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The Northern Arm of Lake Wakatipu looking toward Glenorchy

Glenorchy is a sleepy little town in New Zealand near Queenstown and just down the street from Paradise on Lake Wakatipu.

Get in[edit]

  • Regular shuttle service from the Info Center in Queenstown is available.

Get around[edit]

  • There is no public transport.

Glenorchynz Information Centre & Store provides free maps of the local area, and you can talk to a local about activities.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The sun rise over the lake and mountains.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Skydive. Tandem jump with Skydive Paradise, 12,000ft or 15,000ft, photos & videos available. [1]
  • Horse Riding. Dart Stables [2] and High Country Horses [3] offer guided tours along the Rees and Dart rivers.
  • Safari. Dart River Safaris [4] offer various combinations of trips including jet-boating on the Dart River and guided walks.
  • Ski. Head out to the privately owned Invincible Snowfields via helicopter and enjoy the small groups as you stay in an alpine hut. 03 442 9933.
  • Glenorchy Air, 03 442 2207, [5]. Fly from Glenorchy to Milford Sound and the glaciers.
  • Guided Routeburn Hike, Wildlight Safaris. 03 442 5200, [6]. Hike through the stunning scenery of the Routeburn Valley as knowledgeable guides explain everything about the flora, fauna, history, and geography of the region.


Glenorchy is the jumping off point for a number of tracks. Purchase hut tickets from the Department of Conservation (DOC) office in town. On the Great Walks, prices range from NZ$10-45, and the other tracks' huts range from NZ$5-35. Camping is only allowed in designated areas and often campers are not permitted to use the hut facilities. Be sure to register with the DOC before leaving on any tramp as this will be your best method of someone noticing that you haven't returned and starting a search.

  • Backpackers Express /Buckleys,Phone Glenorchynz Info centre 03 4092049 [7]. [email protected] to arrange for transport to any of the below tracks from either Queenstown or Glenorchy.
  • Routeburn Track. One of the DOC's Great Walks. 32km through Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. Not a circuit track, so take this into consideration. However hiking from the Glenorchy end of the track you could link it with the Caples or Greenstone tracks to keep a base out of Glenorchy. The Routeburn takes an average of 3 days, 2 nights to complete. Peak season is late October to late April and bookings are required. During peak season the huts are supplied with gas cookers, cold running water and some heating. During the off peak season, especially during winter, the track may be impassable.
  • Greenstone-Caples Track. A DOC Major Track. Actually two separate tracks, but often taken together as a circuit. As a circuit the track is a moderate four to five day hike. Either of these tracks could be linked with the Routeburn as well or simply walked in one direction.
  • Rees-Dart Track. A DOC Major Track. A moderately demanding circuit track taking four to five days of six to eight hours of walking. The fifth day is added if an extra day trip to the Dart Glacier is taken. Mt Earnslaw (Pikirakatahi) and Slip Stream (Te Koroka) are Töpuni (sacred) sites of the Ngāi Tāhu Maori tribe. This track can also be linked to the Cascade Saddle track, but is suggested only for very experienced trampers.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Glenorchy Hotel. Fully licensed restaurant with a stone fireplace and terrace deck. NewZealand cuisine and NZ wines, happy hour, takeaway menu, new beer garden with great views of the surrounding mountains. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Groups welcome. Sky TV and news channels.
  • Kinloch Lodge. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Kinloch lodge has a cosy Heritage restaurant and deck ideal for a meal during the day, or as a special treat in the evening. Specialty local foods, platters, hearty specials and an unbeaten ambience.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Glenorchy Hotel. Enjoy a beer and a game of pool with the locals. Happy Hour, wireless Internet, bottle shop, free car parking and luggage storage. Home of Glenorchynz Info Centre & Store. Home of The Back Packers Retreat, self contained cottage with full cooking facilities, TV lounge, full laundry, fire and more.
  • Kinloch Lodge. Excellent New Zealand wine list. Enjoy this overlooking Lake Watatipu while watching the changing colours of the mountains as the sun sets.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Glenorchy Hotel 64 3 442 9902, Free phone 0800-453-667 [8]. " the local bar and restaurant". Backpackers from NZ$18 (Sleeping bag required); Shared facility rooms from NZ$90; Ensuite rooms from NZ$120.00. Track transport departs from hotel.
  • Glenorchy Information Centre, Glenorchynz info Centre & Store, the place for track, weather and activity information. Bottle store & grocery supplies. Track transport bookings. Mountain bike and fishing rod hire, fishing supplies; [email protected]
  • Blanket Bay, 64 3 441 0115. An alpine mountain lodge with world class features.
  • Breitenbergers Guest House, 64 3 441 2126, 64 27 650 3322, 64 21 142 122. 5km north of Glenorchy.
  • Glenroydon Lodge, 64 3 442 9968, NZ Freephone 0800 453 6769, [9]. Ensuite rooms and easy activity bookings.
  • Kinloch Lodge, 64 3 442 4900, [10]. 5 minutes from Glenorchy by boat or 26km drive. Accommodations range from home-stay bed and breakfast to backpackers lodging. Offers BBH discount.
  • Little Paradise Lodge, 64 3 442 6196.
  • Mount Earnslaw Motel, 64 3 442 6993. Seven studio units with full kitchens.

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