Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu & is the gateway to hiking trails and Middle-earth magic.
This rustic town is a true outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Set against a background of native beech forest and towering mountain ranges, Glenorchy’s surrounds are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Lake Wakatipu and the Dart River offer opportunities for jet boating and kayaking, and some of New Zealand’s best hiking trails can be accessed from here. Horse trekking in the area is also highly recommended.
Glenorchy’s spectacular landscapes have become a prime location for film scouts, depicting many scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as featuring in the Narnia movies. Twenty kilometres away from Glenorchy, as bucolic farmland gives way to beech forests, lies Paradise. Some say it was christened for its natural charms, others for the paradise ducks that live in the area. Nobody can say for sure how it got its name, but the one thing people agree on is its breathtaking beauty. "This is the Middle-earth I had always pictured," Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) said of Paradise.
Home to about 500 people, Glenorchy is a welcoming and vibrant place famous for its southern kiwi hospitality. There’s an assortment of accommodation, cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a good idea to buy hiking supplies in nearby Queenstown.
Walking and hiking
A few of the most scenic walking tracks in the world are right on Glenorchy’s doorstep. One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Routeburn Track, is nearby and features soaring mountain peaks and jewel-like lakes as part of a 3-4 day hike. There’s also the 4-5 day Rees and Dart Track and the Greenstone/Caples Track. Accommodation is in the form of basic huts, which need to be booked in advance. The Department of Conservation Visitor Centre can help with information, booking and transport.
The area also offers a large choice of day walks with everything from 20-minute strolls to full day hikes available. Mt Alfred, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, is a popular day hike and just a short drive from Glenorchy. The track zigzags uphill through native forest and emerges through bushline at the top. Continuing on to the upper section requires permission from Earnslaw Station (the working farm there).
Hollywood has fallen in love with the landscapes surrounding Glenorchy. Locations for Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen forThe Lord of the Rings trilogy were all filmed nearby, and are easily accessed on foot and by jet boat. Parts of the area also had a starring role in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as well as Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia and countless adverts.
We've created your account. But there's one remaining step before you can use it. Check your email inbox. Look for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow its instructions to activate your account.
If you haven't received the email within the next minute, look in your Spam or Junk Mail folder, just in case.Having trouble finding or using that email? Contact us at email@example.com.
You have items in your trip planner from the last time you signed in. What would you like to do with your trip planner?
Merge my trips
Combines your old and new trips into one.
Overwrite my previous trip
Overwrites your old trip and replaces it with your new trip.
Revert to previous trip
Deletes your new trip and reverts to your old trip.
Opps, we can’t add this…
To add items to your Trip Planner go to Settings > Safari and switch Private Browsing to Off.
Your login session has expired. Please login to continue with your trip planner.
You need to sign in to save your Trip for future visits. Sign in now