A picturesque village at the head of Lake Wakatipu is known as the ‘Gateway to Paradise’.

Although the title may seem presumptuous, it is true. For those who have been searching for Paradise it’s just 20 km northwest of Glenorchy. It lies beside the Dart River offering picture-perfect views of the Humboldt Range and Mt.Earnslaw, but was named for the local paradise ducks rather than the idyllic scenery. The road passes a tranquil lake and enters a sub-alpine forest dripping with moss. A short walk from the road takes you to a lovely waterfall.

Glenorchy also holds the key for travellers who are keen to do New Zealand’s Great Walks. The main access to the renowned Routeburn, Rees-Dart and Greenstone-Caples Tracks is through Glenorchy and then up the valley to the track entry points. The drive up Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy is worthwhile even for non-trampers, as ever-changing alpine views unfold with every turn of the road.

Bus Pass New Zealand

The tramping opportunities in this area are the finest in the country. The fame of the Routeburn is eclipsed only by the Milford Track. The Routeburn crosses the Humboldt Range through spectacular scenery with dense forest, river flats, plunging waterfalls, and alpine lakes. The Rees-Dart is the toughest tramp, crossing alpine passes and rough terrain. The Greenstone and Caples are gently graded valley walks for the most part.

The Dart River is navigable by jet boat far upstream. This takes visitors deep into the Mt.Aspiring National Park. You can penetrate one of the country’s most beautiful wilderness areas without taking a step on land.

Glenorchy also offers a tranquil setting for those who simply want to relax and enjoy the mountain air. A perfect retreat where you can go fishing, riding or walking around the local wetland areas, taking in the mountain scenery. The town has a petrol station, accommodation, grocery shop, a couple of pubs and cafès, a small museum and a golf course.

Above all, Glenorchy is a peaceful place. An ideal base for unwinding or for venturing out on the Great Walks.

By | 2016-11-26T18:57:40+00:00 September 8th, 2014|South Island Towns|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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