Time: 3h:00m return (including numerous photo stops)
Queenstown to Glenorchy we took 1h:20m (0h:45m direct)
Glenorchy to Dart River Bridge 0:30m
Weather: Fine and sunny 24°C
It was mid afternoon after a day at golf when we decided to head up Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown. So glad we did. Views simply sensational.
The panorama from places like Bennett's Bluff are amazing.
We had a walk on Glenorchy Wharf and some kids came along and jumped in for a swim, even though the sign says fast flowing water below. There's not a lot at Glenorchy in the way of retail therapy (yay!) but you can get a coffee or a meal or some possum skin products...
After Glenorchy we passed the unsealed road to Paradise but didn't go up. This is the way to the Dart Rees multi-day Track that some rate as better than the Routeburn or Milford Tracks. A one day walk to Chinaman's Bluff is an option worth considering. There are remnants of old mining sites that can be explored in the hills.
Continuing on the sealed road, just before the bridge across the Dart River the farmland looks like hobbit country with little mounded hillocks housing the local sheep.
After the Dart River Bridge the road is unsealed and you turn right for the start of the famous Routeburn Track or left for the sleepy hollow of Kinloch. This is as far as we went this evening.
The colours and views from the bridge, for me, rate as perhaps my favourite of the whole three week journey.
We spent a couple of hours driving up. The trip back took about half that time. You could easily make a day of it if you like hiking or horse trekking. This is a drive you'll remember forever.