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Southern Scenic Road Trip: Invercargill to Fiordland National Park

Devil’s Staircase

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Devils Staircase lookout Devils Staircase lookout

From Kingston, Lake Wakatipu is your companion as you continue to drive towards Queenstown. The road hugs the lake edge with breathtaking views in all directions. As you pivot around sharp corners the Remarkable Mountain range, the deep inked water of Lake Wakatipu is distractingly beautiful. The road has a number of lookout points each offering a different perspective of the Mountains and the lake.

Lake Wakatipu, Southern Alps, Remarkable Ranges near Kingston


The tight corners require caution. The road is wedged between a sheer cliff face and very long drops into the deep cold water of Lake Wakatipu on the other side. There are slumps in the road surface due to severe winter conditions meaning care is required. Due to the high altitude the Devils Staircase can be closed due to snow, ice and high winds. Check NZTA website for winter road conditions prior to travel. High sided vehicles like campers can be adversely affected by high winds making it hard to steer and handle your vehicle.

From the Devils Staircase the road descends to views of the Kawarau River and the magnificent new bridge sweeping drivers into the bustling heart of Franklin. Franklin, now part of the wider Queenstown hospitality scene, gives visitors a taste of Queenstown’s personality.

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