Earnslaw Burn Heli Hike


Earnslaw Burn Heli Hike

The Earnslaw Burn with its hanging glacier and cascading waterfalls really is New Zealand’s best-kept secret, and our guided heli hike is the best way to experience it. 

Departing Glenorchy, take a heli flight over Glenorchy, the Dart River, and Mt Alfred before touching down in the Mt Earnslaw basin. From there, your experienced guide will tell you tales and guide you through some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. 

You’ll follow a meandering glacier-fed river, see an array of wildlife, tussock, speargrass and waterfalls before you reach a corner where the mighty Earnslaw Burn comes into view. It will be a moment you never forget. 

As the hike continues, your guide will stop along the way to tell stories about the area, give you ample photo opportunities and time to admire the surrounding views. 

After 1.5 - 2 hours of walking, your hike will conclude in the Earnslaw Burn by a tumbling waterfall and below Mt Earnslaw Glacier - a world famous glacier. Here, in this beautiful spot, you can sit back and relax with a picnic and soak in the tranquillity of this breathtaking location. 

After your picnic, your pilot will return you to Glenorchy via a 1,000 metre (over 3,000 feet) ascent towards the blue ice of the hanging glacier.

The Earnslaw Burn Heli Hike is an easy-moderate hike, suitable for most people with a moderate level of fitness. For most of the hike, you will be walking on easy gradients with small ascents and easy river crossings. There will be some unmarked parts along the walking track, but you will be guided for the duration of your hike. For more confident walkers, there will be an opportunity to follow ridges, bush spurs and explore multiple river crossings. 

Trip summary: 20-25 minutes of flying, 1.5 - 2 hours of hiking, 1 - 1.5 hours for a picnic and exploring.

What to bring

As you will be hiking while enjoying an alpine environment, we recommend you:

  • Wear sensible comfortable walking shoes, trainers or hiking boots. 
  • Wear warm clothing and bring a windproof jacket.
  • Bring along a small day pack with a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent.
  • You’re more than welcome to bring snacks, but a picnic will be provided at the end of your hike. 

Additional Information & Cancellations

Minimum passenger numbers apply. Heli Glenorchy reserves the right to up-grade passengers or merge flights for operational reasons or flight management purposes if required. Occasionally flight paths or landing locations may alter at the pilot’s discretion. 

Flights are also weather dependent. Weather checks are to be made one hour prior to departure by phoning 0800 4354 49. If we cannot fly due to weather, we will offer alternative options. 

Cancellation Policy: Any cancellations made within 24 hours of departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee, as well as a 3% credit card transaction fee. If passengers ‘no-show’ for a flight, 100% of the fare and a 3% credit card transaction fee will apply. In the event of COVID-19 restrictions, we will reschedule your booking, or if we cannot operate and as a result, passengers are unable to fly, no cancellation fees will apply.

Transport from Queenstown

We offer complimentary transport from Queenstown return. Please make sure to book this in addition to your flight experience.

If you are self-driving, please allow 1 hour from Queenstown to reach Glenorchy.

Book flight

Price listed above is the price per adult. This flight option needs a minimum of 2 adults to confirm.


Subject to change without notice. Valid until 30 September 2022.


Child price: $963 
Child ages: 4 –11

Child prices are calculated at 70% of the adult fare.