Crown Range Road

Crown Range Road is often covered in snow and ice in winters

Crown Range Road is a memorable journey located in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It’s an exhilarating road with hairpin bends, serpentines and steep grades.

This asphalted road (formerly State Highway 89) is 68km long. It connects Queenstown with Wanaka. This drive is not for the faint hearted and several of the bends are actual hairpins bends. The drive on the descent drops away to a seemingly bottomless gorge. There are some switchbacks on the descent and the road is not advised for towing vehicles or vehicles longer than about 12 meters.

Is the Crown Range Road open?

The weather can be challenging during winter. The road is very windy and potentially dangerous. In winter, the road is often covered in snow and ice, making for very difficult driving conditions. Chains are often required. There are chains fitting bays on either side of the pass. The drive can pose certain difficulties, especially for the weak hearted.

Is the Crown Range Road sealed?

It is a fairly winding road but not recommended to newbies. The road is totally paved. Always check the road conditions before setting off, especially in winter. The trip affords spectacular views of the mountains. This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. The road does get busier at weekends and in the main holiday season. Take your time to enjoy the trip.

How high is the Crown Range Road?

Located within the Crown Range, it’s one of the highest roads of the country reaching an altitude of 1.121m (3,677ft) above the sea level. Along the way you should also allow time to stop and admire the massive views. The views along the road are simply stunning and spectacular and the driving is well worth it – with absolutely spectacular views over Queenstown. The views are so breathtaking. Many stops to get out and enjoy the views and take photos. The descent from the Crown Range into the alpine valley below provides the most breathtaking late afternoon views.


NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.