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Hiking the Glenorchy Walkway, Queenstown

Hiking the Glenorchy Walkway, Queenstown

Glenorchy, a small town close to Queenstown, is home to a beautiful (and very easy) hike which takes you from the main lakeside area past wetlands and mountain views to Glenorchy Lagoon. It’s almost completely flat and the views on offer are easily worth the 45-minute drive from Queenstown. We hiked the Glenorchy Walkway recently — this is what we saw.

Hiking the Glenorchy Walkway

The Glenorchy Walkway starts close to the main part of town. We parked up by the cafes, quickly checked out the famous “Glenorchy Boat Shed” and the pier and then started the hike. The first part of the track offers glimpses of the views ahead. Before long you’ll come to a fork in the road — it’s a loop track so it doesn’t matter which way you go. We took the “bridge” way and walked through the golf course on the way back.

Glenorchy Lagoon

Glenorchy Lagoon seems to be a small group of (possibly connected) ponds and lakes. If you visit on a clear, calm day you’ll get some nice mountain reflections. The different bits of the Glenorchy lagoon are connected by tracks and boardwalks. You can walk to the water’s edge at times, but the ground can get very wet, so use caution!

The backdrop to this part of the track is stunning. There are heaps of snow-covered hills and mountains (snow-covered in winter and spring at least) — the views to effort ratio is top-notch. From there you’ll walk through a small section of the golf course and then back to the main track. It took us around two hours to hike this track, but we stopped a lot — you could do it a lot quicker if you were short on time.

Getting to Glenorchy

The drive from Queenstown to Glenrochy is known as one of New Zealand’s most scenic. I wrote a post about it so make sure to check that out. The Glenorchy Walkway is easy to find — just turn right at the boat shed and keep walking. It’s also worth continuing your road trip to either Paradise or Kinloch (or both). The scenery along the way is great and there is a stunning, hidden away hike to do in Paradise. Combining Glenorchy, Paradise and Kinloch would make for the perfect day trip from Queenstown.

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.