The New Zealand Southern Alps contain some of the most vivid and breathtaking scenery in the whole world. From the jagged, snow-capped peaks to the deep blue waters of the glacial lakes, it’s easy to see how this region is such a draw for tourists.
Queenstown in particular has been given much acclaim as a holiday destination. Named the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere, it lies on the shoreline of the glacial Lake Wakatipu and is a popular destination all year round.
However, those who are wishing to explore a path less well-worn might prefer to venture to the lakes northern shore to the less frequented, but equally beautiful township of Blanket Bay, Glenorchy.
The views from Lake Wakatipu are incredible
There, you’ll find the Blanket Bay Lodge, acclaimed as the best luxury lodge in all of New Zealand. The views from the lodge give you a private seat right on the shore of Lake Wakatipu over the deep blue waters and surrounding mountain peaks.
Each morning you’ll wake up to the sight of sunlight tickling the mountaintops and low-hanging clouds rising with the heat of the coming day. In the winter, you’ll be surrounded by pure white snow and the summer days will be bright and covered with greenery. The best time of year to go is entirely up to you as there are plenty of great activities for both summer and winter, so the onus is on you to create your own ultimate holiday experience.
There’s loads to do there so take your pick
There is a wide range of activities available in Glenorchy, Queenstown and the surrounding areas available all year round and able to suit almost any taste.
During the winter months, the mountains surrounding Blanket Bay are covered with snow. This makes for some prime skiing and there are plenty of slopes nearby if you want to venture out to the nearby lodges and hit the powder. Alternatively, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can hire a helicopter from Harris Mountains Heliski to fly you up the top of a slope for some heli-skiing.
There’s going to be a lot of high-octane activities to do in Queenstown, however, it’s also a good idea to slow things down a bit and take in the majestic scenery around you. You can stroll along Blanket Bay’s lakefront, or if you wish to get a bit more rustic, you can venture into the Mount Aspiring or Fiordland national parks for four day long hiking tours. The way you undertake these hikes is entirely up to you, and the Lodge can arrange a guide to take you through the rougher terrain.
This area isn’t known as the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere for nothing. The high elevation of the surrounding peaks makes for prime bungee jumping territory and that makes you spoilt for choice. You can choose to visit the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site, or four other jumps each with varying levels of extremity.
Just past Queenstown at the nearby Shotover River, you can take a jetboat ride that traverses the shallow waters at extremely high speeds. It’s an exhilarating ride that takes things to the extreme by shooting extremely close to the jagged rock walls of the Shotover Canyon.
White Water Rafting
If getting splashed on the jet boat didn’t sate your appetite for water based action, you can take things to the next level by hoping in a raft and tackling the wild mountain rapids. Be warned though, white water rafting is a physically gruelling activity and some of the New Zealand rivers are more unforgiving than most.
One of the absolute must-sees of New Zealand’s south island is the fjord Milford Sound. Its stunning natural landscape is a sight to behold as waterfalls tumble down mountainsides straight into the ocean. It’s a few hours away from Glenorchy, but there are day trips by coach running from Queenstown, whereby you’ll embark on a near two hour cruise upon arriving at the Sound. The day tours through Great Sights New Zealand start at $226 for adults.
If the idea of regular old fishing doesn’t appeal to you, then you’re in luck. The lodge is able to arrange a helicopter trip that will be able to give you access to remote rivers and streams that are impossible to get to by road. The pilots possess insider knowledge of the landscape, ensuring that you’ll be taken to the best fishing spots.
It’s easy to get to and the drive is beautiful
Blanket Bay is a 45 minute drive north of Queenstown. Selected flight fly direct to Queenstown airport, otherwise you can get a transfer flight from Christchurch, or even take the extra time to drive it.
You can get in contact with the Blanket Bay Resort though the following:
Phone: +64 3 441 0115
Physical Address: Rapid 4191, Glenorchy, New Zealand