Lake Wakatipu & Glenorchy/Paradise
Our first full day in and around Queenstown so we headed off to the Glenorchy Area. To get there you follow Lake Wakatipu, another amazing (and huge) blue lake, and continue through rolling hills that lead into mountainous valleys. The area has been used for a variety of films including LoTR (lothlorian) and the Waterhorse.
The road to Glenorchy is windy, but paved. We soon made our way there and it is a tiny little town on the water. We continued through and further up into the mountains on to some gravel roads to make our way to Paradise… We weren’t sure if Paradise was a town or what exactly but it seemed to be a general area with 1 building. We ran into a lot of LoTR/Hobbit tours along the way as the area was used extensively for the films. We enjoyed our own little explorations and stream crossings, eventually making our way back to a parking area for folks continuing to “tramp” up the Dart River and in and around the nearby mountains. We saw a few of the famous Dart River Jet Boats fly up the river. They are pretty cool as they can maneuver in as little as a few inches of water. Of course they also do crazy spins to make the rides a bit more exciting on top of the amazing views.
One the way up the valley and back we saw lots of sheep, cows, and mountains 🙂 Just beautiful!
After exploring many roads, we meandered our way back to QT (with me driving through the QT New years eve craziness – what a way to learn roundabouts!) and took a quick trip up to a lookout on the Crown Range Road.
With a view of the remarkables (note no snow- YET)
We continued up the valley the other direction and ended up at the Gibbston Winery for a lovely lunch. On our way back we stopped by the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump and watched many leap to their fate. While it was vaguely tempting none of us were willing to pay the big bucks to make the jump. We spent some time exploring Queenstown and ended up getting some Indian “takeaway” for dinner back at the cabin. And to end the day…. more hanging with sheep!