Earland Falls is a great example of why when we travel we try to get away from the road and into the backcountry. It is beyond gorgeous and at 571′ it is the highest waterfall on New Zealand’s Routeburn Track.
We arrived at Earland Falls in the early afternoon, but well ahead of the caravan of hikers that flowed in behind us nearly an hour later. For our hour-long respite we had the falls entirely to ourselves. This might be the best lunch spot I have ever had while on a multi-day backpacking adventure. We had a spread of cheese on cracker with salted meats. It wasn’t as fancy as it sounds… but anything tastes good if you hike far enough.
The spray off the rocks created a mesmerizing rainbow and the crystal clear pool of water looked super inviting. I could have spent the rest of the day in this tranquil spot if not for the urge to continue on our journey and the loud and obnoxious tour company of 20 ill-prepared backpackers that came clamoring in behind us.
Earland Falls could be a destination hike in and of itself, but it is just one of the amazing spots located on the Routeburn Track.
Starting Point: The Divide Shelter parking area along highway 94 to the Milford Sound.
Distance: 4.5 miles in (9 miles round trip).