We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

earnslaw hike

Singapore
Level Contributor
268 posts
53 reviews
earnslaw hike

Hi, Im interested to go to the famous lord of the rings water fall.. the one where there are multiple waterfalls on rock cliffs (sorry I don't know the name). I understand this can be reached on the earnslaw hike. Question is, if I don't want to hike the entire 5 hours, is there a short cut to get there? I know you can take a helicopter, but I can't afford that.

I understand the hike is about 6 hrs 1 way, so I was wondering if I started from the other direction would it be faster?

Thanks

5 replies to this topic
Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,232 posts
21 reviews
1. Re: earnslaw hike

The Earnslaw Track is really not suitable for people who are not experienced hikers. There is no other way to access it other than the track that starts past Glenorchy on foot. The valley ends in a massive wall of rock and a glacier, hence the waterfalls cascading own. If you want to see it, you will have to take the helicopter.

Pilsen, Czech...
Level Contributor
12 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: earnslaw hike

Hi,

check out these links to give a better idea of you are getting into, when you really decide to hike it.

These guys did it in one day.

http://www.wegortw.com/extreme-tramping/

These guys slept overnight at the waterfalls.

…blogspot.ro/2013/06/the-roadtrip-earnslaw-b…

From the looks of it (I haven't actually done it), it is doable, but you have to have a brain and follow the orange markers and, obviously, prepare accordingly. Best to download GPX data and bring GPS along to make sure you're staying on track. But when you look at the topo map, there really isn't anywhere to get lost to. The track leads up the valley along a creek at the end of which is a rocky wall with cascading waterfalls (no going past that).

I sure wanna see those waterfalls and plan to hike it in the future.

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,232 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: earnslaw hike

Jajub:

1. This is a really old thread, and the person's trip is long over

2. I have done it several times as well as many other NZ trips. When I posted the above comment, I had done it quite recently. I stand by my comments, it is not suitable unless you are experienced. While the trip itself is not hard terrain, it is a route and not well maintained, so the possibility of getting lost is higher.

3.You don't have any idea of NZ hiking conditions. It may just go up a creek to a rock wall, but there is thick forest and off you get off track, you can potentially not find it again, or end up trapped by rocky bluffs if you do. The valley further up his narrow and ends in a rock wall, however, the intitalpart of the track up from the car park goes through a rocky gorge and the track here can be quite rough and difficult to follow. GPS will make no difference to keeping you on the track or not. If you lose the track, it is very difficult to move in the thick forest. When I was last there, the track had been partially cleared, but then this stopped and we had to work hard to keep track of each marker. Sometimes trees fall over the track requiring a detour; this makes it possible to lose the track quite easily, esp if it is overgrown.

Perhaps you should leave advice about hiking (tramping) in NZ until you have actually been here and not try to override the comments of people who have lived here and hiked for many, many years.

Pilsen, Czech...
Level Contributor
12 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: earnslaw hike

1. How would you know the person's trip is over from what he wrote?

2. How on earth am I trying to override your comments?!

You made the following claims in your post:

+ The Earnslaw Track is really not suitable for people who are not experienced hikers.

Do I deny that?! Where; show me!

+ There is no other way to access it other than the track that starts past Glenorchy on foot.

+ The valley ends in a massive wall of rock and a glacier, hence the waterfalls cascading own.

+ If you want to see it, you will have to take the helicopter.

Unbelievable! Do you people even read critically!?

I gave helpful links the OP might find useful. In no way did I assume authority - in fact, I explicitly wrote that I haven't done the hike myself. (If the OP has two brain cells to rub together, he'll take all I wrote with a lump of salt.)

3. The two links I provided explicitly show and describe all you're saying.

By, "But when you look at the topo map, there really isn't anywhere to get lost to." I meant to say that, when you lose the track AT LEAST you know you're in the valley. So you're not completely lost and at least know the landscape in general.

4. GPS will make no difference to keeping you on the track or not.

I beg to differ. And I don't really care what you think you know about me from one post. This is simply not true in general. More information is always better, even if it's uncertain (yeah you'll have a bad signal in the forest section, that's quite possible).

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,232 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: earnslaw hike

I have seen and had friends/family involved in too many search and rescue operations involving inexperienced people. This means that I will always be cautious when giving out information to visitors unless their comments point to some experience. The OP was from Singapore, so suggesting they go hiking off in NZ wilderness would be irresponsible unless they provided evidence to the contrary through comments made. For example, yourself, you seem to know something about hiking maps, etc from your comments on your various threads thus far. The OP would have preferred the helicopter option barring the cost and didn't want to hike 5 hours. Since the track right up to where the waterfalls is would take an experienced hiker 6 or so hours one way, I wasn't going to suggest he go tramping up therefore even post comments about how easy it is up in the basin.

+ The Earnslaw Track is really not suitable for people who are not experienced hikers.

Do I deny that?! Where; show me!

From the looks of it (I haven't actually done it), it is doable, but you have to have a brain and follow the orange markers and, obviously, prepare accordingly. You said you hadn't done it, I have done it several times. I felt you were overriding what I said by saying it looked easy. Yes, it is a relatively easy walk, especially once you get to the cirque at the top, however, DOC don't maintain the track to a high standard and through the gorge bit it is quite overgrown. You've obviously looked at the map and should be able to see that there is a relatively narrow gorge bit. This section takes approx 5 hours to a stream crossing and a rock divvy at the point where the valley opens out and becomes the lovely basin. It is this bit that would be problematic for someone inexperienced. We have been up this valley 3 or 4 times, and found the last time hard work to find the track as windfalls had covered it and it was quite overgrown. Once again, I'm not going to suggest someone inexperienced takes off up there for this reason. This is quite different to the Milford./Routeburn etc which are distinct and well worn tracks. These have been built up and benched with timber to make a durable and obvious path. Earnslaw is more of a route - though not quite technically a route as that is markers only and this track has been cut.

More information is always better, even if it's uncertain

Misleading information can be quite dangerous, so no, more is not better.

In fact, I explicitly wrote that I haven't done the hike myself. (If the OP has two brain cells to rub together, he'll take all I wrote with a lump of salt.)

So why bother making judgement comments. The links are great, so helpful to supply them, but don't make comments about how easy it is if you haven't been there. It's misleading.

I don't care what you think of me either. I have tramped in NZ for almost 30 years and know my local area really well. Have you tramped in Fiordland or Aspiring National Parks before?

Unbelievable! Do you people even read critically!?

There is no need to be rude.

Reply to: earnslaw hike
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Glenorchy