Road trip to Paradise (literally)
What do you imagine when someone says Paradise?
Blue sky, white sand beaches, maybe palm trees, clear blue ocean?
I’m sure everyone’s interpretation of Paradise is different, but recently I literally visited a place called ‘Paradise’.
While staying in Queenstown in New Zealand I decided to take a road trip out to an area called Glenorchy and Paradise, which was featured in the Lord of the Rings Films.
The drive around Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy was possibly one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever done. The lake and scenery around it was absolutely stunning to say the least, mountains with snow on them towering above the water. Little stops along the way with white sand and leafy green trees (no palms here). One of my favourites was Wilson Bay Reserve.
Glenorchy itself is a small little town at the tip of Lake Wakatipu and the Dart River. It is home to about 200 people. The mountain range continued with the river weaving around and farmlands opposite. All I could think was — imagine owning those farmlands in such a scenic place? Those animals (sheep, cows, horses) would have such stunning areas to enjoy.
It felt almost like the end of the road in Glenorchy. There are some fantastic hiking trails, but otherwise it is a super quiet. I took the metal road off to Paradise from Glenorchy. I was expecting some further jaw dropping beauty to see, but it actually just continues its beauty from Glenorchy.
The metal road to Paradise wasn’t your typical country metal road though. No. Once you pass the sign to Paradise, come the roaming farm animals… I wasn’t sure if they all escaped or if that was normal, but I was a bit nervous driving around the bulls! The sheep were no problem, but the animal that made me literally stop and reverse was a rogue horse on the way back. That one definitely got out of its paddock. I crossed a few low fords of water between the farm animals (unsure if this was private property by this point) until I got to a river that I wasn’t sure how deep it was for the hire car I was driving… so turned around and returned to Glenorchy between nervous drives around animals.
Glenorchy Cafe was a great spot to enjoy a coffee after a long day of driving and admire the mountain range and the metal sculptures that feature around the cafe.
Much like my visit to Arrowtown, I felt Glenorchy was secluded and really in the untouched countryside of New Zealand. Yes, they’ve featured in some incredible films, but they’ve returned to their natural beauty. It’s clean fresh air, clear skies, blue/green waters, snow-capped mountains and glorious green farmlands and trees. I could really imagine living the peaceful life down there.