Gandalf approved.

Glenorchy and the Paradise area is located at the Northern end of Lake Wakatipu, a small settlement 45km from Queenstown. The Glenorchy area is picture perfect and the gateway to many of New Zealand’s great walks.

Lots of locations in Glenorchy have been used as the backdrops of movies such as Peter Jacksons ‘Lord of the Rings’. It’s a magical, beautiful destination perfect for families, couples or solo travellers, the trip from Queenstown to Glenorchy has been considered one of the world’s most scenic drives as you hug the coast line and follow the lake edge to Paradise.

Glenorchy FAQ's

The journey is about 46 kilometers, and with no stops it takes about 45 minutes to drive. However, there are so many great locations and look outs along the way so we usually like to say it takes about an hour to get to Glenorchy from Queenstown.

Although Glenorchy may seem like a sleepy little town, it is full of wonderful adventures for all levels and ages. Jet boating, Hiking, Horse Trekking, Kayaking, and the Animal farm are some of the highlights this little town has to offer. Check out our Glenorchy Scenic Tour with Dart River Jetboat




For such a little town Glenorchy has so many little cafes depending on what you are wanting. Some of our favourites are Trading Post, Glenorchy Cafe, and Mrs Woolly’s.

The population of Glenorchy is growing by a few every year, the current population is approximately 540 people.

Glenorchy is known for being the gateway to so many incredible adventures, so biking is no exception. There is something for everyone, from easy to advanced trails GY has got it all.

Glenorchy is spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. Wanting to treat yourself? Blanket Bay, Kinloch Ecoscapes, or Aro Ha have some of the area’s most luxurious stays. There is also the incredible Camp Glenorchy that offers everything from a standard campsite to premium cabins, all while holding. sustainability at its core.

Similar to the rest of New Zealand the weather can really change, and quickly. You can often have a rainy start to the day and within an hour it is clear and sunny. The summer days are often long and warm and in the winter it can get to negative temperatures.

Hmm how long is a piece of string? What we mean to say is there is so much to do if you’re into the outdoors and sightseeing, you could spend years. But the very minimum is making sure to at least take a day tour from Queenstown to capture this beautiful town. 

There are only a couple ways to get out to Glenorchy, you can either self drive or join a tour. If you do choose to self drive, drive carefully as the road is very windy, sharp corners, and in some places extremely narrow.

Yes! However, there are no hobbits running around and some of these locations can be missed. We recommend jumping on a tour to have a professional guide show you these exact locations, and they will even have some props to dress up in. Your instagram followers will think you were an extra in the films. 

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