Walking New Zealand
New lookout for Bennetts Bay now open
Anew lookout at Bennetts Bluff opened last month, making it safer for locals and visitors to pull over and enjoy unique views of Lake Whakatipu.
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) worked closely with Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) to complete the project.
Council invested $1.6m to develop a new carpark, toilet block and picnic area and planting, while DOC has funded the walking track and viewing area. For many years, drivers have been pulling over on the side of the road at Bennetts Bluff to take in the view on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. QLDC’s General Manager Property and Infrastructure Pete Hansby said the new location was much safer. “At the old unofficial spot drivers pulled over on a blind corner with a rock fall hazard. We know the local community has been worried about this section of road and the potential for accidents. This new spot is better sign-posted, has multiple carparks for coaches and cars, and is a designated safe place to pull over,” said Mr Hansby.
As part of the design, Council is reintroducing 4,000 native plants to the area and is also working with the Glenorchy Community Association to develop an information board about the history of the Glenorchy Queenstown Road.
Kāi Tahu kaumātua bestowed a site blessing last year and will continue to support with the development of cultural and historical signage at the lookout over time.
A barrier has been installed on the unsafe section of road to ensure it is no longer possible to pull over. In Spring, grass seeding will be laid in the picnic area.
Bennetts Bluff is about halfway between Queenstown and Glenorchy on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road.