It was one of those days when we decided to do some exploring. So we picked Glenorchy as our destination. The road that took us there is a dead end road. That means that a lot of people skip this town as it is not on their way.
Glenorchy is a small settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu in the South Island region of Otago, New Zealand. Surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, old beech forests and at the edge of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, the town of Glenorchy has provided the backdrop for many movies (including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings).
Glenorchy and Kinloch were originally known as the meeting or resting places by early Maori who would make their hazardous journey from the west coast to the Head of Lake Wakatipu in search of the unique grey-green greenstone, or pounamu, only found in the Dart and Routeburn Valleys . In 1862 the first settlers came from Europe looking for new grazing. This was closely followed by hoards of prospectors looking for gold. Tourism has also been a major contributor to the town's economy for over 100 years. Early visitor to Head of the Lake would arrive on the TSS Earnslaw steam ship and spend the day touring the Routeburn or Paradise Valleys.
There is even Glenorchy Restored Steamship Depot right next to the lake and it looks like it's only purpose nowadays is to be there for photos.
There is Glenorchy Wharf right next to it.
In 1962 the Queenstown/Glenorchy Road was opened, unlocking a way for many travelers to explore this magnificent area further. Now known as one of New Zealand 's most scenic roads it follows the original route taken by the first European pioneers to the Head of the Lake.
It is very small and cute town. The mountains make a perfect background for a little cottages and streets.
There I even found the smallest library I have ever seen. Which is only open on Wednesday: 1:30pm – 3:30pm and Friday:5:00pm - 7:00pm. Unfortunatelly it was closed when we were there.
They even have their own trees growing in the lake, but not as famous as That Wanaka tree of course. :D
We came early, so everything was closed. We had a quick breakfast in our little car-kitchen and went for a walk. to Glenorchy Walkway Scenic point via Lagoon trail.
It was a trail through swampy area, with puddles and ponds everywhere and trees growing in water.
After that we felt quite hungry so we went for a quick bite at Glenorchy Café & Bar - The GYC. The food was flavorful and very very delicious. There was even a little crafts market happening next to it. You can buy meriono wool socks, glowes and hats, as well as leather belts and wooden frame sunglasses.
Glenorchy is a perfect getaway, just to relax from all the Queenstown hustle and crowds.