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The Southern Scenic Route in the lower South Island is one of New Zealand’s top touring routes. The drive is renowned for its journey through spectacular coastal and inland scenery, lush farmland and dramatic alpine landscapes. Start or end your journey in magnificent Queenstown!
The first European settlers arrived at the Head of the Lake probably in late 1861. They were shepherds working for William Rees who had taken a lease on all the land at the Head of Lake Wakatipu, east of the Dart River.
Have you got yourself some wheels and want to take them for a spin around Queenstown? Great! Whether you want to gaze at soaring mountains, waterfalls, or pan for gold, there’s a destination filled with things to do once you’re there—and of course, all roads lead back to Queenstown afterwards.
Queenstown’s long association with romance has been beautifully captured in an ancient Māori legend about forbidden love, and a heart that’s said to still beat today beneath the deep waters of Lake Whakatipu.