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Lindis Pass, New Zealand – Complete Guide

Lindis Pass, New Zealand – Complete Guide

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Lindis Pass is a stunning mountain pass that’s really one of a kind in New Zealand. Most people just stop for a quick look but if you truly want to enjoy Lindis Pass follow the steps in this blog to the best Lindis Pass viewpoint!

Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain passes. I myself have visited Lindis Pass on many occasions and to be honest, it’s my favorite!

With all of this grass covering every inch of the mountains, it makes for a really unique landscape unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. It’s that classic NZ tussock grass with the backdrop of the mountains that I (and others) love so much.

While driving through Lindis Pass is a must on any road trip on the South Island, stopping and admiring the view is a great excuse to stretch your legs. However, if you want to enjoy the most amazing views at Lindis Pass, then you’re going to need to follow our blog to find the best viewpoint!

This blog is our guide to enjoying Lindis Pass that’ll show you where to get the best views and some amazing photos to get you excited!

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Where is Lindis Pass?

Panoramic photo from the top of the Lindis Pass Lookout
Panoramic shot from the top of the Lindis Pass Lookout

Lindis Pass is on State Highway 8 between Omarama and Wanaka. State Highway 8 is most commonly driven by people traveling between Queenstown (or nearby towns) and Lake Tekapo.

Basically, if you want to head north from Queenstown via Mount Cook you are going to drive Lindis Pass. In fact, you rented a campervan or motorhome, you know Lindis Pass is coming because it’s a struggle to the top for some cars!

Lindis Pass Road is approximately 60 km long but it’s the top section of the mountain pass people come to see!

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The Official Lindis Pass Lookout

The official lookout at Lindis Pass
The official lookout

At the highest point along Lindis Pass, there is a sign that marks the lookout. This lookout is at 971m above sea level!

On the side of the road, there is a car parking lot for visitors to get out and enjoy the scenery of Lindis Pass. It is signposted as “Lindis Pass Lookout.” From the car park, there are two short trails to viewing decks.

This lookout is actually right next to the state border between Otago and Canterbury.

I highly recommend pulling over and having a good look around. But, if you are feeling a little more adventurous don’t stop there. Instead, follow the steps below and enjoy the most breathtaking view you could imagine!

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The Best Lindis Pass Lookout

The view from the top of the Lindids Pass lookout hike
The view from the top of the Lindids Pass lookout hike

The official Lindis Pass lookout is nice don’t get me wrong, but if you’re like me and crave adventure and want to get some amazing photos you’re going to have to go a little further.

From the car park, take the trail on the left-hand side (if you’re facing away from the road). From there, you can see a trail heading up the hill to the right. The catch is that you do have to go over (or under) the small fence.

Lindis pass fence to lookout trail
This is the fence we went through to get to the amazing lookout. You can also see the trail!

There were no signs warning people not to pass, but it was very, very clear that many people go venturing up the hill (a trail has been formed because of all the people walking this way and the fence was all bent to make it easy for people to go through.)

The hike up the hill is very short and could be done in 10-15 minutes but it is steep. Watch your step and take it slow if you’re getting tired.

Bailey poses for a photo on Lindis Pass

When I was hiking up I was so focused on walking that I didn’t even look back behind me at the view. So when I stopped finally and had a look I was astounded!

From the top I saw all of the grass-covered mountains for miles and miles and then behind them, I could see snow-covered peaks. The view was so much better than I expected!

Another view of Lindis Pass lookout
Another view of Lindis Pass lookout

I’m not sure why this area hasn’t been made into a properly managed trail as I’m sure everyone would love to see this view. But for now, it’s fenced off and a little less accessible. But, if like us, your curious about what you can see from up on the hill then you will have to do a little fence jumping.

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Important Tips to Visiting Lindis Pass

lindis pass lookout car park
This is the car park on the side of the road along Lindis Pass.

The Carpark

The carpark at Lindis Pass is huge and I have never seen it completely full, however, this is an accident hot spot so please be careful pulling in and out. Also, be aware when driving past as people do pull out without looking.

I think everywhere in NZ you have to be cautious on the roads because of the sheer amount of tourists, but this is one spot I would take extra care.

Winter Road Conditions

If you’re driving Lindis Pass in winter be aware that it is a mountain pass and can receive snow and icy conditions. It is best to carry snow chains just in case and check the road report for Lindis Pass before heading off.

Before you go…

Bailey sits down and looks out at Lindis Pass, New Zealand
What a view!

Thanks so much for checking out our blog! I hope you’re excited for Lindis Pass and this guide helped you plan your trip there. If you have any more questions we are here to help and you can leave them below in the comments!

If not, that’s okay too, but if you did like this blog then be sure to check out all our New Zealand guides on our official New Zealand page. It’s got so many amazing blogs all laid out in popular regions and cities. I’ll also leave some related articles below!

13 best things to do in Mount Cook National Park

Queenstown to Christchurch road trip itinerary

How to pick the best Mount Cook helicopter flight


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