The Remarkables and Middle-Earth

“An exhilarating road, with hairpin turns, serpentines and steep grades…This road is not recommended if passengers are prone to car sickness.”

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.

The Remarkables

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.

Middle-earth, Glenorchy

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.

Next Post: South Island continues in Fiordland – Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau

Click HERE to view previous post: Arthur’s Pass, West Coast

12 thoughts on “The Remarkables and Middle-Earth

  1. It is great to know that you guys are having fun, and from everyone in the Conway household today, Happy Birthday Marlene! It’s likely the 24th in New Zealand by the time I’m posting this, but I guess it’s the thought that counts!
    Stay healthy!


    1. Hi! Glad you signed your name and I am so honored to hear from you. Our trip is not going as planned, but it has been wonderful. Truly filled with wonder. Now getting ready to self isolate, I will spend the time catching up on the past month. Hope you stay tuned!


  2. Glennie Bowland March 20, 2020 — 5:32 am

    Your pics bring back such fond memories of my time in New Zealand…makes me want to go back and retrace my steps! Stay safe and be well! Glennie


  3. Glorious post and pictures! Overjoyed that you are in such beauty and safe & sound. Can’t wait for the next post! xo


  4. Beautiful photos!!! I love seeing all the pictures! Keep enjoying!


  5. By the way, all ski areas in Colorado have closed…so all the aussies and zealanders will be coming home early👎3 weeks early!


  6. Very nice….very envious but thrilled you are doing it! Well Done😊By


    1. We are beyond grateful. Especially in this time of strangness.


  7. You guys stay healthy.


    1. You too! Let’s keep each other posted.


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