Glenorchy’s Top 5 Walks & Hikes

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Glenorchy is renowned for its incredible natural beauty. The area, found only a short drive from Queenstown, is bordering a beautiful lake and sits with a backdrop surrounded by amazing mountains.

If you’re looking for a day exploring New Zealand’s magnificent natural landscape, then this is the place to do it. The locations were used in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies including the Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and Chronicles of Narnia franchises.

Explore our suggested tracks and Guided Walks New Zealand experiences to make the most of your hikes in Glenorchy.

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track is an incredible walk, filled with native flora and bird life. Walking the track, you’ll encounter incredible panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and surrounding farmlands. It offers hikers an exploration into the unique history and cultural significance of the area as they explore the forgotten paths of the Maori.

Guided Walks New Zealand offer a fully guided day trip experience to travel the tracks with a knowledgeable guide. The guide gives insights into the area that would be easily overlooked if you were to go it alone. Throughout the day you’ll explore Mount Aspiring National Park and enjoy a picnic lunch upon the beautiful Routeburn Flats.

Learn more about our Routeburn Day Walk.

Glacier Burn

Glacier Burn

Photo credit: George Driver

For the experienced and adventurous hiker, Glenorchy Burn offers some incredible trails and possibly an opportunity for overnight camping. The walk itself is two-to-four hours one way or five-to-nine hours return. To find your way to the track you’ll want to start at Kinloch Road, which is well signed, and then follow the creek until you find a marker which is where you’ll start trekking through beech forest. Although, be warned, do not walk above the bush line in winter or spring as the area is prone to avalanches.

Lakeshore Walks

Two people enjoying the lakeview during a hike in Glenorchy.

Glenorchy’s lakes were formed by ancient glaciers, as a result the tides rises and falls every 25 minutes which make it appear as though the water is alive and breathing.

If you’re a more experienced hiker, then consider the track leading out to Lake Rere. This will take about four-to-six hours to complete (return) and starts out steep but then evens out as you approach the lake. Don’t forget to plan ahead for a longer hike and find out what you need to bring and wear on a hike to be comfortable at all times.

Off-track Exclusive Walks In Glenorchy

Walking in Glenorchy's beech forest

If you’re after exploring beyond the beaten path, then choose a tour provider that knows Glenorchy’s complex forestry systems and will take you to those hidden-gems and less travelled trails.

Guided Walks New Zealand has exclusive access to the Dart River, and their tour - Aspiring Wilderness Adventure – takes you off the regular paths with a truly unique experience. The tour begins with an hour and a half long jet boat ride down Dart River, and then you’ll arrive to a beautiful, hidden, section of beech forest. The track that you’ll take with your knowledgeable guide starts at the river and goes by Lake Sylvan where you’ll stop for a picnic and visit a cave once used by the Maori.

Learn more about Aspiring Wilderness Adventure.

Lake Sylvan Track

Bridge in Lake Sylvan DOC Walk, Mt Aspiring National Park, Glenorchy

Photo credit: Shellie Evans

If you’re looking for a simple day walk, the Lake Sylvan Track offers an easy return loop through some beech trees and forestry and should take around an hour and 20 minutes to complete. Part of the track crosses the river nearby an old tramline. It’s great to cross the bridge, and if you’re walking with the family then the children will love it.

Glenorchy offers some of New Zealand’s best scenery and most incredible trails, to bring the walk to life, consider going with a tour operator to learn about the historical and geological significance of the area.