Driving the Nevis Road in a Suzuku Escudo

A couple of years back my wife and I went to Queenstown for a long weekend. While there we drove the Nevis Road in the Suzuki Escudo.

The Nevis Road is New Zealands highest public road. Its peak at Duffers Saddle reaching to 1300m above sea level. The road is usually closed over winter and opens in start of October but check that before trying to drive it.

The Nevis Road

In Google maps the Nevis Road is shown to be just under 70 km. But it took us longer than the 4 hours it is showing.

I had done a lot of reading and preparing for the drive but I missunderstood the length of the drive. It ended up being about 70km and when stopping at the sights it was a full days drive. I have done some 4WDing in the past but this was the first real trip for the little Suzuki Escudo.

There is something pretty special about this road. From the mountainous areas to the river crossings through glass lands and valley, also the old gold mining areas.

There are lots of guides out there, like this on from NZ4WD.

While driving there were some challenges, the first ford we came to ripped the plastic radiator guard off. So I will be looking at some proper under armour to install at some point. There were a couple of hairy parts but we made it through all OK. We had to check the depth of some crossing and at the southern part as we will driving out it was pretty rocky and had to go slow.

But we were followed by a stock Outlander and they passed it as well so it is doable in a stock 4WD.

Here are some photos.

If you are in the area I highly recommend doing this drive.

Thanks for reading

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