1.Visit the Glenorchy Animal Experience

Glenorchy Animal Experience owners Theresa and Robert (and dog Trevor) are the latest generation to be custodians of this farm owned by their family for over 100 years.

They welcome families for fun encounters with farm animals. Hand feed goats, llamas and alpaca. Watch sheep shearing demonstrations, and pat everything from guinea pigs to lambs to a mighty yet gentle Clydesdale called Frank.  

With over 100 friendly hand reared animals full of character, this charming farm experience will be a hit with little animal lovers and parents alike. 

Visiting the Glenorchy Animal Experience with Queenstown Expeditions

Visiting the Glenorchy Animal Experience with Queenstown Expeditions

2.Try a Horse Trek

Lighthorse Adventures offer two horse trek experiences for families in the beautiful surrounds of the Dart River Valley. Follow the braided river under the soaring peaks of the surrounding mountains, as you ride through farmland and forest.

Their Easy Rider trek is perfect for the whole family. A slow-paced trail ride, kids from five to 15 can ride with parents, although littlies under eight must be on a lead line. While the Pony Express is an easy, 20-minute scenic pony ride for kids between the ages of three and seven.

High Country Horses’ Rees River Trail is a great adventure for beginner riders. Suitable for kids aged seven and older, accompanied by an adult, enjoy stunning scenery, river-crossings, movie locations, and stories of the area’s rich history.

Young girl and mum riding horses in GlenorchyFamily horse trekking in Glenorchy

3.Go birdwatching on the Glenorchy Lagoon

Pack a picnic and do the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway to see how many birds you can spot. A gentle stroll for little legs, this spectacular scenic walk is only a few minutes from the Glenorchy township, with a bench halfway to refuel and admire the views.  

Follow the boardwalk around the lagoon, looking out for wetland birds. You may spot pied stilt, black swans, South Island pied oystercatcher, Australasian bittern, New Zealand shoveller, grey teal, grey duck, and scaup. If you’re extra lucky, you might see New Zealand falcons and swamp harriers hunting.

Family walks along the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway

The Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway

4.Introduce the kids to a Great Walk

Glenorchy is the gateway to the Routeburn, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. While young legs may not be up for the full four-day tramp through glacial valleys, the Routeburn Nature Walk  gives them a bite-sized taste of the track and a beautiful walk through beech forests. Interpretation panels introduce you to plants and birds and you may see and hear tui, bellbirds, bush robins, fantails, and yellowheads.

Another fun Glenorchy walk for young adventurers is the Invincible Gold Mine Track. A longer walk, about three hours return, with some steady climbing, this is one for older kids. Your exertions will be rewarded with a magnificent views, and fascinating historical relics from the gold mining era.

Invincible Goldmine Track

Invincible Gold Mine Track

5.Stay at Mrs Woolly’s campground

Camping is a family holiday classic, and busy parents always appreciate a campground built with family fun in mind. Mrs Woolly’s Campground delivers the goods, with everything you need for a great break: a children’s playground, a well kitted out kitchen, outdoor BBQs, and fresh espresso.

Right in the heart of Glenorchy, you’re only a short walk to the lakefront, the lagoon boardwalk, and right next to Mrs Woolly’s General Store, which is handy for post-hike ice creams. Pitch your tent and make basecamp for your big Glenorchy adventure.

Glamping Mrs Woolly's Campground tent comfort lodging romantic beauty hotel motel B&B

Mrs Woolly's Campground, Glenorchy