Holidays to Glenorchy, New Zealand

For those seeking the kind of paradise – literally – that you’ve seen on Lord of the Rings and Narnia, in our opinion, Glenorchy is hard to beat. An incredibly scenic 45 minute drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu (longer if you’re stopping for photos) will take you to the centre of the village. With towering mountain ranges as the backdrop, fringed by native forest and perched on the turquoise lake waters, Glenorchy is worth the trip just to see the awesome location.

We highly recommend staying at least two days so that you can explore these spectacular landscapes for yourself. If you’re a film buff, you’ll instantly recognise the Dart Valley as the location of Isengard in Lord of the Rings, and Paradise as the fairytale countryside in the Chronicles of Narnia.

As far as exploring goes, there are plenty of options to choose from. We recommend you start off with the Wilderness Jet. This half day adventure up the Dart River which starts off with a thrilling jet boat ride, then a trek through the native beech forest where you’ll learn about Māori legends. For those seeking something different, take an inflatable kayak up the river where you can paddle into the smaller, cliff lined inlets. This is a great option if you’re travelling with children.

For beginner horse riders or experienced equestrians, you can see the Dart Valley from horseback. Choose from a one hour taster or a more exciting two hour ride which includes river crossings and filming locations.

If you want to take it easy, you can choose to chill out on the riverbanks by the wharf, where there’s a sandy beach and in the summer, warm water for swimming. There’s also plenty of tracks accessible from the town centre, which will take you through forests and up the valley. Glenorchy is also used as a start or finish point for the famous Routeburn Track which you can trek part of in a day.  



  • Take a jet boat safari up the turquoise Dart River

  • Hike part or all of the the Routeburn Track

  • Go horse riding in the Dart Valley – a Lord of the Rings film location

  • Ride an inflatable kayak into the scenic inlets of the Dart River

  • Trek through the valleys and woodlands of aptly named Paradise

Senior New Zealand Travel Designer
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After a flying visit out to see friends many years ago, New Zealand has well and truly captured my heart and will forever be my spiritual home. I have since spent over a year living and working in various locations across the country, including the incredible and remote Stewart Island. The adventurous and charming locals, unbelievable vistas, world class wine and unique and fascinating wildlife keep me making the journey back out year after year. You really do have to see it for yourself!

Glenorchy Trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Glenorchy. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Map of Glenorchy