"Glenorchy, Otago." Top 5 Page for this destination Glenorchy by worldkiwi

Glenorchy Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 129 photos

Mountain scenery that just oozes wow factor.

My day in the valleys around Glenorchy was truly uplifting. The drive to Glenorchy from Queenstown is a treat in itself with some great views of Lake Wakatipu, but it is the Rees and Dart valleys behind the little lakeside settlement of Glenorchy, itself dwarfed by Mt Alaska, that make this place a must see on any holiday to Otago.

The DOC Visitor Centre, Glenorchy.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has an excellent visitor's centre in Glenorchy township. Trampers need to check in there if they are going to tramp tracks that start in the valleys. Staff will also provide you with a 50c map if you are just a daytripper from Queenstown and suggest highlights for you to see.
There are two main valleys north of Glenorchy: the Dart River Valley and the Rees River Valley. In the latter, scenes for the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. The Dart Valley is where one end of the Routeburn track is and you can even walk parts of it if you are not a tramper. Mount Aspiring National Park covers parts of both valleys.
The roads in the valleys are unsealed, but in summer and autumn, they are easy to drive on. There are fords to cross in the Rees Valley, so make sure you are confident about that if you are driving an unfamiliar car. When I was there in autumn 2003, there was hardly any water in the first four fords I crossed!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fresh air, mighty mountains, beautiful beech forests, sparkling lakes.
  • In a nutshell:Incredible, beautiful, awesome, spiritually lifting...
  • Last visit to Glenorchy: Apr 2003
  • Intro Updated May 5, 2003
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