAQ about Mount Cook to Queenstown

How far is it from Mount Cook to Queenstown?

Answer: The distance between Mount Cook and Queenstown is approximately 375 kilometers (233 miles) via State Highway 8 and State Highway 6.

How long does it take to drive from Mount Cook to Queenstown?

Answer: The drive from Mount Cook to Queenstown takes approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic and weather conditions.

What are the must-see attractions along the way?

Answer: Some of the must-see attractions along the drive from Mount Cook to Queenstown include Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo, the Lindis Pass, and the Ben Lomond Track.

Is there a bus service from Mount Cook to Queenstown?

Answer: Yes, there is a bus service from Mount Cook to Queenstown operated by InterCity. The journey takes approximately 7 hours, including stops.

Where can I find information on accommodation in Queenstown?

Answer: You can find information on accommodation in Queenstown on various websites and booking platforms, such as, Airbnb, and Expedia. Additionally, the Queenstown i-SITE Visitor Centre can provide assistance with booking accommodation and other travel arrangements.

Mount Cook to Queenstown