Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway
Explore the wetlands north of Glenorchy for birdlife and beautiful mountain views. Perfect for a short visit to Glenorchy.
Distance: 3.2 km
Duration: 1-2 hours depending on speed and whether you do the larger or smaller loop.
Difficulty: Very easy
Best time of year to go: Good all year, but heavy rain can flood sections of the trail.
Start / finish point: Park at the waterfront carpark at the northern end of Glenorchy. The trail is easy to find, turn right at the Glenorchy Boat Shed and keep on. There are DOC signs near Lake Wakatipu on Mull Street.
Insider’s tip: Pack a picnic or grab a coffee or hot chocolate (bring your keep cup) from a Glenorchy café. Benches and picnic tables along the way offer spots to sit, admire the mountain vistas and spot wetland birds.
The Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway experience
A beautiful easy stroll ideal for families with kids, with vistas over the wetlands towards Mount Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi and its hanging glacier, Mount Alfred/Ari, and the surrounding ranges.
On calm spring and late autumn days, the snowclad peaks are reflected in the lagoon, making for glorious photo opportunities. And in December, lupins naturalised alongside the trail blaze purple and pink.
Boardwalks over the wetlands offer vantage points to spy New Zealand wading birds. You may catch sight of pied stilt, black swans, South Island pied oystercatcher, Australasian bittern, New Zealand shoveller, grey teal (in spring), grey duck, and scaup. You might also see New Zealand falcons and swamp harriers. The wetlands are rich with dragonflies and damselflies.
After your walk, explore Glenorchy, or continue along the gravel road to Paradise for more hiking and Lord of the Rings locations.