Queenstown joins New Zealand’s iconic scenic tourist route

Posted by Jen Andrews (0 Comments)
Wednesday, 9 February 2011 in Press Releases

One of New Zealand’s top tourist routes, renowned for its stunning coastal and inland scenery, has now been extended to include Queenstown.

Destination Queenstown was invited to join the Southern Scenic Route Steering Group by current members Venture Southland, Tourism Dunedin, Destination Fiordland, Clutha District Council, the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Transport Agency.

The 440km road trip was previously a half loop between Dunedin and Te Anau through Balclutha, the Catlins, Invercargill, Bluff, Riverton and Tuatapere. It will now extend an extra 161 km to Queenstown, taking in the townships of Mossburn, Five Rivers, Athol, Garston and Kingston along the way.

Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt is pleased to officially put Queenstown on the Southern Scenic Route map and believes it will provide another strong proposition to attract visitors.

“The Southern Scenic Route brings together the best of the south and is a fantastic way to promote and showcase our natural environment and scenery, wildlife, heritage, and people.  As New Zealand’s oldest touring route, it’s a truly iconic experience.

“We hope that extending the route to start or finish in Queenstown will enhance the southern experience and add our spectacular alpine scenery to the mix. 

“Queenstown’s addition at this time reflects the growth of the region as a tourism hub.  By providing visitors with an international airport at each end of the route, in Queenstown and Dunedin, it’s even easier for visitors to access.  

“The Southern Scenic Route allows our international visitors a chance to explore on their own, to find hidden lakes and side roads, to meet local characters and experience southern hospitality – to find the real New Zealand.  It’s also the perfect motivation for Kiwis to come and rediscover the south.

“The Southern Scenic Route is an example of Kiwi ingenuity and collaboration and we’re looking forward to working closely with our partners to maximise benefits for all participating regions.”

The idea for the Southern Scenic Route was born in 1985 by Tuatapere locals John Fraser and Les Hutchins.  John and Les were ironically not working together on the idea but came up with it almost simultaneously.

After much hard work and lobbying, the Southern Scenic Route officially opened in 1988 and has since firmly established itself as a ‘must do’ New Zealand tourism experience.

Mr Fraser is delighted the route will now extend to Queenstown and believes it’s great news for tourism in the south.

“Our original concept was for the Southern Scenic Route to be between Queenstown and Dunedin but it proved to be a logistical nightmare at the time.  It’s fantastic that it’s finally come to fruition.”

The diverse scenery of the Southern Scenic Route ranges from the rugged coastline of the Catlins to the ancient forests and glaciers of Fiordland to the majestic lake and alpine scenery of the Wakatipu Basin. 

Highlights along the route can include seeing albatross, penguins, fur seals, and Hooker sealions in their natural habitat, swimming with dolphins, bush walks, exploring waterfalls, caves, glaciers, and the southern part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

New Southern Scenic Route signage has been erected in Frankton and further along the route at Five Rivers and Mossburn. The official Southern Scenic Route website and brochure have been completely refreshed and updated to include the route extension. Around 60,000 copies of the brochure will be distributed to i-SITES and key tourism destinations around New Zealand over the next 12 months.

For more information about the Southern Scenic Route please visit www.southernscenicroute.co.nz.

ENDS

Photo captions:
1)      Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt points out new SSR addition to signage
2 & 3)    Kingston-Queenstown road

JPEG ImageDQ CEO Tony Everitt points out new SSR addition to signage
JPEG Image, 860 KB

JPEG ImageSouthern Scenic Route - Queenstown to Kingston
JPEG Image, 385 KB

JPEG ImageSouthern Scenic Route - Queenstown to Kingston 1
JPEG Image, 711 KB

For more information please contact:
Jen Andrews
Communications Manager
Destination Queenstown
Phone: 03 441 0707
Email:  jena@queenstownnz.co.nz

Lisa Sadler
Manager
Destination Fiordland
Phone: 03 249 7959
Email:
lisa@fiordland.org.nz

Lisa Buckingham
Tourism Manager
Venture Southland
Phone: 03 211 1424
Email:
lisa@venturesouthland.co.nz

Julie Pearse
District Development Manager
Clutha District Council
Phone: 03 419 0247
Email:
julie.pearse@cluthadc.govt.nz

Hamish Saxton
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Dunedin
Phone: 03 471 8837
Email:
hsaxton@tourismdunedin.co.nz

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