Crown Ridge Road is the highest (sealed) road in New Zealand, which serves as the most direct route between Queenstown and Wanaka. (That is, if you wish to bypass Arrowtown and Kawarau Gorge, including Gibbston Valley). It is a challenging drive that is full of sharp turns, steep climbs/descents, and spectacular views. Although we completed this drive in the direction towards Wanaka, we really recommend driving this road in the opposite direction towards Queenstown so that one drives downhill whilst facing the beautiful views rather than straining to see them whilst climbing uphill. It is, however, a stunning backdrop to be driving against in either direction.
Our tips? Be safe and drive at a comfortable speed. Do not attempt when tired, especially at the end of the long journey from the West Coast. Soak it all up!