Queenstown to Glenorchy: A Scenic Drive
The 45 minute drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy has been described as one of the most scenic drives you will ever experience. In fact, while we were researching things to do around Queenstown, we read that if we only had time to do one scenic drive, THIS SHOULD BE IT!
The road follows the edge of Lake Wakatipu, providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains which rise abruptly from the lake’s shores. It consists of a number of straight stretches of road, and also several tight bends. The road is mostly hilly, and each new hill summit brings new and wonderful views.
We loved the snowcapped mountains in the distance, but if you want to see more substantial amounts of snow, it is best to do the Glenorchy – Queenstown Road in early spring or winter. We had read that morning time is the best time of the day to do this ride, but we beg to differ. It was only in the late afternoon that we began our drive, and we absolutely loved the soft light that we experienced along our way. Take Note: This road is very popular between the months of November and March. Because of the road’s narrowness, only pull over to take photos in the designated areas.
Glenorchy is the small settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. Sitting at the edge of the Dart River delta, the town is overshadowed by the most extraordinary alpine scenery. This town is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise! Walkers, photographers, adventures, holiday makers have all found themselves captivated by this amazing wilderness and kiwi way of life.
In pre-European days, Glenorchy was a ‘summer camp’ for Maori on their way to the pounamu rivers of the west coast. Then, in the 1860s, European settlers arrived to graze sheep, mill timber and mine scheelite. Today the town is a launching point for walks in Mount Aspiring National Park, jet boat adventures, skydiving, four wheel drive tours and horse treks.
The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is definitely one of the best scenic drives in New Zealand. As usual, Justin got to see less than me, but with less bands on this particular drive, he did get to experience more of the views.
A beautiful coastal drive, with enough jaw-dropping views to make you want to move to this country tomorrow!