A place where time stands still. The awe-inspiring landscape and untouched natural beauty of Glenorchy will have your senses captivated and soul nourished. No matter how long you plan to stay here, it likely won’t feel enough. Make sure you take the time to stop, look around and experience the breadth of things to do in Glenorchy. Channel your inner hobbit at the Glenorchy Lord of the Rings filming sites; put your photography skills to the test on the iconic Glenorchy wharf; find serenity on the Glenorchy Lagoon Scenic Walkway; and discover pure family fun at the Glenorchy Animal Experience. (Spoiler, adults love this one too!) Read on for the definitive list of things to do in Glenorchy, from the locals who know it best. (We’ll assume you know what’s up and have already booked your spot on a funyak or the wilderness jet experience with Dart River Adventures!)
The spectacular landscape has not gone unnoticed on the world stage either. The iconic backdrop of Mt Aspiring National Park was made famous by Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (2001-2003). Since then, many more film producers have followed suit, bringing to life the perfect untouched alpine wilderness.
The Instagram hype is real. This tourist favourite tends to draw numbers around midday. Beat the crowds and visit the Glenorchy Wharf at sunrise to capture the snow-capped mountains in a golden morning glow.
A 3.2km gentle walk-through wetlands abundant in birdlife and majestic mountain views. A family friendly jaunt with picnic opportunities aplenty. The Glenorchy Lagoon Scenic Walkway is appropriate for year-round usage; however, heavy rain can cause flooding on certain sections of the trail.
A family farm nestled in exceptional scenery, home to llamas, guinea pigs, Clydesdale horses, lambs, goats, cows, pigs and so much more. Bring your family or partner in petting to the Glenorchy Animal Experience for hand feeding, personal encounters, and photo opportunities.
Glenorchy has a range of short walking tracks, ideal for visitors who are just visiting for the day. From the Glenorchy walkway loop track across wetland boardwalks, the Lake Sylvan track through native bush to a tranquil glacial lake, or opt for something a little more intensive, such as the Mt. Judah Track.
Visitors with a little more time on their hands would also be well advised to check out one of the many longer hikes which begin from just outside Glenorchy. One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Routeburn Track, is nearby and features soaring mountain peaks and jewel-like lakes as part of a 3–4-day hike. There’s also the 4–5-day Rees-Dart Track and the Greenstone/Caples Track. Accommodation for these walks is in the form of basic huts, which need to be booked in advance. To learn more, or to book, please visit the following Department of Conservation pages.