hiking

The Routeburn Track

This Great Walk is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular in the country. It takes you up into some seriously dramatic high mountain scenery. The climbs can be demanding but they’re worth the effort: incredible views of huge sweeping valleys, thick native forest and soaring mountain ranges.

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Activity in brief

Distance:
32 km
Duration:
2 - 4 days
Start - End:
Routeburn Shelter - The Divide
Transport:
Bus

Terrain: Moderate, a shorter track but with a considerable amount of climbing

Accommodation: Designated Great Walk Huts

Nearest Town: Queenstown, Te Anau

Activity Overview


The Routeburn Track is fully booked for the 2022/23 Season. If you would like to book for the 2023/24 season please contact us directly.

The Routeburn Track passes through some jaw-dropping and rugged alpine terrain that was sculpted by glaciers during the ice ages. While the valleys are covered in dense native beech forest, above the tree line there are stunning mountain meadows that contain some of the worlds largest concentrations of rare alpine plants.

Birds to look out for include the whio or blue duck – a beautiful and endangered creature that lives around fast flowing mountain rivers – and of course the kea, New Zealand’s unique mountain parrot.

The track passes rocky gorges and steadily climbs through the forest, above the tree line and out onto the tops where you will be treated to waterfalls, glacial lakes and amazing views of soaring peaks.

Itineraries

Personalised Itineraries

Personalise your Routeburn Track Walk:

We can arrange for you to walk the Routeburn in either direction plus you can choose the number of days you want to complete the walk. 

Contact us to find out more!


Include the Routeburn Track in your unique Multi-Activity Trip:

You can combine this walk with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary.

When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand - Click here for more information about Multi-Activity Trips or Enquire Now to get started.



OR SIMPLY BOOK THIS TRIP NOW...
Three Day Independent Walk
  • Accommodation in huts on the trail included.
  • Return shuttle bus transportation from Queenstown included. 

Day One: Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut (9km 4 Hours). Your shuttle bus will drop you off at Routeburn Shelter - the start of the track. From there you’ll climb steadily past streams and waterfalls and through stunning beech forest, providing views of the Humboldt Mountains. You end your first day at Routeburn Falls Hut, on the edge of the bushline and close to the impressive Routeburn Falls cascade.
 
Day Two: Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut (11km 4-6 Hours). Start day two bay working your way further up the valley through wetlands and tussock-covered flats, before sidling along the bluffs above Lake Harris to reach the highest point on the track at Harris Saddle/Tarahaka Whakatipu (1,255 m). The track then descends and traverses along the exposed Hollyford Face, with expansive views over the Darran Mountains - a section well known for its impressive array of alpine plants. From here you descend to Lake Mackenzie Hut, set beside beautiful Lake Mackenzie, and your second night on the track.

Day Three: Lake Mackenzie Hut to The Divide (12km 4-5 Hours). The last day on the Routeburn is generally a gradual descent. You pass the impressive Earland Falls (174 m) and walk through silver beech forest to The Divide on the Milford Highway and the end of the trail. From here your shuttle bus takes you back to Queenstown or Te Anau.

Pricing: Three Day Independent Walk

From NZD$310 per Adult and NZD$110 per Child (up to 15). Accommodation in huts on trail and return transport from Queenstown included.

This package is available from October to end April.

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Activity Planning

When to go

As this track passes through a high mountain environment you should never take the weather conditions for granted, even during the summer months, which of course have the most settled weather. Heavy rain, strong winds and snow above 1000 meters are possible at any time of year.

From Mid-April to the end of October the higher elevations of the track become snow bound and highly prone to avalanches. It should only be attempted by walkers with excellent alpine experience carrying the appropriate survival equipment.

What to bring

Wet weather gear

Stout boots

Hat

Water bottle

Sunscreen

Insect repellant, long sleeved shirts and trousers (to combat sand flies)

First-aid kit

Torch

Communication device

Sleeping bag

All your food, gas cooker, plates, bowls, utensils etc.

Accommodation
Accommodation on the trail

 

Huts

Your accommodation will be in the two well appointed Department of Conservation Great Walk Huts along the track. They feature toilets, fresh water, mattresses, tables, benches and heating.

For more information about backcountry huts in New Zealand please checkout our accommodation guide here.

 

Accommodation in Queenstown and Te Anau

We can organise your accommodation around Queenstown or Te Anau for before and after your walk if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.

Transportation
Bus

We arrange for you to hop on a shuttle bus in Queenstown which will take you up to the start of the track at Routeburn Shelter.

You then get picked up again at the other end of the track and returned to Queenstown, or alternatively get taken to Te Anau if you prefer - we can discuss the best option for you when you make your booking.

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now