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gloriajames Queenstown - A travel report by Gloria
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Queenstown,  New Zealand - flag New Zealand
6399 readers

gloriajames's travel reports

Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth Country

  17 votes
Page: 1 2
Queenstown is the second largest town in the South Island of New Zealand. The best way to explore is to embark on a self-drive tour, this way you won't miss any of the postcard-perfect views of this town which remains stunningly beautiful all year round.

Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu
There are many pretty sights in and out of Queenstown. One of my favourite things to do was walk to the edge of Queenstown and gaze at the beautiful LAKE WAKATIPU. The lake’s steep slopes are dark with native forest and the snowy tops of the Remarkables reflect on its tranquil surface. One way of seeing the lake is to cruise by onboard the TSS Earnslaw, a steamship from the beginning of the century, and disembarking at the Walter Peak Homestead Restaurant. Just 15 mins from Queenstown, will lead you to ARROWTOWN, and I found out why it was called “one of the best places in New Zealand for autumn colour.” Drenched in the season’s hues of red and gold, the tree-lined streets of the little gold mining town shimmered in the setting sun. Through careful preservation of its colourful history, its old world charm was apparent even as I walked down the main street where quaint shops, cafes, bistros, pubs and restaurants sat side by side. Feeling adventurous, I left Queenstown to venture further and followed the contours of the Lake Wakatipu. I did not realise that I was on one of the world’s most scenic routes and was rewarded with 40 minutes of pure scenic heaven and excellent ‘mirror image’ photo opportunity. I continued to drive on and soon arrived at the pristine GLENORCHY, known to the rest of the world as Tolkien’s mythical Middle Earth country from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Nestled between two National Parks with World Heritage status, this is the gateway to the famous Paradise, Rees and Dart Valleys, Routeburn Track and Shotover River. Just unwind, soak in the tranquillity and replenish your soul with the breathtaking view of unspoilt nature and awesome landscapes. As you leave Queenstown, get on the road that takes you to the Crown Range Alpine Highway which is New Zealand’s highest altitude main road at 1076m.

Favourite spots:
Bra of the fence
Bra of the fence
As you head on to Wanaka, you have to cut through the Cardrona Valley and if time permits, make a stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel built in 1863 for a pint. As you continue to drive, be prepared to chuckle as you see the famous “bra hanging on fence” covered in cast-off women’s bras in front of the airfield. Soon I arrived at WANAKA, a popular tourist resort town that centres on the famous Lake Wanaka and is the gateway to many ski fields at Treble Cone, Cardona and Mt Aspiring National Park. Wanaka combines the ease of small town living with the quality of a good resort. This compact town centre provides visitors with easy access to shops, restaurants and spectacular sights. Adrenaline addicts, foot-sore travellers and lovers of luxury, will find plenty to do in this winter snow-lover’s paradise. I chose to soak in the spectacular autumn sight of the exotic trees at the lakeside whilst eating and imbibing in one of the cosy cafés there.

What's really great:
I loved the abundance of adventurous outdoor activities that awaited thrill seekers like me. And what better way to begin the adrenaline rush than with a stop at Skyline Gondola Restaurant situated at Bob’s Peak. From the base station (which is about 340 metres above sea level), I took a cable car to the top station (which is about 790 metres up) and upon reaching the Skyline Gondola, I had three options of fun sports to choose from. I could (a) race in a Luge cart winding downhill on a Luge track about 800 metres long, (b) hurtle towards earth attached to a bungee cord from A.J. Hackett’s ‘The Ledge’, or (c) takeoff on a tandem parapente flight from 1000 metres above sea level and soar high above the town into the wild blue yonder before spiralling back down to ground zero. I took the paragliding option and what magnificent views of the town I got!

Glenorchy - LOTR - Middle Earth
Glenorchy - LOTR - Middle Earth
1. Lake Wakatipu
2. Arrowtown
3. Glenorchy
4. Lake Wanaka

Millbrook Resort
Millbrook Resort
Millbrook Resort at Arrowtown.
Tucked away in an exquisite setting, the relaxing resort had me awestruck by its most impressive world-class golf course. Featuring impeccably groomed fairways and greens and surrounded by the alpine backdrop of the REMARKABLES Mountain Range, this would prove an exhilarating experience for any golfer.

Bungy Jump
Bungy Jump
If you are feeling lucky, why not make a stop at the Skycity Casino. Gamble whilst you soak in the atmosphere, sipping your cocktail.

Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe
If you must, stop at the Hard Rock Cafe for a souvenir T-shirt!

View of Queenstown from Skyline Gondola Restaurant
View of Queenstown from Skyline Gondola Restaurant
No trip to Queenstown is complete unless you have been to the Gondola Restaurant perched 700m above sea level. Watch the sunset over the Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range.

Published on Monday October 4th, 2004

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Mon, Jun 16 2008 - 08:00 AM rating by arohi

hi gloria ,
your report shows your keen intrest in your travelling , and i am impressed
you have explore the place so beautifuly , when i read i felt as if i was to present there.

Wed, Oct 06 2004 - 11:33 PM rating by picasso

Dear Gloria
It is a masterpiece,and wonderful creation.You konw,I would wanted to read and read,just only to enjoy your writing,and visualize
Only in my dreams this beautiful place on Earth.***** PLUS if I WOULD HAVE A CHANCE


Tue, Oct 05 2004 - 01:20 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii gloria,
what a nice report abt queensland ,nice to read it .
wish to see more such reports from you ,and yes all the pictures are nice too.

Mon, Oct 04 2004 - 08:28 AM rating by britman

Hi Gloria...what a debut...what a fantastic report...well written...well illustrated and well worth ***** for your first report effort on GLOBO!
You will be a GLOBO star!!


Mon, Oct 04 2004 - 08:16 AM rating by rangutan

Very inviting place, well you make it so... :-))

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