GY Loves Gigi’s – Glenorchy’s Horse-loving History
Overland travel was mostly via a ‘bridle’ trail which was too rough for carts but fine for horses. Today, if you walk along the Arawata track you’ll be crossing over parts of the original bridle trail that connected the two towns.
A hundred years earlier the first European settlers were establishing farmlands in Glenorchy, bringing their sheep from Queenstown, by horseback.
Horses were also the primary “power” and transport option during Glenorchy’s gold mining, sawmilling and tourism operations from the 1860’s, and they were also used on trails during the 1880’s when Scheelite mining took off.
It is no surprise then that horses have become such an integral part of Glenorchy’s culture in modern times.
The Glenorchy Horse-riding Club has strong community ties, allowing its members access to local conservation areas and private farmlands to practise their skills.
There are also several long-standing horse-trekking companies in Glenorchy and Paradise. They host thousands of visitors each year, showing off the pristine beauty of the area by horseback.
In the late 1990’s many of Glenorchy’s horses shot to “international stardom”, appearing as ‘actors’ in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and also The Hobbit movies. Some were even ‘painted’ to fit the brief.
Finally, every Saturday following New Year’s Eve for the past 40 years, the rugby club in Glenorchy has organised Glenorchy Race Day – a characteristically quirky event that pulls in local crowds for a day of entertainment, unlike any other race day, with relays, sprints, gallops, trotting and saddling competitions.
Quite simply, Glenorchy loves their “gigi’s!” (horses).
Pure Glenorchy Tours is based in Queenstown, New Zealand. We love to share stories and tales born around Glenorchy and Paradise, while our main passion is showing you the film locations used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
Give us a call; we’d love to show you around.
For more information visit: http://pureglenorchy.com