A Scenic Drive from Queenstown to Paradise via Glenorchy
New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes, and one of the best ways to take it all in is by taking a scenic drive. One of our favourite drives was from Queenstown to Paradise via Glenorchy. The driver of the car was me, Ben Clark, a quadriplegic driving a hire car from Freedom Mobility, and my wife Alice. The winding lake-side roads almost felt like we were driving along the northern lakes in Italy.
The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is only 45 kilometres, but it took us a while because we kept stopping to take in the breathtaking views. The road hugs the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, with the Remarkables mountain range towering on the other side. The crystal-clear water of the lake reflected the surrounding mountains, making for a postcard-perfect view.
Halfway along the drive, we came across a lookout that required a steep climb to get to, but it was well worth the effort. The views from the top were some of the best we have seen, with a rainbow appearing in a valley in the distance. We couldn’t believe our luck! The valley was surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush greenery, making it a sight we will never forget.
As we continued our journey, the scenery continued to amaze us. We drove through dense forests, across streams and through open meadows, all with the snow-capped Southern Alps in the background. We could see why this area was chosen as a filming location for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with its wild and otherworldly landscapes.
Finally, we arrived at Paradise, a small settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. It’s a popular spot for photographers, hikers and Lord of the Rings fans. The landscape here is truly unique, with the Dart River winding through the valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides.
We parked our car and had lunch in what felt like our own private valley. The scenery was awe-inspiring, and we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be there.
The drive from Queenstown to Paradise via Glenorchy was one of the highlights of our New Zealand trip. The constantly changing landscape, from mountains to forests to meadows, made for a truly unforgettable experience. We recommend it to anyone who loves scenic drives, hiking and exploring new places.
Written by Ben Clark, Adapt to Perform