Hike amid breathtaking mountain scenery, kayak on a glistening lake, try river fishing and go on an exhilarating jet boat ride at this lakeside town.
Positioned on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and in the shadow of a dramatic mountain range, Glenorchy is deserving of its “Gateway to Paradise” moniker. Visit the small town to enjoy year-round outdoor and adventure activities suitable for all ages. Bring your camera to capture shots of some of New Zealand’s most idyllic landscapes, magnificent settings that have been used as filming locations for films such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Visit the Glenorchy Information Centre, situated in the heart of town, to pick up information about the town’s activities. Stroll to the Glenorchy Waterfront Reserve and then to the edge of the pier for lovely views over Lake Wakatipu. See imposing mountain peaks, including the Centaur Peaks, Mount Bonpland and Tooth Peaks. Go for a swim in the calm lake water on a warm summer’s day.
Traverse the lake by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Either explore at your own pace with rented equipment or take a guided tour. Travel along the lake and rivers at exhilarating speeds on a jet boat ride or enjoy a slower pace fishing for salmon and trout on the Dart River and Rees River. Ride on horseback through pristine beech forests to spectacular viewpoints.
Discover more of the town’s natural beauty via short and multiday walking tracks. Walk to Glenorchy Lagoon or hike the zigzagging trail to Mount Alfred. Multiday hikes starting from the town include the Routeburn Track, Rees and Dart Track and Greenstone/Caples Track. These tracks cross sections of the Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park, both part of the UNESCO-protected Te Wahipounamu heritage area.
Play nine holes while admiring picture-perfect panoramas at Glenorchy Golf Club. Eat and drink at the handful of cafés and restaurants or purchase food for picnics at Glenorchy’s small supermarket.
Glenorchy is a 45-minute drive from Queenstown via a scenic, lakefront road. Get here via bike, rented car or shuttle bus. The town’s tour operators make discovering this paradisiacal destination easy and stress free.