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  • Writer's pictureHayley Roberts

2 Weeks in New Zealand’s South Island. Day 10 : Queenstown (Day 2) – Glenorchy

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Queenstown is surely one of the world’s prettiest cities but the beauty doesn’t stop at the city limits so I highly recommend a day trip or two to escape the adrenaline rush seeking tourists. This post covers the area to the north taking in Glenorchy and surrounds.

girl overlooking lake at sunrise, queenstown

Sunrise in Queenstown

After a couple of sunrise photos in QT sample the breakfast at Fergbaker and then head west out of town along Lake Wakatipu. You’ll lose Internet access the second you cross city limits, but who cares when the views are this good. The drive to Glenorchy should take 45 minutes but if you’re not stopping at every pullover for photographs then you’re missing the best part of the trip. Particularly look out for Wilson Bay, Bennetts Bluff Lookout and Meiklejohns Bay.

The road to Glenorchy

Wilson Bay

Bennetts Bluff Lookout

Meiklejohns Bay


Glenorchy is quaint and lovely but there’s not a whole lot to do. Stop for lunch somewhere and then take a stroll to Glenorchy Wharf with its picturesque red boathouse.


If the weather is good there’s supposed to be some excellent walks around Glenorchy but it had started to rain as we arrived. Instead we decided to drive to Paradise (actually called that) which isn’t a popular tourist attraction but was the setting for many Lord of the Rings scenes so it was guaranteed to be interesting. You’re back in unsealed road territory and while beautiful it was a little too rural for us with icy rain pelting down so we turned back halfway but not before Mum made me withstand blasting rain through the car window while she photographed some picturesque sheep.

Moke Lake

On the way back to town we thought we’d check out Moke Lake which entailed a gravel road, a herd of menacing cows, wind, rain, cold and fog, and not the picturesque, serene experience you see in all the pictures. Still, I’d be keen to visit again on a clear day and I hear it’s a great spot to photograph the stars.


Back in Queenstown we chose to forgo Queenstown’s most quintessential experience of eating at Fergberger and, on the recommendation of a friend, ate round the corner at Devil Burger instead with their chips and golden curry sauce. Yum. End the day with a stroll round the quaint little township and a spot of souvenir shopping.

We stopped at: Wilson Bay, Bennetts Bluff Lookout, Meiklejohns Bay, Glenorchy, Paradise, Moke Lake, Queenstown

We wore (in spring): Long pants, tee, scarf and jacket. It was a freezing evening so a full length puffer jacket helped.

Distance: Queenstown to Glenorchy is approximately 45 minutes drive without all the scenic stops.

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