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Part A - Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

THE ROUTEBURN Track is the only great walk spanning across two different national park. The first half of the track ascending to Harris Saddle on the main divide of the Southern Alps goes through the stunning Mount Aspiring National Park. Once over the saddle the rest of the track goes through the wildly expansive, Fiordland National Park. This is also the only great walk crossing the Southern Alps twice. The track spends a significant amount of time above the treeline, giving spectacular views of the rugged mountains. Not only is this one of New Zealand's great walks, but is amongst the highest regarded treks anywhere in the world. The track follows one of the more obscure routes the Maori people took from Central Otago to the greenstone sites of coastal Fiordland. It became popularised from the 1870s as a tour route from Lake Wakatipu to Lake Harris, with the track eventually extended into the Hollyford Valley shortly after World War I, to its current end point at what is now the Milford Road.

This trek begins above the head of Lake Wakatipu for which Queenstown is famous. It follows the Route Burn upstream through glacial valleys to cross the Harris Saddle near its source. From there the track gradually descends the magnificent Hollyford Valley upstream high above the river, stopping at two spectacular hanging valleys before descending to The Divide on the Milford Road. The track is officially 32.1 kilometres long, but I take two side tracks extending its length to 38.6 kilometres.


Day 1 - Queenstown to R. Flats

THE SETTLEMENT of Jamestown at the mouth of the Hollyford River in 1870 necessitated the... more...


Day 2 - Routeburn Flats to R. Falls

THE ROUTEBURN track sits amongst a dramatic area of the Southern Alps, a little south of any of its taller... more...


Day 3 - R. Falls to Lake Mackenzie

THE MOUNTAINS above the bushline are covered in a carpet of snow tussock which grows very well at... more...


Day 4 - L. Mackenzie to L. Howden

LAKE Mackenzie remained completely elusive to explorers until it was discovered by accident as the proposed track... more...


Day 5 - Lake Howden to Te Anau

THE GREENSTONE Valley was first explored by European settlers in 1861 when sheep farmers David McKeller... more...



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February 2018



New Zealand



490 - 1415m ASL


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