Life & Style Weekend - - Escape -

Every­body needs good neigh­bours and Queenstown has some of the best. In­vest­ing in a hire car pays off when you visit these three pock­ets of par­adise.


Just 20 min­utes via car/time cap­sule from the city cen­tre, the charm­ing gold rush vil­lage is poised be­tween past and present. Trendy mod­ern eater­ies (try Slow Cuts for a less fren­zied al­ter­na­tive to Ferg­burger) min­gle with his­toric build­ings. Stroll along­side the gen­tle Ar­row River where you can still try your luck at gold pan­ning. A clus­ter of re­stored shel­ters built by Chi­nese min­ers from 1868 paint a vivid pic­ture of the past.


Around 45 min­utes from Queenstown, lesspop­u­lated lake­side vis­tas en­sure Glenorchy is a firm favourite with pho­tog­ra­phers. Start your scenic sa­fari at the Glenorchy Wharf and iconic red rail­way shed. A horse ride through the Dart Val­ley – bet­ter known as Lord of the Rings coun­try – will im­merse you in the breath­tak­ing back­drop.


It’s a lit­tle fur­ther afield at more than three hours’ one way, but the jour­ney over Lindis Pass is al­most as spec­tac­u­lar as the des­ti­na­tion. While New Zealand’s high­est peak has a habit of play­ing peek-a-boo with the clouds, you’ll find your­self con­stantly pulling over to cap­ture ev­ery­thing from Lake Pukaki’s bril­liant blue to the rolling red of tus­sock-clad hills bleed­ing into blue sky. When you ar­rive, stretch your legs on the Hooker Val­ley Track.

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