The Dart River, Te Awa Wakatipu in Māori language, flows through rugged forested country in the southwestern South Island of New Zealand. Partly in Mount Aspiring National Park, it flows south-west and then south for 60 kilometres (37 mi) from its headwaters in the Southern Alps and the Dart Glacier, eventually flowing into the northern end of Lake Wakatipu near Glenorchy. It was named in the 1860s by a runholder, William Gilbert Rees, who chose the name for the river's swift flow.
Several popular tramping tracks are found nearby, notably the Rees-Dart Track, which follows the valley of the Dart and the nearby Rees River. Jetboats operate on the river.
Dart Glacier (source of the Dart River)
The Dart River, as many other areas in and around the Glenorchy and Queenstown area, has also been the location for many scenes filmed for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Examples of these locations are Isengard, filmed at Dan's Paddock and Lothlórien in the forests slightly further north.
The upper valley was the site of one of New Zealand's worst light aircraft accidents in 1989, when an Aspiring Air Britten-Norman Islander crashed, killing all ten people on board.
Coordinates: 44°50′27″S 168°21′28″E / 44.84083°S 168.35778°E