Glacier Burn Hike

In which Bennett climbs a mountain

I love getting back into Scouts. As a leader, anywhere I’ve gone I’ve just been accepted as another “competent” adult without question. It’s a great feeling as we as leaders are all acutely aware of how few and far between we are.

Anyway I know it was a long time ago but my Scout group here in Queenstown had a camp back In November. It was planned as a two night camp however we had to shorten it due to numbers and ended up being a one night camp just down the road in Kinloch. Kinloch is the only place around Queenstown which allows fires on the campsite and it’s only an hour from Queenstown, past Glenorchy.

Glacier Burn


We camped overnight on the Friday and planned hike on Saturday up a track called Glacier Burn. “Burn” is exactly the same meaning as the Scottish one, meaning river, and no surprises what “glacier” means.

I’m not going to lie this was a tough hike for me. I had just work ten days straight in order to get the weekend off to go camping and suddenly we were walking constantly uphill for three hours.

Glacier Burn

Glacier Burn

We first hiked through beech wood and the Scouts were giving me a lesson in native flora and fauna and don’t know much about the trees here yet and it was good to know they know the native birds as well. Once we’d got past the bush line, which is not recommended in winter due to avalanches, we hiked up the rocky part of the mountain to the actual glacier itself. Well I say to the glacier, most of the Scouts reached the bottom of it but I was content with just looking at it from a distance. Once I got to the first bit of snow and meltwater I called it a day for me, uphill wise at least.

Glacier Burn


I refilled my water bottle with glacier melt which was ice cold, refreshing and very clean. The view was stunning both up to the peak of the mountain, as well as back down towards the wooded area and the bush line. We couldn’t see much of Lake Wakatipu, however the weather was sublime and we couldn’t have asked for better.

Glacier Burn cairn

Cairn atop Glacier Burn

I found hiking back down harder than up, especially on my knees however we made the round trip in five hours at the end we all enjoy tortillas, salami and cheese off the back of Dennis’s truck at the bottom of the hike.

Glacier Burn

Lunch time!

I’m really lucky to be getting a lot out of Scouts. I’m being taken to new places, seeing more of the area that I live in whilst doing a good deed and “giving back to the community”. I do it because it’s fun, even if I have to work 10 days in a row sometimes to be able to do the activities we do.

What do you think of those views?

Glacier Burn

Bennett up Glacier Burn


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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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