When visiting New Zealand, you cannot miss out on this beautiful trek location. Routeburn track trek is the ultimate alpine adventure. The high soaring mountain ranges and beautiful waterfalls, lakes and the lovely valleys offer some of the most spectacular vistas.
Though this trek is one of the shortest multi-day hike, it offers some of the best natural scenarios. This track links Fiordland National Park to the Mount Aspiring National Park. The summit of the track is quite high, so you get some of the most beautiful scenic views from the top point of the track. Rocky coasts, high mountains, high valleys, lakes and waterfalls, make this trek one of the most prolific natural adventure spot in the country of New Zealand.
About Routeburn Track
The Routeburn track is considerably one of the most well placed treks in New Zealand, so the trek is quite popular among the people of New Zealand. Since the trek is the connecting link between Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland, meaning you start the track near Queenstown and finish near Milford or you can complete the track the other way around. Hiking along this walk, hikers can see some of the most spectacular views of the alpine forests and mountains. Compared to other New Zealand walks, this track is quite shorter with only a distance of 32 km, so you can complete the track on your own or take the help of Routeburn track guided walk but when it comes to scenic viewpoints, Routeburn track surely packs a punch. On your hike, you can spot many native birds like robins, fantails, bellbirds and wood pigeons.
The entire trek can be completed in 3 days and 2 nights and there are 4 Routeburn track huts from which you can book for your overnight stay while completing the track. The Routeburn Track difficulty is also not that high and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. The Routeburn track treks has many highlights including Harris Saddle, Lake Mackenzie, dense forests and the Key Summit extensions and the added bonus being the beautiful waterfalls, glistening streams, beautiful alpine meadows and scenic mountains.
Best Weather To Visit Routeburn Track
The Routeburn track weather is fit for hiking all year round. It can be explored in almost any season, though spring and summer seem like the ideal months. Spring begins in September and lasts till the end of November, the spring atmosphere is very positive and uplifting and makes for a good time for outdoor activities.
Summer in New Zealand officially starts from December and runs till February. It is a pretty good time for trekking in New Zealand as there are longer periods of dry and pleasant weather.
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Routeburn Track Treks Itinerary
The Routeburn track treks is quite a short hike and can be completed in 3 to 4 days or shorter period, based on your level of fitness. The hiking trail is quite well maintained, as any popular walk is supposed to be. Now, before you start going for the hike, it is essential that you book the trail early. The booking season begins during the end of October up to the end of April. The trek books out pretty fast so make sure you plan well ahead.
Day 1: Routeburn Shelter – Routeburn Falls
The beginning of the Routeburn track day hike sees a gravel path, which crosses the Routeburn River through various bridges and the path is quite well maintained. The walking path is settled within trees and is quite easy to find. After a hike of around 2 hours you will reach the Routeburn Flats hut, the first hut in the trial. You can stay at the Routeburn hut if you have a reservation, otherwise you can hike for another hour or so and you’ll reach Routeburn Falls hut. The way to the Routeburn Falls hut is quite steep, but it offers some spectacular views of the Mount Aspiring National Park. The hut is located right next to the Routeburn Falls which is one of the most beautiful huts in New Zealand.
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Day 2: Routeburn Falls – Lake Mackenzie
The hiking section between Routeburn Falls and Lake Mackenzie is hands down the best part of the best part of the trail. This section starts from the Routeburn Falls hut, continues uphill for a short section before flattening. The route again begins to slope a bit uphill up to Harris Saddle, which is the highest point of the trek. After crossing Harris Saddle, the trek continues to Ocean Peak, from where you can see some stunning views of the Darran Mountains across the huge valley.
After another 2 or 3 hours of hiking from Harris Saddle, you will see the first views of Lake Mackenzie and the adjoining hut. Here the trek descends rapidly and once you reach the shoreline of the Lake, you’ll stay for your second night in Lake Mackenzie hut.
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Day 3: Lake Mackenzie – The Divide
From Lake Mackenzie, you’ll pass through the tree-lined trail and come across several waterfalls, Earland Falls being the most prominent one. You can reach the base of the waterfall if you like, but you might get wet, so make sure to bring an extra pair of clothing.
After crossing the Earland Falls, the trail becomes quite stony, so wear footwear with a good grip on them. Continue on the trail until you reach Howden hut. From here, the trek will continue uphill through a forest, until you reach the Divide. This marks the end of the Routeburn trek. But if the weather is good, you can turn left from the Divide and hike for another 30 minutes or so to reach the Key Summit.
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How To Reach Routeburn Track
To reach the Routeburn track treks, you will need road transportation from both sides of the track. The trek has two ends, one at the Routeburn Shelter and the other at The Divide. There are many transport operators, whom you can take aid from to reach the trek. There are regular bus services running at either end of the trek too, so reaching the treks is quite simple.
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Routeburn Track Treks Tips
- While going for hiking in Routeburn treks, you will need transportation from to get to the Routeburn Shelter and transportation to get away from the Divide, so you can book transportations with any local transportation operator.
- Book the huts well ahead of your hike, they fill up pretty fast.
- Bring your own cooking stove to avoid running late by waiting at the hut for your turn. Bringing your own stove also helps you boil water or make soup along your way on the trail. This will help you warm up, especially if you face rains on your hike.
- If you hiking in the unofficial season, then you might find snow on the trail which will make it difficult to see the trail. Check in beforehand with Queenstown DOC to get weather related details.
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Routeburn track treks is one of the classic hikes in New Zealand. So, if you love adventure and thrill, plan your trip to New Zealand right away! Happy Tramping!
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