As far as your eye can see and a little bit further. A hop, skip and a jump from there and you reach Kinloch Lodge. A haven of peace, tranquility, amazing beans on toast and big comfy beds with a view of the snow capped mountains. I travelled out of town and into the wilds. And my my my I’d forgotten how vast the skies are out there. How breathing deeply is second nature and how much you’re going to love it there.
A perfect hideaway for a weekend drive out of the town and into some of the most stunning countryside you can understand why Lord of The Rings was filmed around there. You’d also wonder why they didn’t think ‘sod the ring’ and set up camp there forever. Silly boys.
Started as a small tavern in the 1800’s the size soon increased as visitors to the area did. The Glenorchy-Queenstown road opened in 1962 and unfortunately the regular steamboat became redundant. Kinloch Lodge was then left to disrepair until 2000 when John and Toni Glover took over the ownership and lovingly restored it to it’s former beauty.
6 Heritage rooms in the lodge, beautifully laid out overlooking the lake with gorgeous little extras- hot water bottles on the bed, your own dressing gowns (I’m a sucker for those, and no, I didn’t steal one) a complete lounge all to yourself with fire, wifi, every tea under the sun (Kerching!) and board games for those chilly Winter nights. I was in heaven.
Just out of the door and a little hot tub overlooks the lake. Relax those weary bones and catch the sunset over Lake Wakatipu.
Next door the YHA associated Wilderness Rooms. A variety of bunk beds, double rooms, twin rooms, super king rooms for slightly less. A large fully equipped kitchen, lounge and roaring fire.
jumping on the bed putting our things in our room, we popped across to the restaurant and settled infront of the fire. The food is one of the main delights of Kinloch Lodge and my my my we were hungry from all the gawking, taking photos, gawping, staring at the scenery and jumping on beds hiking. We settled down to a 3 course gastronomic wonderment. Did you see what I did there. Dazzle you with words so you would order EVERYTHING on the menu. Fish pie, cheesecake, onion soup. Lamb, chocolate pudding, cheeses. Hearty, warming and perfect. A fine wine selection and local beers and we were set for a night lying on the floor playing scrabble and generally watching our tummies rise and fall in delight. Delicious.
There’s also a massive list of things to do if you’re that way inclined. Kayaking trips-a-plenty (2 hour, family, guided and fishing) adrift Lake Wakatipu, fishing rods for hire, mountain biking trails for many levels, all the hiking trails you could ask for (Routeburn, Greenstone or Caples track anyone?)
On our return to Queenstown many many of our friends responded to our weekend “oh Kinloch, I love that place!”. It’s just a hint of a whisper away from Glenorchy, a mere 1.5 hours from Queenstown. It’s quiet, peaceful, mindblowingly beautiful so you’ll be able to impress all your Instagram friends with your pictures. It’s open all year round and there’s tea and cake. CAKE. Unearth those bones from beneath the large set of jumpers you’ve been wearing for four months and get down there. Strip off, get your boots on, sweat up a mountain and then dive dive dive into Kinloch Lodge. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.