Stunning scenery and a good night's rest -- YHA Glenorchy

When Martina McAuley visited the New Zealand from Amsterdam, she wondered if a stop in the South Island’s Glenorchy would be worthwhile.

I landed in Queenstown with two days before travelling to my next stop. I had to make a decision quickly – Glenorchy or not? After trying to find somewhere to stay I discovered YHA Glenorchy, Kinloch Lodge. I normally stay in hostels and get a room to myself when I’m travelling and YHA Glenorchy, Kinloch Lodge looked inviting. It was a bit more expensive compared to other hostels, but I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll splash out for once!’

YHA Glenorchy, Kinloch Lodge is amazing accommodation in New Zealand. It's in a wonderfully remote spot at the top of Lake Wakatipu located near Glenorchy in Kinloch. Remote as it may be, it’s still accessible to many of the walks in the area including the Routeburn and Greenstone tracks. There are plenty of activities such as jet boating, kayaking and horse trekking. I just wanted to chill out and soak up the views.

Kinloch also has lodge-style rooms, some including dinner and Bed and Breakfast in the price. I got a lodge style room with extra warm blankets and hot water bottles to take the chill off at night. I was like a grain of sand in the desert, the bed was so big!

Sunset and stargazing

The first night I sat on the wooden jetty and watched the sun go down behind the mountains. I also love to see the stars in places like this, my favourite being the Milky Way and the Southern Cross. So with it being a clear day I went back to the jetty after dark to do some stargazing. The sky was a very deep blue and the stars had this lovely hazy veil over them. The half-moon’s light shone bright on the water and the dark shapes of the mountains were just about visible on the other side of the lake. A few orange lights across the water and the lights of the lodge behind me were the only things that reminded me that I wasn’t the only being on the planet.

A peaceful walk and divine food

The following day, I did the Kinloch Scenic Walk around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, which took me two hours. After spending a few hours reading/writing, my tummy was rumbling and decided I’d try the 3-course dinner that Kinloch offers, for a price of $45. I’d heard the food here was very good but dinner needed to be booked a short while in advance. Well it was absolutely divine!

The starter was a cupful of Thai pumpkin soup, with lettuce leaves doused in a flavoured oil and rock salt, with a lovely piece of warm bread, generously sprinkled with garlic olive oil. The main course was chicken on a bed of mushroom risotto, green beans and cherry plum sauce. That was delicious too. Desert was a warm cherry tart with cream.

Breathtaking views

The morning I was leaving, I opened the door to the breathtaking view. I nearly had to sit down again! The sun was beaming down over the shoulders of the mountains and there was a heavy mist rising from the lake. The wind was moving the mist in swirls towards the front of the lake and to top it off, there was a fine drizzle which caught the sunlight in places, creating rainbows here and there. Stunning scenery wasn’t the word for it. I was in seventh heaven! So it was with a little sadness that I left YHA Glenorchy, Kinloch Lodge.

I have a huge passion for New Zealand and can't stay away from the place. It's a country of stunning beauty, spectacular wildlife, pristine coastline and friendly people. 

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