Trek Notes - New Zealand

Routeburn Track Guided walk

Routeburn Track Guided Walk 

General Information
The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountain country between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Since the 1880's the Routeburn Track has proved to be one of the most accessible and popular journeys into New Zealand's forests and mountains.

The Routeburn Track passes through two national parks, Fiordland and Mount Aspiring, and is part of Te Wahipounamu, South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.  The area is a haven for native birdlife: the Robin; Fantail; Parakeet; Bellbird; Yellowhead and watch out for the resident Kea at Routeburn Falls!  The variety of landscapes will astound you: mountainous peaks; sheer rock faces; alpine basins; pristine lakes; cascading waterfalls; luxuriant forest; turqoise rivers and million dollar views around every corner.  

The Routeburn Track Guided Walk is a 3 day / 2 night Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive guided walk traversing New Zealand's Southern Alps.  The package includes all transport, accommodation, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets.  Accommodation is in our luxury lodges and you will be led by our expert guides.  

y 1: Queenstown to the divide of Lake Mackenzie
14 kms. 5-6 hours walking.
Your adventure begins with a coach ride from Queenstown to the Divide on the scenic Milford Road. 
We stop for morning tea in Te Anau before continuing on to the Divide where our walk starts. You climb a well-graded track through Siver Beech forest to the Key Summit
turnoff.  From here we leave the forest for the alpine environment of Key Summit, where we have the first of those breathtaking Routeburn views with a panorama of the Hollyford, Greenstone and Eglington Valleys.
You then descend to Lake Howden hut for a hot drink and picnic lunch, before gradually climbing through lush Silver Beech forest to the base of Earland Falls. Continue traversing around the mountainside with the glimpses of the Hollyford Valley just a teaser for what is to come tommorrow.  Pass through the natural clearing of the Orchard before descending into the Mackenzie basin.  Lake MacKenzie
is 5 minutes further on from the lodge, a good place take it all in on your first night away from it all.

Day 2: Lake Mackenzie to Routeburn Falls via Harris Saddle
15 km. 5-6 hours walking
Today is divided into three distinct sections:  the climb out of the Mackenzie Basin to Ocean Peak Corner
, the traverse across the Hollyford Face to the Harris Saddle and the descent to Routeburn Falls.

From the lodge you skirt Lake Mackenzie and follow the track into the forest.  As the track starts to climb you leave the trees and enter the alpine world of daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss.  From the the first daisies in November to the last gentians in April the track winds through one of the greatest natural gardens on earth. 

The traverse along the Hollyford Face is for many people the most spectacular scenery of the whole track.  With the Darran Moutains in front of you and the Hollyford Valley far below, you are in big country.  After lunch at the Harris Saddle the views get even better if you climb Conical Hill with a 360 degree panorama, it seems like you are on top of the world.

Return to the shelter, pick up your pack and begin your descent into the Routeburn Valley.  After walking around Lake Harris you come into more intimate terms with the mountains towering above the upper reaches of the Routeburn River.  Just before your arrival at the lodge you are greeted by the Routeburn Falls and stunning views of the lower valley.

Day 3: Routeburn Falls to Routeburn Road End to Queenstown
10 km. 3-4 hours walking

Your last day is the least strenuous, a nice way to wind down and take time to enjoy the enviromnent.
The descent from Routeburn Falls
to Routeburn Flats takes you through a rich mixed Beech Forest as you slowly lose altitude and reach the valley floor.  Morning tea is at Routeburn Flats Hut, set in natural grasslands surrounded by moutains rising straight up from the flat valley floor.
Below the flats the Routeburn River enters its gorge, surging among boulders in frothing white torrents at one turn and resting in the clear jade pools at the next before finally disappearing underground at the Sump.  Lunch
is right by the river at Forge Flat, you may even be inspired to take a plunge; your guides will encourage you with this!
From here it's a gentle downhill stroll to the end of the track, but not before you pass through the Red Beech section with it's huge gnarled ancient forest giants.  A coach will be waiting at the road end to take you back to Queenstown stopping at Glenorchy for a group photo.  Tonight a  celebration dinner is held in a local restaurant, a great way to finish off a magnificent experience.

Equipment provided and carried
Excellent Backpacks and PVC raincoats can be provided free of charge, but you may bring your own. These items are essential.
Each day you will carry a sheet and towel which we will provide, picnic lunch and personal clothing.
We supply each client with  plastic pack liner, but clothes should be put in plastic bags for added rain protection.

Print   To Top