You too may wonder if earth has anything to show more fair. The sparkling waters
stretch past dreamy islands to a backdrop of glaciers and sunlit crags.
A thousand years ago came the first moa hunters. They left tales of giants
who carved out this landscape. Of the forces which joined the mystic greenstone,
gold and scheelite.
Canoes still paddle the lake, horsemen surrender their hearts on the upland
trail. Ancient beech forest is home to bush canaries, fantails, parakeets and
kaka -- and three species of deer. In the lake teem trout and salmon.
For over a century musterers, miners and hunters have fought to create an endearing
little settlement in the wilderness, tracks meander through the bush and over
the alpine passes -- here lies Paradise in the South Seas.
Glenorchy is home to the fabulous Dart River Jet Safari.
The Queenstown to Glenorchy Road Points of Interest
1.4 km - One Mile Creek. Walking track leads up the town side of the creek through
the reserve land containing native beech forest to a disused damsite, once a source of water for
town water supply and later for hydro electricity. Fernhill Road leads to an expanding residential
subdivision which 20 years ago was the site of the Queenstown Strawberry Gardens.
5 km - Good views of Cecil and Walter Peaks on the opposite side of the lake.
The valley separating the peaks is McKinlay's Creek, which flows into Table Bay, and is the boundary
between the two high country stations bearing the names of the two peaks amed after Cecil Walter
Rees, sone of W. G. Rees, start of the original pack track leading into the old goldmining town
of Moke Creek and Moonlight Creek.
10 km - The access track on your right is to Lake Dispute -- popular with trout
fishermen and where brook trout have lately been introduced.
15.9 km - Top of the hill, you will see ahead of you the steep Twelve Mile Bluffs.
When the road was being surveyed, the surveyors had to use ropes to avoid falling over the edge
and into the lake. Below the bluffs some sections of the old bridle track are still evident. The
track generally follows the route blazed by the original sheep drovers with Glenorchy's first
19.8 km - Approaching one of the highest points of the road. Road building was
too difficult along the old bridle track below, because of swampy conditions. Looking across the
lake to the other side, Mount Nicholas Station can be seen on both sides of the Von River run
by the MacKenzie Brothers as part of Walter Peak Station until 1949, when it was bought by Phil
Hunt and has been farmed separately.
20.8 km - Double Gullies, where the road committee had great difficuly building
the first road-notice old roads going around the edges of the bluffs.
24.7 km - At the top of the hill-starting down towards Bennett's Bluff, which
is the most spectacular point on the entire road. From here you can see for the first time right
up past the head of Lake Wakatipu with the three islands in the lake. Tree island, a very small
one on the left, then Pig Island and Pigeon Island.
40.5 km - Darrell's Bluff. Named after contractor Darrell McGregor who, with
one simultaneous explosion using 17 cases of gelignite, excavated almost all of this rock directly
into the lake.