Welcome to Earnslaw Burn, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s majestic landscapes. Known for its awe-inspiring views of glaciers and pristine natural beauty, Earnslaw Burn offers an unforgettable hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This epic glacier view hike near Glenorchy will leave you breathless as you traverse through untouched wilderness and witness the power and grandeur of nature at its finest.
Located in the South Island region of New Zealand, Earnslaw Burn is part of the well-known Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remote and untouched wilderness is a haven for adventure seekers, offering a secluded escape into a world of dramatic ice-carved valleys, towering mountains, and cascading waterfalls.
The main highlight of Earnslaw Burn is its namesake glacier, which descends from the imposing Mount Earnslaw. This glacier, with its crystalline blue ice and rugged terrain, is a sight to behold and a photographer’s dream come true. The hike to Earnslaw Burn not only offers breathtaking views of the glacier but also showcases the diverse flora and fauna of the area, providing a truly immersive experience of New Zealand’s natural wonders.
One of the unique aspects of the Earnslaw Burn hike is its relative exclusivity. While New Zealand is famous for its well-trodden trails, Earnslaw Burn remains off the beaten path, allowing visitors to have a more intimate and personal connection with the surroundings. Exploring this pristine wilderness offers a sense of tranquility and serenity, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Whether you are an experienced hiker seeking a challenge or a casual adventurer looking for a scenic stroll, the Earnslaw Burn hike caters to all skill levels. The trail offers a range of terrains, from gentle slopes to more challenging sections, making it accessible to a wide range of fitness levels.+
In the following sections, we will delve into the location of Earnslaw Burn, how to get there, what to expect on the trail, safety considerations, and the essential gear you’ll need for a successful and enjoyable hike. So, pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready for an epic adventure that will take you into the heart of New Zealand’s natural wonders.
Location of Earnslaw Burn
Earnslaw Burn is located in the breathtaking region of Glenorchy on the South Island of New Zealand. Situated approximately 45 kilometers northwest of Queenstown, Glenorchy serves as the gateway to some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes.
The journey to Earnslaw Burn begins in Glenorchy, a small town renowned for its picturesque surroundings and as a base for outdoor adventures. Nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy offers a tranquil and idyllic setting to start your hike.
To reach Glenorchy, you can take a scenic drive from Queenstown along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, a journey that takes approximately 45 minutes. The road winds through the remarkable landscapes of the Southern Alps, offering awe-inspiring views of mountains, lakes, and forests.
Once you arrive in Glenorchy, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the stunning beauty of the region. Earnslaw Burn itself is accessible by embarking on a hiking trail that starts from Mount Earnslaw Station, a working farm located on the outskirts of Glenorchy. The trail takes you into the heart of the wilderness, leading to the iconic glacier and its cascading streams.
As you hike along the trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the remarkable Mount Earnslaw, which stands tall at over 2,800 meters. This imposing peak adds to the grandeur of the Earnslaw Burn experience, providing a captivating backdrop to your adventure.
The location of Earnslaw Burn offers a truly immersive experience in nature, far away from the noise and distractions of urban life. It allows you to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with the raw beauty of New Zealand’s natural landscapes.
It’s important to note that Earnslaw Burn is located in a remote and unspoiled part of the country, meaning there are limited facilities and services available. It’s advisable to come prepared with all the necessary supplies and to respect the environment by following leave-no-trace principles.
Now that you know the location of Earnslaw Burn and how to get there, let’s explore the details of the trailhead and parking options to help you plan your epic glacier view hike near Glenorchy.
Getting to Earnslaw Burn
Getting to Earnslaw Burn requires a bit of planning and preparation, as it involves traveling to Glenorchy and then making your way to the trailhead. Here are some options for reaching this epic glacier view hike:
- By Car: The most convenient way to get to Earnslaw Burn is by car. You can rent a vehicle in Queenstown and drive along the picturesque Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. The drive takes approximately 45 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lake. It’s recommended to have a reliable GPS or map to navigate your way to Glenorchy and find the trailhead.
- By Shuttle: If you prefer not to drive, you can opt for a shuttle service from Queenstown to Glenorchy. Several companies offer shuttle services that will pick you up from your accommodation in Queenstown and drop you off in Glenorchy. This option allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic journey without the hassle of driving or parking.
- By Public Transportation: Unfortunately, there is no direct public transportation to Glenorchy. However, you can take a public bus from Queenstown to the nearby town of Glenorchy, and then arrange for transport to the trailhead. Keep in mind that the bus schedules may be limited, so it’s advisable to check the timings in advance.
- Private Guided Tours: Another option is to join a private guided tour that includes transportation to and from Earnslaw Burn. These tours often provide expert guides who can share their knowledge about the area, enhance your experience, and take care of all logistics, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the hike.
Regardless of how you choose to get to Earnslaw Burn, it’s important to check the weather conditions and road accessibility before starting your journey. The region can experience unpredictable weather changes, so it’s advisable to be prepared with appropriate clothing and equipment. Additionally, it’s recommended to book any shuttle or guided tour services in advance to secure your spot and ensure a smooth travel experience.
Now that you know how to reach Glenorchy and the options available for getting to Earnslaw Burn, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll explore the trailhead and parking options for this epic glacier view hike.
Trailhead and Parking
The trailhead for the Earnslaw Burn hike is located at Mount Earnslaw Station, just outside the town of Glenorchy. Here’s what you need to know about accessing the trailhead and parking options:
Trailhead Location: Mount Earnslaw Station is approximately a 10-minute drive from the center of Glenorchy. As you head towards Glenorchy from Queenstown along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, you’ll encounter signs indicating the turn-off for Mount Earnslaw Station. Follow the signs and drive to the designated parking area where the trail begins.
Parking: There is a designated parking area available near the trailhead. However, please note that the parking spaces are limited, especially during peak hiking seasons. It’s important to arrive early to secure a parking spot, especially on weekends or holidays. If the parking area is full, it’s not permitted to park along the road, so it’s advisable to explore alternative transportation options, such as shuttle services or guided tours, which often include parking arrangements.
Parking Fees: At the time of writing, there are no parking fees at the trailhead for Earnslaw Burn. However, it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or changes in parking regulations before your visit.
Trailhead Facilities: Mount Earnslaw Station does not have specific restroom facilities or amenities available for public use. It’s recommended to use restroom facilities in Glenorchy before starting your hike and pack any necessary supplies, including water, snacks, and sunscreen.
Once you’ve parked your vehicle and are ready to start your adventure, follow the well-marked trail that leads towards Earnslaw Burn. Make sure to stay on the designated trail and respect any signage or guidelines provided to ensure the preservation of the environment for future hikers.
As you embark on the trail, prepare yourself for a mesmerizing journey through New Zealand’s pristine wilderness. The trail meanders through various terrains, offering stunning viewpoints and photo opportunities along the way. From dense forests to open meadows, each section of the trail unveils a new aspect of the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Now that you know where to find the trailhead and parking for the Earnslaw Burn hike, let’s dive into the next section where we’ll explore the highlights you can expect to encounter along the trail.
Hiking the Earnslaw Burn Trail
The Earnslaw Burn trail is a captivating journey that takes you through stunning landscapes, offering unforgettable experiences along the way. Here’s what you can expect when hiking the Earnslaw Burn trail:
Trail Difficulty: The Earnslaw Burn trail is rated as moderate to difficult, requiring a reasonable level of fitness and hiking experience. The trail includes various terrains, including steep sections, river crossings, and uneven surfaces. It’s important to assess your own capabilities and come prepared with appropriate gear and supplies for the hike.
Distance and Duration: The round trip hike to the glacier and back from the trailhead at Mount Earnslaw Station is approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles). The duration of the hike can vary depending on your pace and stops along the way. On average, it takes around 6 to 8 hours to complete the hike, including time spent at the glacier viewpoint.
Scenic Highlights: As you venture along the Earnslaw Burn trail, you’ll be treated to a range of scenic highlights that showcase the natural beauty of the area. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and picturesque valleys. One of the main highlights of the hike is the Earnslaw Burn Glacier itself, with its towering ice walls and cascading waterfalls. This breathtaking sight is a reward in itself, providing a unique and awe-inspiring experience.
Wildlife and Flora: The Earnslaw Burn area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for native bird species, such as kea and fantail, as well as other wildlife, like chamois or deer. The trail also showcases a variety of native plants, including ferns, mosses, and beech trees, adding to the enchanting ambiance of the hike.
Weather Considerations: It’s crucial to check weather conditions before embarking on the hike. Due to the unpredictable nature of New Zealand’s weather, conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared for all types of weather and dress in layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations. Prepare for rain or strong winds, as they can be common in the region.
Water Crossings: The Earnslaw Burn trail includes several river crossings, which can vary in difficulty depending on the water levels. Exercise caution when crossing rivers and take note of safety signs or markings. It’s advisable to wear appropriate footwear that offers good traction and consider using hiking poles for better stability.
Respecting the Environment: As with any outdoor adventure, it’s important to follow leave-no-trace principles and respect the environment. Stay on the designated trail, properly dispose of any waste, and refrain from picking or disturbing vegetation. By being mindful of our impact on the surroundings, we can help preserve the natural beauty of Earnslaw Burn for future generations.
Remember to bring ample water, snacks, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the stunning views along the trail. It’s important to stay hydrated and nourished throughout the hike, as there are limited facilities available along the way.
Hiking the Earnslaw Burn trail is a rewarding and memorable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of New Zealand’s wilderness. So, lace up your boots, take a deep breath, and get ready to create unforgettable memories on this epic glacier view hike near Glenorchy.
Scenic Highlights along the Trail
The Earnslaw Burn trail is a feast for the eyes, offering a multitude of scenic highlights that will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders. As you hike through this breathtaking landscape, here are some of the highlights you can expect to encounter:
Mount Earnslaw: One of the standout features along the trail is the magnificent Mount Earnslaw. Standing at over 2,800 meters, this majestic peak dominates the skyline and provides a stunning backdrop to your hike. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be treated to ever-changing views of this imposing mountain, creating a sense of grandeur and awe.
Earnslaw Burn Glacier: The main attraction of this hike is the Earnslaw Burn Glacier itself. As you approach the glacier viewpoint, you’ll witness a mesmerizing display of nature’s power. The glacier’s crystalline blue ice and towering ice walls are a sight to behold. The surrounding cascading waterfalls add to the dramatic scenery, creating a truly unforgettable experience.
Valleys and Waterfalls: Along the trail, you’ll be immersed in the rugged beauty of the valleys and the cascading waterfalls that dot the landscape. The lush greenery, rocky cliffs, and the roaring sound of the waterfalls create a symphony of sights and sounds, further enhancing your connection with nature.
Forests and Flora: The Earnslaw Burn trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including enchanting forests filled with native flora. The beech trees, ferns, and mosses create a serene ambiance as you wander through these ancient woods. Take the time to appreciate the tranquility of these forested sections and marvel at the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
Wildlife: Keep an eye out for the variety of wildlife that calls this area home. The native bird species, such as the curious kea and the friendly fantail, might make an appearance along the trail. You may also spot other wildlife, such as chamois or deer, adding to the sense of wildness and natural diversity.
Panoramic Views: Throughout the hike, the trail rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. As you ascend higher, take the time to pause and absorb the vastness of the landscape stretching before you. The ever-changing vistas will inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural beauty of this remarkable region.
Each step along the Earnslaw Burn trail unveils a new scenic masterpiece, inviting you to pause, reflect, and immerse yourself in the magnificence of New Zealand’s wilderness. Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking moments and create lasting memories of your journey.
As with any outdoor adventure, it’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings and tread lightly, respecting the delicate ecosystem and leaving no trace of your presence. By doing so, we can ensure that the scenic highlights of Earnslaw Burn can continue to inspire and captivate future hikers.
Now that you know about the scenic highlights that await you on the Earnslaw Burn trail, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll discuss some important safety considerations for a successful and enjoyable hike.
While hiking the Earnslaw Burn trail offers a remarkable experience, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a successful and enjoyable adventure. Here are some key safety considerations to keep in mind before embarking on the hike:
Plan and Prepare: Before setting out, familiarize yourself with the trail map, weather conditions, and any necessary permits or permissions required. Check the forecast and be prepared for changing weather conditions, as New Zealand’s weather can be unpredictable.
Fitness and Experience: The Earnslaw Burn trail is classified as moderate to difficult and requires a good level of fitness and hiking experience. Assess your capabilities honestly and ensure you are prepared for the physical demands of the hike.
Appropriate Gear: Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking boots and dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Carry a waterproof jacket, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the elements. Bring a sufficient amount of water, as well as high-energy snacks to keep you hydrated and nourished throughout the hike.
Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by following leave-no-trace principles. Stay on the designated trail, pack out all your waste, and refrain from picking or disturbing vegetation. Help preserve the natural beauty of Earnslaw Burn for future hikers.
River Crossings: Exercise caution when crossing rivers along the trail. Check the water levels and assess the safety of the crossings before proceeding. Consider using hiking poles for better stability and wear appropriate footwear with good traction.
Weather Awareness: New Zealand’s weather can change rapidly. Check the forecast, be prepared for rain or strong winds, and dress accordingly. Seek shelter or turn back if weather conditions deteriorate, as safety should always be the top priority.
Stay on the Trail: The Earnslaw Burn trail is well-marked, so it’s important to stay on the designated path. Straying off the trail can not only lead to getting lost but also cause damage to the fragile ecosystem. Follow any signage or guidelines provided to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
Mobile Phone and Communication: Carry a fully charged mobile phone with you, but remember that there may be limited or no cell phone reception in certain areas. Inform someone of your hiking plans, including your expected return time, and check-in with them upon your return.
Group Hiking: Whenever possible, hike with others or let someone know about your plans. Hiking in a group provides an added layer of safety and support, especially in case of emergencies.
Emergency Preparedness: Carry a basic first aid kit with essential supplies and know how to use them. Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures and contact information for local authorities in case of any unexpected incidents.
By adhering to these safety considerations, you can enhance your hiking experience and minimize any potential risks. Remember, it’s better to be overprepared and cautious than to take unnecessary risks that may jeopardize your safety and the safety of others.
Now that we’ve covered the safety considerations, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll discuss the essential gear you’ll need for a successful hike to Earnslaw Burn.
Essential Hiking Gear
When embarking on the Earnslaw Burn hike, it’s important to have the right gear to ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment. Here are some essential items you should consider packing for your hike:
Hiking Boots: Invest in a pair of sturdy, well-fitting hiking boots that provide ankle support and have good traction. These will help you navigate the varied terrains along the trail and protect your feet from discomfort or injury.
Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by a warm mid-layer, and top it off with a waterproof and breathable outer layer. Don’t forget to wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
Backpack: Choose a backpack that is comfortable to wear and has adequate capacity to carry your essentials, such as water, snacks, extra clothing layers, a map, and a first aid kit. Look for a backpack with hip and chest straps to help distribute the weight evenly.
Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by carrying an ample supply of water. It’s recommended to bring a water bladder or water bottles with a minimum capacity of 2 liters. Pack high-energy snacks like granola bars, trail mix, or fresh fruit to keep your energy levels up during the hike.
Navigation Tools: Carry a detailed map and a compass or a GPS device to stay on track. Familiarize yourself with the trail route before setting out and be confident in your navigational skills. It’s also a good idea to have offline map apps on your mobile phone as a backup.
First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, blister treatment, and any personal medications you may need. Be knowledgeable about how to use the items in your kit, and consider taking a first aid and CPR course before your hike.
Survival Gear: Pack some essential survival gear, including a headlamp or flashlight, a whistle, a multi-tool, and a lightweight emergency blanket. These items can come in handy in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from pesky bugs by applying insect repellent before starting your hike. New Zealand’s wilderness can be home to sandflies and mosquitoes, especially near water sources, so it’s important to take precautions against bites.
Camera: Capture the stunning vistas and memorable moments along the trail by bringing a camera or smartphone. Make sure the batteries are fully charged and pack extra memory cards or a portable charger for extended use.
It’s important to note that the specific gear you’ll need may vary depending on your personal preferences, the weather conditions, and the time of year you plan to hike. Always be prepared for the unexpected and use your best judgment when selecting and packing your gear.
In addition to the gear, don’t forget to carry your enthusiasm for adventure and an open mind to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Earnslaw Burn. Enjoy the journey, take in the breathtaking scenery, and create lasting memories on this epic glacier view hike.
Now that you know the essential gear to pack, it’s time to finalize your preparations and get ready for your hike to Earnslaw Burn.
The Earnslaw Burn hike near Glenorchy, New Zealand, offers an epic glacier view experience that will ignite your sense of adventure and leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. From the moment you set foot on the trail, you’ll be captivated by the majestic mountains, dramatic valleys, cascading waterfalls, and the awe-inspiring Earnslaw Burn Glacier.
This hidden gem in the heart of Fiordland National Park provides a unique and immersive hiking experience, allowing you to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with the raw power of nature. The trail takes you through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows, offering breathtaking panoramic views along the way. Each step unveils new scenic highlights that will stay with you long after the hike is over.
As you traverse the trail, remember to prioritize safety by being prepared, staying on the designated path, and respecting the environment. Dress appropriately, carry essential gear, and check weather conditions before your hike. By respecting the rules, you can help preserve the pristine beauty of Earnslaw Burn for future generations to enjoy.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a challenge or a nature lover craving an unforgettable adventure, Earnslaw Burn will exceed your expectations. The remote location and relative exclusivity of this trail provide a sense of tranquility and serenity that is rare to find in popular tourist destinations.
So, pack your hiking boots, gather your gear, and embark on an extraordinary journey to Earnslaw Burn. Rediscover your sense of wonder, soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The epic glacier view hike near Glenorchy awaits, ready to offer you an experience you will never forget.