Glenorchy is a small village at the top of Lake Wakatipu. Initially it was a wharf for servicing the High Country Stations
We suggest to those travelers that have the time, to take the 45 minute drive along the side of Lake Wakatipu to see some truely wonderful scenery. There are several short walks on route. Including the popular Mount Crieghton loop walk, to the “Sam Summers” stone hut.
This view is taken from Bennett’s bluff about half way up the road towards Glenorchy.
Mount Earnslaw is to the right, Glenorchy Township is just off from centre at the base of the pyramid shaped mountain, Mount Alfred.
Most of the visitors to Glenorchy come for the National Park for its walks and rivers. These being the Routeburn, the Greenstone, the Dart, the Caples and the Rees rivers and valleys.
Dart Safari Jet On a day trip we suggest that you drive yourself up to the top of the lake and take the Dart Safari Jet boat ride. On the jet boat you will see that the scenery gets better and better as you go up into the National Park. This trip includes a 15 – 20 minute walk as well as a ride through an area where the ‘Lord of the Rings’ was filmed. This area is called ‘Paradise’ originally after the Paradise ducks, but also for it’s breath taking scenery.
A popular option with the boats is to come back down the river on inflatable canoes, locally they are known as Fun Yaks. This makes a full day trip, and is lots of fun.
If you are a walker and a bird watcher you might like to include the boat ride with a guided walk through the beech forest to Lake Sylvan. This is a full days trip also. Both of these options would include lunch, you just need the appropriate foot wear, sun screen and insect repellent.
The Dart Stables offer rides at Glenorchy. This is different to other trails, in that you get the chance to ride through the Beech forest and see some of the amazing scenery shown in the Lord of the rings.
For the adventure seekers you can do Skydiving with Skydive Paradise , you will find them at the Glenorchy airport on days when the weather allows them to operate. Canyoning can be done in the Routeburn river. This is 30 minutes north into the National park.
You will see that a full day at Glenorchy can be varied to meet everyone’s needs. We enjoy doing the board walk around the back of the golf course and through the wet lands.
Fishing in the area is very popular, with several small lakes, spring creeks and 4 world class Fly fishing rivers.
For those people that would like a guided tour of the area there are several 4X4 cross country tours. All can point out the Lord of the Rings sites, one company visits the Rees Valley. This is a very pretty valley. Another company takes you over the Mount Earnslaw Station.
Just 5 minutes from Glenorchy by boat or a scenic 26 kilometres drive by car there is the tiny village of Kinloch. Kinloch Lodge fronts the lake and is the ideal spot to relax, base yourself for a head of the lake adventure, or stay for a spot of lunch and coffee. To top off a good day, you can not beat the view from the Glenorchy Hotel restaurant. Have a meal and watch the sun going down behind the snow capped mountains and leave the push and shove of Queenstown behind for a couple of hours.
Twilight in this area can last to 10.pm – 10.30pm on a good evening during mid summer.
For more details Glenorchy info centre.