GLENORCHY - "GATEWAY TO PARADISE"
Skydive Paradise in Glenorchy has the same magnificent backdrop as many scenes in Sir Peter Jacksons’ famous trilogy Lord of the Rings (and now The Hobbit) which was filmed throughout New Zealand. Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fans may be able to pick out particular Glenorchy landmarks which shape Middle Earth. Paradise is still a popular set for international film companies who film near Glenorchy regularly, including our beautiful Skydive Paradise dropzone.
You can experience a spectacular bird’s eye view of this stunning vista as you are tandem skydiving with Skydive Paradise and understand why many film directors choose this dramatic scenery.
Glenorchy is a picturesque village situated at the head of Lake Wakatipu, only a leisurely 45 minute scenic lakeside drive from Queenstown. With a population of 200, it is nestled amongst New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery of jagged peaks and snow capped mountains. The town borders both Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park.
"The 45 minute journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy is one of the most scenic drives you'll ever experience. The road follows the edge of Lake Wakatipu, providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains which rise abruptly from the lake's shores." Tourism New Zealand Website
The iconic Dart River also spills into the head of Lake Wakatipu after its meandering journey through the 80 million year old Te Wahipounamu (‘The Place of Greenstone’). Te Wahipounamu was included as an UNESCO World Heritage area in 1990 and boasts some of the world’s most spectacular glaciated landforms and beautiful native forest.
This region at the head of Lake Wakatipu is known for its pounamu, greenstone. Maori tribes would travel by foot from the North Island down the West Coast of the South Island to access the pounamu, valued for its strength and suitability for tooling.
The two main industries in Glenorchy are farming and tourism which have enabled the town to thrive while still maintaining its unique qualities and southern kiwi culture.
Glenorchy now provides an array of activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, canyoning, jet boating, horse treks and skydiving. It is a fantastic base for keen trampers, being near the start of the famous Routeburn track and other multy day walks such as The Greenstone Track, The Caples Track, and The Rees/Dart track. There are numerous day walks of varying difficulties around the area boasting beautiful Glenorchy scenery or showing off historic mining artifacts.
From Glenorchy you can travel to the Rees Valley, Paradise and the Dart Valley, the Routeburn Valley, Kinloch township, and Greenstone/Caples Valleys which boarder both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. To find out more click here to go to the Glenorchy Community Website
WHERE TO STAY - GLENORCHY ACCOMMODATION
MID RANGE AND BACKPACKER ACCOMMODATION
Glenorchy Holiday Park and Information Centre www.glenorchyaccommodation.co.nz
For over 20 years Glenorchy Camping Ground has been a welcome break for thousands of visitors before and after they explore the great surrounding wilderness. Offering a range of hut, bunk rooms, campervan and tent sites, enjoy our BBQ area, games room, internet kiosks and quite atmosphere. An ideal place to relax with your family and friends.
Glenorchy Hotel and Backpackers www.glenorchynz.com
A classic kiwi country-style hotel offering old-fashioned hospitality. The ideal venue to relax and enjoy the comforts of one of our warm and relaxing hotel rooms, or stay in the Backpacker Retreat (self-contained cottage and cabin). Dine in the Bonnie Jean Restaurant and Cafe renowned for it's superb views to Mt Earnslaw and the mountains of Mt Aspiring National Park.
Kinloch Lodge www.kinlochlodge.co.nz
Kinloch Lodge is a remote, lakeside wilderness lodge located on New Zealand's South Island. Just a stones throw from the Routeburn and Greenstone tracks and within easy reach of Queenstown and Glenorchy, we offer accommodation ranging from 4-share bunkrooms to queen bed & breakfast rooms. You can self-cater or enjoy a meal in our restaurant, and spend the days trekking, fishing, jetboating, horse-trekking, or simply enjoying the magnificent natural surroundings.
Paradise Trust www.paradisetrust.co.nz
Since the late 1800's Paradise has been the perfect retreat for people who seek tranquillity and an accessible experience of wild places. Not only does Paradise offer simple secluded cottage accommodation but with the recent restoration of the historic homestead there is also the option of luxury and comfort in a yesteryear experience.
Little Paradise Guesthouse littleparadise.co.nz
Located on Lake Wakatipu and only 20 minutes drive from Queenstown, Little Paradise Guesthouse offers relaxing accommodation situated in a beautiful garden with thousands of different flowers and several water features. Little Paradise Guesthouse is as the name suggests - a quiet and restful place to relax or a base from which to take advantage of all the surrounding area has to offer.
Precipice Creek Station www.precipicecreek.co.nz/en
Relax, Refresh, explore on the doorstep of Mt Aspiring National Park. Take a break at Precipice Creek. Come to experience a real part of New Zealand nature through our hospitality together with local activities including the world famous Routeburn Track.
Glenorchy Lake House www.glenorchylakehouse.co.nz
The Glenorchy Lake House aims to provide a luxury b&b accommodation experience in the heart of Glenorchy. The Glenorchy Lake House was designed with comfort, style and privacy in mind.
Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded on all sides by mountains, the Glenorchy Lake House is just a stone's throw from Paradise, Mt. Aspiring National Park, the world famous Routeburn Track and Fiordland National Park.
Blanket Bay www.blanketbay.co.nz
Nestled amidst rugged snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s finest lodge – Blanket Bay. Here we celebrate the art of pure relaxation.
WHAT TO DO - GLENORCHY ACTIVITIES
Skydive Paradise skydiveparadise.co.nz
Discover your own natural high while jumping from a plane 15,000ft above New Zealand's most stunning alpine scenery! Freefall at 200kph over Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area - the place of greenstone. Welcome to Paradise.
Dart River Jet Safaris www.dartriver.co.nz
Travel in comfort on board a Dart Valley jet boat safari - into some of New Zealand’s most magnificent alpine backcountry and Mt Aspiring National Park and World Heritage Area. You are invited to explore the ancient beach forest and hidden rock pools while enjoying stories of local legends and listen to native birds within this mountainous vista.
High Country Horses www.high-country-horses.co.nz
Horse Riding Treks and Horse Riding Tours through Glenorchy, stunning scenic horse rides through Rees Valley Station on horseback. Choose a horse riding trek that suits you. Come and enjoy the beautiful scenery by horseback. Our horse rides take you through glacial fed rivers with stunning mountain backdrops. High Country Horses has been established and running quality horse rides since 1987. We ride through some of the most spectacular scenery in the south island of New Zealand. Horse Riding is New Zealand’s natural way of seeing the real New Zealand by horseback.
Dart Rivers Tables dartstables.com
Since 1992 Dart Stables has offered horseback riders a range of experiences from short treks across the Dart and Rees rivers to day long rides up to the beautiful and tranquil Paradise Valley . Dart Stables have exclusive horse riding rights to station which was chosen by Peter Jackson as the location for several scenes from the Lords of The Rings trilogy, including Isengard, Amon Hen and "The Death of Boromir" scene from The Fellowship of The Ring film.