Island Saddle

Island Saddle, the highest publicly accessible road in NZ

Island Saddle is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.371m (4,498ft) above the sea level located on the boundary of Canterbury and Marlborough, in New Zealand. 

Tucked away in the Crimea Range, the road to the summit is unpaved. It’s called Rainbow Road, also known as Rainbow Valley–Hanmer Road. At this elevation it’s said to be New Zealand's highest public road. The road was built in the 1950’s to install electricity pylons to the Nelson and Buller regions.

The road to the summit is 112km (70 miles) long, running from Hanmer Springs to Saint Arnaud. It is accessible by 4WD vehicles only (2WD to Lake Tennyson). The road crosses private land and is only open for public access from late December to early April.
Pic: Bri C


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