This pass, the Crown Range Summit, at 1,076m above sea level, is the highest sealed road in New Zealand.
In February 1860, WG Rees and P Von Tuzleman were the first Europeans to cross the pass, searching for sheep pasture and burning the Speargrass and Matagouri on route.
In 1861, Alfred Duncan drove the first sheep to the Rees Run at Wakaripu, after crossing the Clutha River at Albert Town, they moved up the Cardrona Valley over the pass where they saw ‘the promised land of Rees’.
Early in 1863 hundreds of gold seekers used this route to the Arrow and Skippers diggings.
In 1877 the first tourist trips using horse drawn coaches drove over the pass.
In the year 2000, the road was finally sealed. It is now a major tourist route, bring the communities and ski fields of Queenstown and Wanaka closer together.