Palace Approach Ledge Road: A Scenic and Historic Drive in New Zealand

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, there are plenty of beautiful scenic drives that you can explore. One of the most popular is Palace Approach Ledge Road, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, as well as a glimpse into the region’s rich history. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this drive so special and what you can expect to see along the way.

1. Introduction to Palace Approach Ledge Road

Palace Approach Ledge Road is located on the South Island of New Zealand, near the town of Arrowtown. It’s a narrow, winding road that stretches for about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) and is considered one of the most scenic drives in the country. The road was built in the late 1800s to provide access to the nearby goldfields, and it has since become a popular tourist attraction.

2. Getting to Palace Approach Ledge Road

The best way to access Palace Approach Ledge Road is by car. If you’re coming from Queenstown, you can take State Highway 6 to Arrowtown, and then follow signs to the road. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour that includes a drive along the road.

3. The Scenic Route

As you drive along Palace Approach Ledge Road, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The road hugs the side of the mountain, and there are several lookout points where you can stop and take in the views. On a clear day, you can see for miles in every direction.

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4. Historic Sites

In addition to the natural beauty of the area, there are also several historic sites along Palace Approach Ledge Road. One of the most notable is the Chinese Village, which was home to a community of Chinese miners during the gold rush era. There are several restored buildings that give visitors a glimpse into what life was like for these miners.

5. Walking Tracks

If you’re up for a bit of exercise, there are several walking tracks that you can explore along Palace Approach Ledge Road. One of the most popular is the Tobin’s Track, which takes you through a beautiful beech forest and offers stunning views of the valley below.

6. Safety Tips

While Palace Approach Ledge Road is a beautiful drive, it’s important to keep safety in mind. The road is narrow and winding, so it’s important to drive slowly and carefully. Additionally, be sure to pull over at designated lookout points to take in the views rather than trying to take pictures while driving.

7. Conclusion

If you’re looking for a scenic and historic drive in New Zealand, Palace Approach Ledge Road is definitely worth checking out. With its stunning views, historic sites, and walking tracks, it’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area while learning about its rich history.


  1. Is Palace Approach Ledge Road open year-round?
  • Yes, the road is open year-round, but it may be closed during periods of heavy snowfall.
  1. How long does it take to drive the road?
  • The road is only about 14 kilometers long, but it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to drive depending on how often you stop to take in the views.
  1. Are there any guided tours available?
  • Yes, there are several companies that offer guided tours of Palace Approach Ledge Road.
  1. Can you walk the entire length of the road?
  • No, the road is not pedestrian-friendly, so it’s not recommended to walk along it.

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