There's Something New in the Southern Alps

June 09, 2023
There's Something New in the Southern Alps

And you just might like it, The Great Glenorchy Alpine Base Camp. 

You will find this treasure right on the doorstep of the vast and diverse Unesco South West New Zealand World Heritage Area and at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu in the Queenstown Lakes district. It’s a stunning setting with snow-capped mountains everywhere, the lake, a beautiful and tiny alpine village and plenty of people heading to and from this pristine wilderness for their connections and reconnections. 

“We don’t think there’s a better base for tramping, hiking, ski touring, snow camping, mountaineering and year-round outdoor experiences in wild nature. There’s just so much choice and diversity for all levels,” says co-founder Doug Rikard-Bell. The built form has been inspired by the historic mountaineer’s huts found in the Southern Alps area. Architectural firm RTA Studio, in collaboration with architecture studio Bureaux, have designed this bustling hub especially for those seeking a little ‘wild’ time. The accommodation is a cluster of slightly contemporised cosy mountaineer’s huts with a range of differing configurations. 

The Great Glenorchy Alpine Base Camp has a restaurant, accommodation, adventure packages all year round and short courses. Anyone can enjoy the restaurant and booking is essential via the website. 

“Technically, we have a licensed restaurant here and at the same time, we don’t look at it quite like that. For us, it’s much more like you’ve come to our place for dinner, and we really do love feeding you up before you head into the mountains and again when you return. Everyone comes back upright and ‘heart first’, it’s just so wonderful for us to see and be a part of,” says co-founder and chef Liz Rikard-Bell. 

Everything is cooked over fire. Everything. And the restaurant setting is family-style, very relaxed, always fun with a main long shared table – you’ll be sure to meet someone else doing something inspirational. It is chef’s choice every night and at the same time, there is always something for everyone. 

“The fare is tabled in cast iron camp ovens straight from the fire and everyone loves the drama of that. So do we!” says chef Liz. 

Beyond the restaurant, there are snow adventures and no-snow adventures for everyone. Advanced ski touring packages with names including ‘Earn Your Turns’ and ‘Master The Mountain’ and multi-day tramps like ‘Thick Ice’ and ‘A River Runs Through It’. Snow camping for the family, heli-skiing, hiking, courses in mountain movement and confidence building, corporate team building, rites of passage trips and more. 

“We do have pre-planned adventure packages and at the same time, most inquiries result in a bespoke experience. We don’t mind. Our website requires you to ‘contact us’ for an adventure inquiry. We listen and offer some options; every troupe is different and adjustments to itineraries are easy our end. All we aim to do includes making it easy for you, your book club, your friends or your family to go wild,” says group EO, Jon Tyler. 

Explore and learn more about this exciting new location to eat, play, stay and grow at 

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