Scenic Road Trip: Queenstown to Paradise, Glenorchy

Experience the unparalleled beauty of New Zealand’s South Island with a stunning road trip from Queenstown to Paradise via Glenorchy. This journey promises breathtaking landscapes at every turn, with stops at some of the region’s most iconic destinations like Moke Lake, 12 Mile Delta, and Bennett's Bluff Lookout. Travel the winding roads and immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of Paradise for an unforgettable adventure.

Recommended Stops Along the Way

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Moke Lake

Begin your journey just northwest of Queenstown with a scenic detour to Moke Lake. Nestled in a serene valley surrounded by towering peaks, this tranquil spot is perfect for a morning stroll along the lake’s shoreline or a paddle on its mirror-like waters. The picturesque scenery is a photographer's dream, offering stunning reflections of the rugged peaks and vibrant native bush that encircle the lake.

A walking track circumnavigates the lake, providing panoramic views from different angles and occasionally offering glimpses of local birdlife. Adventure seekers can also enjoy mountain biking on the nearby trails, while anglers may find the peaceful setting perfect for fishing. The area even offers basic camping facilities if you decide to linger a little longer.

12 Mile Delta

Continuing along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, stop at 12 Mile Delta to enjoy a peaceful lakeside picnic amidst native flora. This scenic campsite sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, offering expansive views across the water. The dense native bush and rolling hills create a serene atmosphere that's perfect for relaxing.

Lord of the Rings enthusiasts will recognize the area as Ithilien Camp from the film trilogy, where Frodo and Sam first encounter the Oliphaunts. Beyond its cinematic fame, 12 Mile Delta is known for its scenic walking tracks that weave through the forest, offering lake views and secluded beaches.

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Bennett’s Bluff Lookout  

As you approach Glenorchy, pause at Bennett’s Bluff Lookout for a sweeping vista of Lake Wakatipu and the distant peaks. The panoramic views here capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the region, with deep blue waters contrasting against lush forests and rugged mountains. From this vantage point, you can see Pig and Pigeon Islands as well as the towering Mount Earnslaw in the distance.

This lookout is a fantastic spot to snap photos or simply revel in the tranquility. A small parking area makes it easy to pull over and spend a moment appreciating the grandeur of the region.

Paradise Road Sign

No road trip is complete without a visit to the legendary Paradise road sign, a symbol of reaching the idyllic destination that inspired its name. The road sign marks the gateway to this pristine area, where towering beech trees, emerald meadows, and snow-capped peaks create an almost mythical atmosphere.

Take a photo with the sign and celebrate reaching one of New Zealand's most beautiful hidden gems. The landscapes in Paradise are truly cinematic, having served as the backdrop for various scenes in "The Lord of the Rings" and other films. Hiking trails and horse-riding opportunities await those wishing to delve deeper into the surrounding wilderness.

Reserve your rental vehicle with Apolicar and embark on this memorable road trip from Queenstown to Paradise, Glenorchy

Discover the region's diverse natural wonders, cultural landmarks, and cinematic history, creating memories that will last a lifetime.