figuratively speaking, the top part of the trail. The drive here is half the thrill - fantastic scenery along the lake to Glenorchy, then 2 river crossings, and finally, the increasingly narrow gravel track to the carpark. The drive here is half the thrill - fantastic scenery along the lake to Glenorchy, then 2 river crossings, and finally, the increasingly narrow gravel track to the carpark. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats Hut 7.5 km, 1.5 – 2.5 hours The first segment of the Routeburn Track makes an ideal day walk for those who are short on time. From here the trail rapidly loses elevation through a series of switchbacks and not before long you’ll be at the shoreline, preparing for your second night. Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut 9.8km, 3-4hr The track sets out on a gradual undulating climb through lush beech forest, following the window-clear Routeburn River until it reaches the dramatic flats, flanked on both side by the Humboldt Mountains. A small rest point in sand next to the Routeburn River. Because it is a Great Walk, the tracks are very well maintained. campsites are easier The track to the left of Lake Howden Hut leads initially to the Howden Campsite and later to the Greenstone and Caples Tracks. The track has a long history of use dating back to the 1880s. The Routeburn Shelter is located about an hour from Queenstown and it marks the beginning of … Until the Key Summit extension, the views will be limited. are hand rails if you should need them. 6) Routeburn Track Day Hike. The track may be walked in either direction: either from The Divide to Routeburn … ROUTEBURN TRACKJust 33 km's long, the Routeburn Track is the shortest of our Fiordland Great Walks and in our opinion has the best diversity. Conical Hill has arguably the best views on the entire trek and the Key Summit is a very popular day hike from The Divide. Highest point of main track near saddle is 1300m. Often the fastest runners complete the entire track in under three hours which is much faster than the 3 days the average tramper takes to complete the track. The Routeburn Track can be hiked in either direction. Camping is not allowed at Falls Hut. If Lake MacKenzie has a high enough water level, a whirlpool forms on its surface as the only outlet for the lake is subterranean. There are many maps for the Routeburn, but the best is the NZTopo50 CB09 (Hollyford). Routeburn Track Elevation Profile. It's considered one of the best hiking routes in the world. I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of. answer as best as I can! Several companies offer drop off/pick up services from the Routeburn Shelter, the eastern trailhead, or the western trailhead The Divide. With soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes the track links the Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park.The highest point of the track is 1,255 metres above sea level - so the views are simply spectacular. The major storm on 3rd February wiped out the start of the route making trekking between the start at the Divide to the Earland Falls impassable. Entry to the track is at approximately 200m altitude, and the highest point is approximately 1255m at the Harris Saddle. Drive times to Queenstown or Te Anau are: 1 hour 45 minutes from Invercargill; 3 hours 30 minutes from Dunedin and 6 to 8 hours from Christchurch. share with you my tips, photos and trip report from hiking the Routeburn trail. This said, it's hardly surprising that the area has been designated a World Heritage Site, and the Routeburn Track explores 32km (19 miles) of countryside over 2-4 days, incorporating sections of both Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks. However a lot of the fun is in the extensions! venture out on the Routeburn track in winter not taking that into account. Lifts have always been quick, just remember to look friendly and smile :). This grand, mountainous trail is home to some of the finest scenery in the country. The most popular side trip in terms of numbers as this track to the left (or right if approaching from the carpark) is a day walk accessible from The Divide. Routeburn Track Guided Walk - Ultimate Hikes. Somnus (2293m) and Mt Momus (2148m). [4][5][6], In May 2018 a 68-year-old man died on the track from a "medical event".[7]. After arriving at the Routeburn Shelter and the trail head, you have a 1.5 – 2.5 hour walk to the first hut on the Routeburn Track – the Routeburn Flats Hut. The campsite is a further ten minute walk from the hut along the shoreline of the lake. This said, it's hardly surprising that the area has been designated a World Heritage Site, and the Routeburn Track explores 32km (19 miles) of countryside over 2-4 days, incorporating sections of both Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks. The track spends a long time on the high ridges around Harris Saddle, with great long-distance views in many directions. Currently international visitors have to pay $130 per person per night, regardless of age, in each hut and $40 NZD for a How long does it take? A short trip from bustling The Key Summit adds on roughly 30 minutes to an hour depending on how far you venture along the trail. The Routeburn Track was an important route for both indigenous Māori and European settlers. books out quickly so make sure you plan it well in advance! However, we were a bit optimistic and decided to cut it down into two days, giving us a brutal first day that was over 20km long which took over 7 hours to get from Routeburn Shelter to Lake McKenzie Hut! There is a choice of which direction to go, and which huts to stay in. Running the Routeburn Track. The wide, well maintained easy graded track crosses several swing bridges, goes past Bridal Veil Falls and over the Routeburn Gorge before opening up to vast grassy flats. The map of the Routeburn Track Day 1: Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls The Routeburn North Branch beneath the Humboldt Mountains On this first section, the gravel path is well maintained and crosses the Routeburn River (which can be anything from … The wide, well maintained easy graded track crosses several swing bridges, goes past Bridal Veil Falls and over the Routeburn Gorge before opening up to vast grassy flats. Just before the Harris Saddle Shelter and after Lake Harris to the right is an unmarked advanced tramping route which leads to Lake Wilson. Hill is possible and certainly worth it. The Routeburn Trail is 32km relocation hike which traverses both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Park in the Southern Alps of New Access to the Routeburn Track is not as tightly controlled as the Milford Track. The Routeburn Track can be walked in either direction but most people will start at the Routeburn Shelter, near Glenorchy in the East, and finish at the Divide Shelter, just outside Milford and Te Anau in the West. The Routeburn Track is located in the south-west of the South Island and runs between the head of Lake Wakatipu and State Highway 94, the Te Anau /Milford Road. The Routeburn Track in New Zealand is most commonly hiked over a couple of days, but it is possible to see a great portion of the track on a day hike! New Zealand Mountain Safety Council's video on the Routeburn Track. From Lake Mackenzie, the track crosses a small flat before climbing to the tree line. Routeburn track map But as you’ll find out…You may only want to do ONE side anyway. waterfalls, alpine meadows and mountain vistas. After you reach Lake Howden Hut, you will again continue uphill in the forest until you reach a fork. Several tarns adorn the path around the Key Summit and offer reflections on a calm day. At 33km, the Routeburn is typically hiked over three days and two nights. available so check with the DOC beforehand. Routeburn Track Elevation and Difficulty. An advanced multi-day tramping track accessed over the river from Routeburn Flats Hut; this route links with Rockburn Track and Sugarloaf Track. Ultimate Hikes saved the day by flying us into the Mackenzie Lodge … The Routeburn Track was an important route for both indigenous Māori and European settlers. The track becomes very icy! campsite. Take time to enjoy the dramatic landscape around the Falls, before descending to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats. If a multi-day hike sounds like too much work or you don’t have the time, there’s several single day hikes on the South Island with similar views to the Routeburn and in the same area. A marked track which leads from the right of Howden Hut down to the Hollyford Road. In my opinion this hut isn't far enough in to justify staying here. Without extensions it averages on roughly 13km a day. You have 25 minutes from now to complete the payment process. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until May. No filming was done for The Lord of the Rings trilogy on the track itself, but the Dart River Valley just north of Glenorchy and before the track starts, was the scene for Isengard. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains. The Routeburn Track is located in the south-west of the South Island and runs between the head of Lake Wakatipu and S.H.94 the Te Anau /Milford Road. This day can be split up into two sections by staying a night at the Lake Howden Hut but for those of you who are on a stricter time frame, you can easily do this in a day. If the weather is good (as it wasn't the case for me) consider turning left and adding the extension to the Key Summit. It’s also an extremely well-made track, especially considering how wet it can get. The Routeburn Track is a spectacular alpine walk which can be walked in either direction from The Divide (off the Milford Road) or the Routeburn Shelter near Glenorchy. the falls - all well marked. [2] The track can be done in either direction, starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu or on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, several kilometres from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. The best physical map to bring on the Routeburn is the NewTopo Routeburn/Greenstone-Caples Track map. From the Harris Shelter a steep route takes you to the top of Conical Hill and is the highest marked trail on the Routeburn Track, a wide vista can be seen from the top. This brochure describes a 3-day hike What is the Routeburn Track? Routeburn Track highlights. The track can be done in either direction, starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu or on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, several kilometres from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. If you’re looking for more inspiration on multi-day hiking, I have also created informative articles on the Tongariro Crossing, the Milford Track and the Kepler. flushing toilet. If not, then this is your best option. From here the track branches off towards the Greenstone and Caples Tracks which create a semi-circuit back towards Glenorchy, the Routeburn continuing past Key Summit to The Divide road end and the end of the track. [3], In July 2016, a Czech male hiker fell and died while hiking the track; his female partner sheltered at the Lake Mackenzie Huts for a month before she was rescued. The Routeburn Track is a world-renowned, 32 km tramping (hiking) track found in the South Island of New Zealand. The majority of this walk is through the bush – in the winter, this is almost entirely in the shade and the result is … YOU WILL GET WET and if the water level is too high there is a safer track further from Start: Routeburn … Poor weather conditions can make this walk challenging, even in the Great Walks season. Bookings can be made from the end of June (the exact date changes each year) and are mandatory for the hiking season between the end of October until the end of April. Despite its length (the hike is only 33 kilometers long), travelers need to deal with many obstacles such as booking the accommodation along the trail well in advance and with the fact that both Routeburn Track ends are located almost five hours drive apart. Bookings can be made on the Department of Conservations Booking Portal. Routeburn Track brochure (PDF, 8,942K) - includes map and profile Wanderstories is about community! Another advanced tramping track on the right just after the Harris Shelter but this time marked leads down to the Hollyford Road. The track is also covered by NewTopo's 1:40,000 Routeburn, Greenstone & Caples Tracks map. Possible to walk in winter months too, but for experienced hikers only, Alpine views, lakes, forests, tussocklands, rivers, waterfalls, Hypothermia, sunburn, high winds, rocks, snow, rain & avalanche risks. Coordinates: 44°43′37″S 168°10′13″E / 44.726954°S 168.170337°E / -44.726954; 168.170337 (Routeburn Track - nominal location), Howden Campsite and Greenstone and Caples Tracks, "Czech tramper dead on Routeburn Track, partner rescued after month in hut (video)", "Woman survives in remote hut for a month after partner's hiking death", "Memorial plaque on Routeburn Track to commemorate Czech tramper", "Man dies on South Islands' Routeburn Track", New Zealand Mountain Safety Council's Tramping Video Series: Routeburn Track, Routeburn Track, New Zealand Great Walks, Department of Conservation, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Routeburn_Track&oldid=963811425, Hiking and tramping tracks in New Zealand, Protected areas of Southland, New Zealand, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Late October to late April. Explore Routeburn Track - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. ROUTEBURN TRACKJust 33 km's long, the Routeburn Track is the shortest of our Fiordland Great Walks and in our opinion has the best diversity. Join our community Facebook group to stay up-to-date with trip reports, conditions, to ask questions and get answers, and to share your adventure via photos and stories. Always be prepared to get wet feet. Costs for being dropped off at the Routeburn Shelter from Queenstown and then being picked up from The Divide and driven back to Queenstown currently stand at $123 per person with a After about 3km there’s a signposted junction to Key Summit, a side-trip to a 919m peak offering views over the Hollyford, Greenstone and Eglinton valleys. The Routeburn Track is located in the south-west of the South Island and runs between the head of Lake Wakatipu and S.H.94 the Te Anau /Milford Road. My partner and his friend have attempted to walk to the Harris Saddle at the start of October. Prices have recently seen another increase. Passing under bluffs as it sidles around Lake Harris and there is a view up 'the valley of trolls' towards Lake Wilson (the source of the Routeburn) and the Serpentine Range. and go back due to avalanche risk. In March 2008 an Israeli tourist went missing on the track and her body was later found near Roaring Creek having wandered off track for an unknown reason. Transport options include bus, hitchhiking or car relocation. There is access to another tramping area called the Greenstone and Caples Tracks from Lake Howden Hut near The Divide. We started at the Routeburn Shelter and ended at The Divide, which is the right-to-left direction of this map: The Routeburn Track elevation profile (click to enlarge) The Routeburn Shelter trailhead, near Glenorchy, is a little over an hour from Queenstown. If you plan on camping along the trail, here is where you will find first of the two campsites. Over 2 weeks we did day day walks of most of Southland's great walks (Routeburn, Kepler, MIlford) and this was the best of the lot. It's relatively short and can be done in two to three days. Routeburn trail. About the Routeburn Track. Routeburn Track is one of the most rewarding hikes in New Zealand, but it is also one of the most tricky-to-plan treks in the country. NZ residents pay 65$ per person per night with no charges for under 18s (though booking is still required) and 20NZD/person for a campsite. From the Falls Hut it starts with a short uphill section over smooth rock. Various side trips can be found off the main route that are available between both ends of the Routeburn Track, and some trampers incorporate these into a full crossing while others use the main track as an access point to explore the various options available. Past the Routeburn Falls hut, the track becomes narrower and more technical as it climbs past Lake Harris. Routeburn Track elevation profile. The Routeburn River Gorge: One of the surprising and unexpected highlights of the track was sidling above the Routeburn Gorge on the way up to the flats above, as here the river reveals her true might. Have you got any questions regarding the Routeburn Track or would like to share your own experience and observations? The trail weaves through meadows, ice carved valleys, alpine lake shores, and forests all while presenting stunning views of the rugged snow capped mountain peaks. Routeburn Track highlights. The Routeburn Track is a 32km Great Walk from the Routeburn Shelter to The Divide. 1255m. The start of May until the end of October each year marks the unofficial hiking season in New Zealand. The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular tracks with approximately 13,000 walkers completing the track each year. Don't ever underestimate nature and remember that things can turn bad really quickly! This area gets much less rain than the Milford Sound, and the forests are very different, especially on the eastern side of the saddle, which due to less rainfall is predominantly made up of New Zealand red beech and mountain beech, with relatively few ferns. Leaving the Routeburn Flats hut, the track climbs steadily towards the Routeburn Falls Hut, passing Eagle Bluff and Emily creek, and across the site of a major slip in 1994. Mackenzie huts. I come from At 33km, the Routeburn is typically hiked over three days and two nights. An unmarked advanced tramping route which via Emily Pass allows access back down to Lake Mackenzie or via Fraser Creek access into the Caples Track. Further around the trail you have the opportunity to walk right at the base of the falls. Routeburn Track Map. During hiking season, huts are well serviced with gas for cooking, wood for the fire, toilet paper and informative hut wardens. The Routeburn Track is a 3 day (two night) walk with four comfortable well-equipped huts (Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Falls Hut, Lake Mackenzie Hut and Lake Howden Hut) and two campsites (Routeburn Flats and Lake Mackenzie). Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats Hut 7.5 km, 1.5 – 2.5 hours The first segment of the Routeburn Track makes an ideal day walk for those who are short on time. Join thousands of monthly readers and get my posts delivered straight to your inbox. What really struck me about this track was the diversity of the terrain and scenery – so much gets packed into the 32km. If you plan on doing the extension you can leave your heavy backpack at the Harris Saddle shelter and hike to the top of Conical Hill without it! The New Zealand Department of Conservation classifies this track as a Great Walk and maintains four huts along the track: Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Falls Hut, Lake Mackenzie Hut, and Lake Howden Hut; in addition there is an emergency shelter at Harris Saddle. Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut 9.8km, 3-4hr The track sets out on a gradual undulating climb through lush beech forest, following the window-clear Routeburn River until it reaches the dramatic flats, flanked on both side by the Humboldt Mountains. “On Demand” track transport services are available outside of this period. Many The Routeburn Track was named one of the top eleven trails in the world by the National Geographic Adventure Magazine in May 2005. Personally, I have always hitchhiked in New Zealand and have never had any problems. Plus lots of trickling streams, After around 2 hours, 6.5km, you’ll reach the first hut, The Routeburn Flats huts. company called TrackNet. A magnificent alpine adventure. The Routeburn Trail is 32km relocation hike, After the Routeburn Flats Hut the trail steepens. It then gradually descends past the 'Orchard', an open grassy area dotted with ribbonwood trees, to Earland Falls (174m high). On the western side, most trampers stay at the Lake Mackenzie Hut, but on the eastern side, one can stay at the Falls Hut or Flats Hut. The Routeburn Track is a multi-day hike from Glenorchy to the Divide in the South Island of New Zealand and is 33 km long, crossing through both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. Explore Routeburn Track - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Your accommodation is now ‘reserved’ but is not confirmed until you complete the payment process. You don’t need hiking boots – in fact, you could probably do the Routeburn in jandals – although I wouldn’t recommend it!. For bookings outside the Great Walks season hut prices reduce dramatically to $15 pp pn but amenities like gas/wood are not to be relied on. After another hour you’ll be at the Routeburn Falls Hut. They have only made it to the viewpoint of Harris lake before they decided to turn around Routeburn Track Elevation Profile. Key Summit (918m), on the western end is the site of a popular viewpoint and nature walk not far from the roadway, and the return to the Routeburn Flats Hut are both commonly done in a day. Mackenzie huts. It's considered one of the best hiking routes in the world. Gorge Flat is a great place to stop for lunch. Destination Fiordland and Destination Queenstown have information about transport operators. If you can’t afford the increased prices and have access to a decent tent then camping is an option near the Routeburn Flats and lake The route passes under the falls but in times of heavy flow an alternative route exists dropping below the falls to a small bridge. Walking the Routeburn Track The Routeburn has something for everyone, and all in just 32km. This page was last edited on 21 June 2020, at 23:07. An additional side track to the summit of Conical Our buses from Queenstown to Routeburn Shelter will run daily during this period, minimum numbers permitting. An advanced tramping track to the right of the trail that links back toward the Lake Sylvan walk and Sylvan campsite as well as the Route Burn North Branch. The trail is meant to be a steady three to four day hike where each day is 4-5 hours long. The track climbs around mountain lakes, traverses through alpine gardens, captures views of hanging glaciers and winds through New Zealand Beech This blog is all about the Routeburn Track day hike and how it can easily be accomplished from Queenstown, Glenorchy, or Milford Sound. If you are camping this is your second option for staying in a tent. But the because it is a through hike that requires multiple hut reservations and an expensive car-shuttle or two day bus ride to complete, many people feel overwhelmed or underprepared. A magnificent alpine adventure. If you can get a The Greenstone Track is about 30km easy tramping between the trailhead at Elfin Bay and McKellar Hut, just south of Lake McKellar. Saddle. We hiked from East to West from the Routeburn Shelter to The Divide. The Routeburn Track is a world-renowned, 32 km tramping (hiking) track found in the South Island of New Zealand. The popular side trip to Conical Hill (1515m) is commonly done from the shelter, and offers a 360 degree view of the area. Over 2 weeks we did day day walks of most of Southland's great walks (Routeburn, Kepler, MIlford) and this was the best of the lot. Snow hardly ever lingers in the valleys and it usually starts abruptly on higher elevations. camping is an option near the Routeburn Flats and lake Department of Conservations Booking Portal. The major storm on 3rd February wiped out the start of the route making trekking between the start at the Divide to the Earland Falls impassable. What really struck me about this track was the diversity of the terrain and scenery – so much gets packed into the 32km. You have 25 minutes from now to complete the payment process. The track is well maintained as you’d expect with a Great Walk but can often flood between the Routeburn Falls Hut and the Harris Join over 100.000 monthly readers and get my posts delivered straight to your inbox! After Earland Falls the route becomes very stoney so remember to concentrate and stay surefooted. I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. 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