The weather is looking a lot more promising today as we head out to Highlands Motorsport Park for our second attempt at a fast lap. Unfortunately the Ferrari isn’t running today, they have the Porsche out instead.
I really wanted a ride in a Ferrari.
I am given a helmet to wear, and then get into the car and seatbelt up. Before we can do the fast lap, we have to do a slow lap around the track. I assume this is to warm up the tires and check for any potential hazards that may have found their way onto the track.
The track is 4.2Km long and the design takes inspiration from some of the world’s most famous racetracks. It was a very quick drive, only a couple of minutes but thrilling!
I was told we reached speeds of up to 220kph!
We have quite a powerful motorbike, so I am used to fast acceleration, and found the acceleration in the Porsche a similar experiance, but the corners are quite different. Braking happens far later than you expect so there were several moments where I thought we might not make it around the corner.
My favourite part was going over the bridge, we went flying over and I am sure the car left the asphalt for a moment. It is a unique experience and a must for any speed lover or automotive enthusiast.
After all that excitement, we decide to grab a quick coffee in the café while we check out Google maps and decide where we want to explore today. We settle on Glenorchy and The Crown Range.
We head towards Queenstown and then carry on straight through.
It is so busy!
Queenstown is known for being pretty touristy and expensive. We rode past the crowds of people, the traffic and straight past the famous Ferg’s Burgers, with its queue going out the door and down the street. We past more tourists taking selfies on the lake front , and then..
What a ride. Spectacular scenery and an empty road.
This easily ranks in my top 5 most favourite motorbike rides I have ever been on. The road is in good condition and follows the lake edge of Lake Wakatipu, twisting and turning along the way. There were so many wow moments on this trip, so many photo worthy spots.
We reach a sign that says ‘Glenorchy, Welcome to Paradise’ I believe it. This place is gorgeous! Glenorchy is a peaceful lakeside town, quite a contract to its flashy Queenstown sister. The mountain ranges are dusted with snow, the sun is shining, no wind, cool fresh air, the place is quiet and relaxing.
At Glenorchy we find a pub to have some lunch and sit in the sun warming up. We sit by the lake for a bit, watching the tourist head out on jet boats and then go for a wander to the old boatshed and jetty. There has been recent flooding; the water is up to the top of the jetty, giving the sense of walking on water.
Honestly, this place is just amazing.
Inside the boatshed are a series of old photos and information about the area. Tourists began visiting Glenorchy in the 1860’s, however the road didn’t open until 1962. Up until then, the only way to get passengers, mail, food, cattle and more to and from Glenorchy was by boat, one being a twin-screw coal-fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, which you can still take a ride on today.
This place really is paradise. I wish we were staying here longer. It’s certainly a place I wish to visit again.
On the way back we make a stop to get some photos across the lake of The Remarkables and they are just that – remarkable! Long, jagged and pointy, they certainly have a presence! Even when they are not covered in snow.
On our way back to Alexandra we take a couple of detours. The first being up the Crown Range. A series of hairpin bends, twists and turns, leading up the mountain side. There are uninterrupted, spectacular views of the Queenstown basin. It is well worth the little side trip.
We also make a stop in the historic little town of Clyde for a fruit yogurt ice cream, which we eat in the shop courtyard amongst the lavender.
A perfect ending to another great day.
The SuperCar Fast Dash at Highlands will cost you $179. It is usually in a Ferrari 488 GTB but this can change from time to time. You can book this experience online.
The ride out to Glenorchy takes about 45 minutes from Queenstown each way. The road is in great condition and the scenery along the way is magical. On a motorbike, this was amazing. It would also be great in a car.