"GLENORCHY" Top 5 Page for this destination Glenorchy by kiwi

Glenorchy Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 129 photos

Glenorchy mystique

The mountains are gorgeous, no matter what the weather. Glenorchy is away from the rat race and a very special place. Maoris of course were here first, but the first European settlers arrived in 1862 and begun setting up farms on the river flats. There was a brief period shortly later when the population blossomed to over 3000 with the gold rush. This was shortlived because of the poor yields and Glenorchy returned to it's tiny community. I guess you could say that it's next population boom, also very short lived, was the production team and actors of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy movies by kiwi director Peter Jackson.
Some of the names you may recognise from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, that were located in this area are:

The Misty Mountains.


Amon Hen.


The Wizard's Vale.

Glenorchy is the main entry point to the Mt Aspiring National Park, and you will find a DOC (Dept of Conservation) Information office here with information on the walks and the park. Just remember the weather can change with very little notice down here and what seems like a "walk in the park" is more a "climb in the mountains" so make sure you are well prepared with equipment and clothing and food of course! ELB's are almost a must down here.

Some of the activities for you to do here are walking, jetboating, horse-riding and photography.

The Wharf.

There is a wharf at Glenorchy, down on the lakefront. If you don't fancy the drive up the lakeside to Glenorchy why not catch the steamer ferry Earnslaw in Queenstown and steam up the lake at a relaxing pace.

The long and winding road.

For years this notorious stretch of road was still loose gravel, however it has now been 'sealed' and is much easier to drive.
I didn't see streams of cars, and although the traffic has increased, I doubt it is intolerable just yet.
There are one or two lodges up this road, that attract people wanting to get to remote corners.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Miles away from the rest of the world.
  • Cons:Can be cold and wet an inhospitable.
  • In a nutshell:True Lord of the Rings country.
  • Last visit to Glenorchy: Sep 2013
  • Intro Updated Sep 26, 2014
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Reviews (11)

Comments (23)

  • himalia11's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Lovely page! Those photos with the clouds have really a special atmoshere, looks great!

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      Oct 28, 2012 at 2:28 AM

      Thank you :-) It's a very special place. Maybe you can visit one day :-)

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Are there Lord of the Rings location tours? I think they'd be really popular. Mike

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    I agree that the cloudy day pictures are amazing. What a beautiful part of the world. Enjoyed the information on the fur.

  • northeast80's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 2:08 PM

    Amazing photos. I spent 5 months living off the road to Glenorchy, but closer to Queenstown, never got to Glenorchy :-( it looks stunning.

  • vtveen's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2006 at 12:52 PM

    Adding (and googling) a Glen Orchy tip on my new Scotland page, I found your Glenorchy page with nice pics and tips (for a next visit). By the way quite a difference from the Scottish one.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    Totally agree with you about the road, it can be amazing, as clearly shown in your opening shot.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2005 at 12:35 PM

    Definitely a beautiful and isolated part of the world! Your photos are amazing! I read 'Lord of the Rings' many years ago - one of my all-time favourites.

  • andrewwhite's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2005 at 1:44 AM

    The NZ Glenorchy lost it's population just like the original place in Scotland 200 years ago - they probably all went to NZ. Try loch-awe.com/history/glenorc... & see what I mean. Some day I'll get across there & see your amazing country. Great pages.

  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2005 at 11:47 PM

    Splendid pics, Pam... Hope to see the landscapes for real, as I will probably go to NZ at the end of the year !!! Cheers

  • Hmmmm's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2005 at 3:09 AM

    This brings back memories. Esp the Grass roof, and the lake front. The first time I went there I went by push bike from Cromwell.... That was a hard day... Its makes me proud to be a kiwi when I see shots like yours Pam. Cheers A


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