The Settlement of Glenorchy, New Zealand

Settled in late 1861 in the South Island region of Otago, New Zealand, Glenorchy was named by colonists after a glen located in Argyll, Scotland, known as ‘Glen Orchy’. The settlement, sitting at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, is bordered by the Dart and Rees River and is 54 km north-west of Queenstown.


Glenorchy sits on the border of Mount Aspiring National Park. Traditionally, the Māori people used to trek through Glenorchy and the surrounding region in order to access the pounamu, or greenstone, fields of the west coast of New Zealand. Pounamu is the Māori name for a highly valuable and durable nephrite jade and bowenite that is sacred to Māori communities and is only found on the South Island of New Zealand.