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Known also as "The Queenstown to Glenorchy Highway" - The journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy, on the Tommy Thompson Scenic Drive awes visitors from across the globe with it's breathtaking beauty.
Leaving Queenstown the road winds along the pristine Lake Wakatipu, driving through bursts of emerald beech forests and flows past glassy bays and inlets. Every stop offers a unique and different view of the stunning scenery.
Take the time to experience them all, from short walks at Bobs Cove to stone skimming on the lakes mirrored surface at Wilson Bay.
As you meander further around the coastline, anticipation builds as you reach Bennetts Bluff, a midway point between Queenstown and Glenorchy, offering exceptional views of the Southern Alps opening up to the top of the Lake, Mt Earnslaw Glacier in the distance and Mount Aspiring National Park, people are in awe at this majestic backdrop.
The road towards Glenorchy follows the course of the towering hills on one side and the Lake on the other. Passing by Pigeon Island and Pig Island you capture a glimpse of the headwaters of the lake in the distance and the beginning of the Dart River a braided river system.
As you drive into the quaint village of Glenorchy, the one thing you notice is the uniqueness of some of the local housing. From tiny homes to dwellings that incorporate natural materials and elements, there are many homes that embody individuality.
Driving down to the foreshore you'll find a hive of activity at the iconic Glenorchy red boat shed. One of the most photographed spots along the scenic highway.
Allow an hour or two to take in the scenery on this drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, and of course set no time restraints to wander around the town itself enjoying the local ambience in this special part of the world.
No wonder this drive is featured in the top ten drives to do in New Zealand!
Travel New Zealand’s most scenic highway, heading deep into Middle Earth, and visit the landscape that inspired Peter Jackson’s film locations for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A scenic tour to Paradise and Glenorchy with local Kiwi guides.