Location background: Paradise Valley and Glenorchy

From Queenstown - New Zealand's year-round alpine resort - it's not far to find Paradise.

  • Arcadia Station - a working high country farm - in Paradise Glenorchy is the setting for Beorn’s House in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
  • Arcadia is Greek for Paradise, and the farm homestead was originally built in 1906 by Joseph Cyprian Fenn to attract his fiancée to New Zealand.
  • The Glenorchy region was used for numerous scenes in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy including Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen.
  • Mt Earnslaw, which looks down over Paradise, was used for The Misty Mountain Paths in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
  • Glenorchy - on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu - is a 45-minute drive from the tourist hub of Queenstown; the route has been lauded as one of the Top Eight Scenic Drives in the world.
  • Glenorchy sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is known as the ‘Gateway to Paradise’. The small town has a few cafes and shops, and a thriving tourism industry.
  • Glenorchy is the setting off point for the Routeburn Track one of the top 10 classic hikes in the world.
  • Glenorchy was once a centre for scheelite mining.
  • Paradise - a remote farming valley north, 20km inland from Glenorchy and on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park - has been a popular excursion destination for visitors since New Zealand’s early days. The valley lies in a breath-taking setting on Diamond Lake and underneath iconic Mount Earnslaw.
  • Dart River Safaris takes visitors down the Dart River on a thrilling jet boat ride that passes The Lord of the Rings Trilogy locations; there are also more relaxed ‘funyak’ inflatable canoe rides.
  • Next to Arcadia Station, popular Dart Stables runs horse treks through locations including where Boromir met his doom at Amon Hen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Several horses from Dart Stables were also used in the Trilogy.
  • Queenstown is known as New Zealand’s adventure capital and annually attracts more than a million visitors who come for everything from world-class skiing and snowboarding to bungy jumping, jet boating, cycling and gourmet food and wine.
  • According to Maori legend, Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu was formed by an evil giant who kidnapped a beautiful Maori maiden. Knocked down by the maiden’s rescuer, the giant now slumbers in the depths of the lake and his beating heart makes the lake rise and fall.
  • Queenstown’s Gibbston Valley is the world’s most southern wine growing region - famed for award-winning pinot noir wine, as well as chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc varietals.