The woman who hosted us at a little B&B- Glenorchy Peaks, told us “Yes, I suppose you forget you’re living in a post card when you wake up to this every morning.” She and her husband had a few horses, a little vegetable garden and a dog running around with their children, all set in front of Mt. Aspiring National Park as a back drop.
We arrived in Glenorchy from the South, and it’s a great contrast from bustling and busy Queenstown which you must drive through to reach the little town. The drive is, if you are lucky enough to take it on a clear day, brilliant blue. Lake Wakatipu is reported as the second purest in the world (yes again, clean enough to drink from). The road winds along the lake for close to an hour, islands emerge out of the deep lake to your left and as you continue the scene becomes bluer, clearer and view of the snow capped mountains to the North is revealed. The road passes an art garden shortly before reaching the town, it’s hard to miss bright blooms and an oversized fish sculpture. A few more bends and winds pass and then slows down for the little town of Glenorchy. The sign reads “Gateway to Paradise” I do not disagree. There are a few cafes, a single general store, a school and little else in the way of establishments. Just at the head of the lake is a great picnic spot, green grass grows just to the edge of the water.
North of town the road continues further, it turns to gravel eventually, then it leads where Isengard was filmed in the Lord of the Rings films. We drove to it and the saw-toothed edges of the mountains nearest to us could have been menacing, but the tower was built in CG and the wildflowers all along the riverside caused it to be very pleasant instead. Our time here was so lovely I was a bit sad to leave but it was time to keep on.