Glenorchy is the true capital of the great outdoors.
There are more than 19 different day walks in the area and several famous extended walks, such as the Routeburn Track and Greenstone-Caples Tracks, start nearby.
The scenery in the area is spectacular and if walking is not your thing, 4WD companies can help you experience the area in depth by taking you to some of the out of the way places that you only discover with inside knowledge and access to private land. Trips are available with a focus on the Lord of the Rings sites, gold mining, abandoned township and general scenery tours.
Flight-seeing trips by helicopter and fixed wing aircraft to Milford Sound and Mount Cook depart from Glenorchy airport. Milford Sound is just 36 kilometres in a direct line from Glenorchy. The change in scenery over this area is phenomenal and, if the weather is fine, it is one of the most spectacular excursions you will ever take. No landing fees at Glenorchy Airstrip mean that flight-seeing trips to Milford Sound can be more economical from Glenorchy rather than Queenstown.
The Dart River is magnificent for jet-boating and funyaks. Travelling 35 kilometres into a World Heritage area to Sandy Bluff, guests experience the change from the wide open areas of a typical South Island river to the canyons at the top as you penetrate deep into Mt Aspiring National Park.
Lake Wakatipu offers great kayaking opportunities with trips to Pigeon island and from Kinloch to Mill Creek historic settlement and into some of the calm tributaries at the head of the lake. For more adrenaline try packrafting down the Rees River, both day and overnight trips available.
Fishing in the area could bring you salmon or trout; check out Diamond Creek, the Greenstone, anywhere around the lake, or let Queenstown Fishing show you their spots.
The Dart River Valley is a stunning location for horse trekking. Choose a trip for beginners where the focus is a scenic amble on a horse through the Paradise area or along the river, or choose a trip for experienced riders that will take you cantering through wide open spaces and spectacular scenery.
Ziplining in the Rees valley is a great way to experience untouched bush as you fly through the trees with spectacular views, or take out an electric 4WD vehicle on the Dart river delta and learn about the area from the onboard computer. Alternatively electric mountain bikes can get you off the beaten path onto some rugged terrain with ease.
The Glenorchy Animal Experience is a great way to get up close and personal with your favourite farm animals, including llamas, and enjoy stunning views over the lagoon.
What to do?
We have created a sample 2 day itinerary to show you how to best see this magnificent area