Panorama taken from a gravel spit in the Dart River next to the trailheads for the Great Walks at Paradise.
Dart River at Paradise - Glenorchy visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Dart River at Paradise' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Otago.
The Dart River flows through stunning mountainscapes from headwaters in the Southern Alps on the South Island of New Zealand through parts of Mount Aspiring National Park before entering the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. Just before entering Lake Wakatipu, the Dart River passes both Paradise and Glenorchy. It is possible to travel quite a distance up the Dart River by boat, and occasional excursions can be booked from Glenorchy or Queenstown. It is called 'Te Awa Wakatipu' in Māori.
Paradise has a long association with walking and tramping. Here are the trailheads for some of New Zealand's Great Walks like Routeburn, Rees-Dart and Greenstone-Caples Tracks. Routeburn is said to be only eclipsed by the Milford Sound Track, crossing the Humboldt Range and passing through deep river valleys, dense forest and past plunging waterfalls. The hardest of all the tracks is the Rees-Dart Track, which passes over the mountain range that separate the Dart River from the Rees River in neighbouring Rees Valley.
The region has been made world famous as the setting for part of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Various scenes from the films shot here include Isengard, Lothlórien, Amon Hen, Orthanc, and the setting of the last battle in 'The Fellowship of the Ring", where Merry and Pippin get captured by the Uruk-hai'. It is easy to see why Paradise and the surrounding region were chosen for this.
Car: Take the Glenorchy-Queenstown road from Queenstown to Glenorchy. From here take the Glenorchy-Paradise track. This turns into a dirt track and fjords several streams. Water levels can change dramatically with the weather.
Flight: Queenstown Airport.