Glenorchy & Paradise Day Trip
The north end of Lake Wakatipu & beyond
The 44km drive from Queenstown on the winding, lakeside road up to Glenorchy, at the head of Lake Wakatipu, is well worth the effort. The lake and mountain scenery is stunning.
Consider stopping at Bob’s Cove, about 15 minutes out of Queenstown, for a short walk down to the lake or a longer nature walk, while the views further on up the road from Bennett’s Bluff are among the best in the country.
Take a break in Glenorchy township at the Glenorchy Cafe, then check out the waterfront wharf, plus the tiny church and library.
Glenorchy claims to be the ‘Gateway to Paradise’ and it is, literally. Follow the signage north, get on the unsealed road, ford the River Jordan (we kid you not) and you’ll find Paradise. There’s nothing there except unbelievable scenery, so impressive that it’s regularly a filming location. Sir Ian McKellen, ‘Lord of the Rings’ legend, called it “my favourite place on Earth”.
Further round on the western side of the head of Lake Wakatipu is tiny Kinloch. Kinloch Lodge has been operating since 1868 and is top spot to stay, or just to drop in for a coffee.
You’ll eventually need to drive back to Queenstown as there’s no other way out – unless you’re well-prepared and hike over the mountains for a number of days.