Queenstown is pretty, and packed with things to do but one of the best things you can do while you’re there is to get out. Only because there is so much more to explore without having to wander too far. A scenic drive through Glenorchy is one such excursion that has to be taken. Of course, you could do one of the hikes, The Routeburn Track for example, will take you along the forests but if it’s rest and relaxation you prefer, just hop in the car. A trail through Rees Valley is a nice intermediate options, giving you the same jaw-dropping views but on a flat pathway.
Scenic Drive through Glenorchy, NZ
Glenorchy itself is a tiny little village at the top of Lake Wakatipu, and quaint and all as it is, it’s not all that exciting. The drive there however, is. After driving the length and breadth of the country, I can honestly say it would make the top three scenic drives in New Zealand. In truth, Glenorchy doesn’t need the embellishments of Queenstown. It’s all about the landscape which has featured heavily in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in The Chronicles of Narnia.’ When Sir Ian Mc Kellan landed here, he said ‘This is what I always expected of middle earth.’ And it’s hard to disagree.
Bird watchers will be interested in a guided day tour through beech forest to Lake Sylvan. As avid Movie buffs might already know, the area where LOTR was filmed is called ‘Paradise’ named after the residential duck or the heavenly surroundings. Nobody quite knows which. It may be both. If you want to set the pace a little faster, there are jet boats that go up the river, and you can come down on inflatable canoes, affectionately termed ‘funyaks’ by the locals. For more romantic sensibilities, take a horse-ride through the valleys and enjoy a meal at the gorgeous Glenorchy Lodge.
If you fancy staying the night, Glenorchy has some beautiful serene options, including Blanket Bay Lodge, one of the top rated hotels in the country. Anyone can visit Glenorchy in their own way, at their own pace and at any budget. Everyone will remember the same thing-the unforgettable scenery.