3 Wire Bridge on the Back Valley Eco Adventure

Middle Earth Waterfalls Heli Hike

Guided hike departs Queenstown

Middle Earth Waterfalls Heli Hike

Helicopter to the majestic Earnslaw Burn Waterfalls & Glacier


  • Departs: Queenstown (hotel pick up available)
  • Season: Oct – May
  • Grade: Easy
  • Duration: 2.5-3 hours
  • Walking distance: 1 hour


  •  Scenic return Helicopter ride above Queenstown
  • Panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu, Fiordland and beyond
  • Hike in the magical valley of the Earnslaw Burn Waterfalls
  • Dare to venture walking behind one of the waterfalls
  • Amazing views of the hanging glacier Alpine flowers and flora


  • Hotel Pick up (from Queenstown)
  • Scenic Helicopter Trip (weather dependant)
  • Experienced & qualified guide
  • Drink and all snacks


Middle Earth Waterfalls Heli Hike

We will pick you up from your hotel in Queenstown and drive to the helicopter base in Frankton where we meet our pilot for the trip. We’ll board our helicopter and start by flying over Ben Lomond and the Richardson Mountains, then past Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu.

You will enjoy views over spectacular peaks to the start of our hike to Earnslaw Burn.  We’ll be dropped off down the valley and get a chance to stretch our legs with a 1 hour hike to the head of the valley to view numerous waterfalls.

This is one of the most magical locations featured in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and we’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of Bilbo and his company of dwarves under the waterfalls of Middle Earth (seen when they depart Rivendell to continue their quest). Those who may not have seen the film yet will be equally impressed by the surreal views of rolling high-country farmland and native tussock fields that transform into glaciers and plunging waterfalls.

We will have plenty of time to get some great shots, at the end of the walk, the helicopter will be waiting for us in the valley floor and we’ll ascend 1,000m past the waterfalls and blue ice of the hanging glacier before flying across Lake Wakatipu towards the Humboldt Mountains. Upon landing, you will be transferred back to your accommodation in Queenstown. This is a day your families and friends will be talking about for years to come!


Middle Earth Waterfalls Heli Hike



What to wear and bring for a day hike

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS – Some items we may be able to provide it to you, other items can be hired in Queenstown, please contact us for more informations 

  • Jacket/Coat – wind and waterproof with hood
  • Boots – sturdy, good fit, protected with dressing/polish
  • Treking pants/trousers
  • Top/ shirt – quick drying sports or hiking tops are best.
    Avoid cotton as although cool in the summer, it can be cold when wet or sweaty
  • Walking socks
  • Warm hat, beanie or balaclava and gloves or mittens
    Even in summer the weather can turn cooler in the evenings
  • Mid layer pullover: fleece tops or polartec type are ideal (light and quick drying)
    Cotton hoodies are not as warm and heavy when wet
  • Shorts
  • Day pack – ideally with a waterproof liner
    Pack should be light, strong and comfortable approx. 20-40 litres to carry your water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellant, camera, snacks and extra clothing/ waterproof
  • Drink Bottle
    We can normally fill up along the way in streams so 1 litre is normally sufficient
  • Personal medication if required
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm and sunhatOPTIONAL SUGGESTIONS
  • Gaiters or Puttees – to keep out water and gravel
  • Thermals – long sleeved top and long johns (quick drying)
    The kiwi way is to wear them under shorts and t shirts
  • Over trousers – waterproof and windproof, essential if you get cold quickly
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Blister plasters/band-aid or tape
    Although we do carry a first aid kit too
  • Camera, spare batteries and spare memory card
  • Small day pack for personal items
  • Camera
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Walking shoes
  • Warm clothes (layers are best)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Gaiters (optional)




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