Have you ticked these items off your Central Otago travel list? Our pals at Altitude Tours have put together a list just for you.
You’re on the Rockburn website so we can safely assume you’ve indulged (or about to) in some of Central Otago’s famous Pinots. This is a must-do while you’re in this part of the world as there is an abundance of different wines to be sampled and cheeseboards to be consumed. But have you thought about what else you should see and do while you’re in this part of the world? Because, believe it or not, there is more to life here than grapes and pickled veggies.
Central Otago is rich in history, scenery, the arts and adventure; so we’ve put together three items that should definitely be on your travel agenda.
Get out of Queenstown!
Queenstown is beautiful, iconic, brimming with life, adventure seekers and partygoers. But you’re missing several tricks if you don’t explore beyond her seductive centre. Just 40 minutes down a breath-taking, windy road is the reclusive Glenorchy township. Quaint, isolated and the gateway to Paradise itself, Glenorchy is the jewel at the head of the lake. It may seem like a sleepy little town, but beneath the surface is a wealth of history, Hollywood and adventure. Much of the famous Lord Of The Rings Trilogy was filmed around Glenorchy – and when you see the area you’ll understand why. Adventures include; jetboating, kayaking, windsurfing, horse trekking and camping (not to mention one of the most exclusive resorts in New Zealand). Glenorchy also boasts some of Central Otago’s (and the world’s) best hikes. Drive as far as you can, to the very end of “Middle Earth” and you’ll find the entrance to the famous Routeburn Track.
Get out of the car
There are endless roads of incredible scenery throughout wider Central Otago, from sparse moon landscapes to impossibly dense, lush forests. However, there’s only so far a car can take you. There are hundreds of people-sized roads (also known as walking tracks) to be tramped. This part of the world is quite frankly, greedy, when it comes to beautiful walks. From short, easy walks, to multi-day hikes over mountain passes, we really are spoiled for choice down here. In fact, two of the world’s most famous hikes are on our doorstep. As mentioned above, the Routeburn Track is just up the road from Glenorchy, and the Milford Track, starting near Te Anau, is one beautiful coach ride away. Also, within Central itself there are gorgeous paths that you can enjoy in between wine tastings. For example, Mt Crichton Loop is an easy 2-3 hour hike through beautiful beech forest, stopping to explore an old miner’s hut, and Bob’s Cove is a tranquil lakeside walk that lets you enjoy Lake Wakatipu without the crowds.
Take a break from drinking wine – drink beer instead
Give your palette a cleanse with some of Central Otago’s finest craft beer. Much like the wines in this region, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to local brews. Must be the fresh air, or the adventurous spirit, or the appreciation for nature that comes with living here… whatever it is, it attracts a lot of hipsters who just love to brew their own beer and cider (and are more than happy to chew your ear off about it for hours). So if you’re into hops, hop along to the nearest watering hole and get a glass of the good stuff… then back to the wineries.