The first European settlers arrived at the Head of the Lake probably in late 1861. They were shepherds working for William Rees who had taken a lease on all the land at the Head of Lake Wakatipu, east of the...
Glenorchy, a true slice of New Zealand paradise, sits a spectacular 45-minute drive northwest of Queenstown at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu.
Surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes and rivers, ancient beech forests and at the edge of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, the frontier town of Glenorchy has provided the backdrop for many films, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. There are a range of accommodation options as well as numerous activities that will get you out into the great outdoors for which this area is famous. There are also food and beverage options, a new camp ground and general store and a friendly community.
The nearby settlements of Kinloch and Paradise are also known for their stunning scenery and tranquil setting. The area is also the gateway to several world-famous multi-day hikes including the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. For walks closer to town, there are well-graded walkways that lead to points of interest including the Glenorchy Walkway, Whakaari Conservation Area and Mt Judah, where the remains of scheelite mines can be found.