“An exhilarating road, with hairpin turns, serpentines and steep grades…This road is not recommended if passengers are prone to car sickness.” Dangerousroads.org
Late February: At this point of our trip the coronavirus was beginning to make waves, but with just one case on New Zealand’s North Island, we continued as planned. We crossed over the Southern Alps to Queenstown.
The “exhilarating road” is the Crown Range Road, NZ’s highest main road, altitude 3,678′. A drive “not for the faint hearted” with massive views from crystal blue waters to purple mountains with golden grasses.
Crown Range Road
Queenstown is dramatically surrounded by mountain ranges and tucked into the curves of Lake Wakatipu. It is at the foot of the The Remarkables, an aptly named range of mountains that run straight down into Lake Wakatipu.
Lake Wakatipu, NZ’s longest lake, 50 miles long, and 3rd largest at 112 sq. miles, was carved 15,000 years ago by a glacier,
Queenstown satisfies your thrill seeking soul. Boats, climbs, hikes, wine, jumping, gliding, you name it. For us, a sedate gondola ride.
The Gondola at Bob’s Mountain: “Let’s ride up…and walk down, it will be fun!” We slipped and climbed over rocks and roots for an hour down the Tiki Trail.
We drove up to The Remarkables ski park on a fantastic winding road, and I hiked up to an alpine lake at the top, Lake Alta.
Think Lord of the Rings! Glenorchy at Lake Wakatipu’s tip, is a tiny village, 29 miles from Queenstown…not at all exciting, but the drive was!
The landscape around Glenorchy was featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia. Quote Sir Ian McKellan, ‘This is the Middle-earth I always pictured’.
Day Tripping in the Otago Valley
Watched bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge – 142 feet of fun.
Wine Tasting – NZ’s wine industry is one of the world’s youngest and we were game to find a “cellar door” experience in the Otago Valley.