New Zealand: Routeburn Track Great Walk (3 days / 33 km)

Trip Report - Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is one of the 10 New Zealand Great Walks. It is an alpine hiking trail through native beech tree forests and above the tree line along alpine meadows. As with the other great walks, it has very well-maintained trails and accommodations, including both huts and campsites for tents.

This trail is considered intermediate on the DOC website, but it is suitable for beginners with good fitness. The trail is relatively flat and wide, although there are some sections that become rocky and uneven, in particular on the Fiordland side (south-eastern) of the trek. The trail starts with a consistent elevation gain as you climb over the Harris saddle before descending the other side into the divide. It is well marked and easy to navigate, with multiple optional side routes for views. 

If you can handle the elevation gain and some rocky sections, the Routeburn Track provides stunning views of the mountains at every turn. When the mountains are not visible you can enjoy the beautiful beech tree forests, waterfalls, grass covered flats, and alpine meadows. Add this to your list of must do hikes on New Zealand’s South Island.

Trip Completed: April 2024

The view above Routeburn Falls Hut.Tent site at Flats Campground.Routeburn Flats Campground.One of the shelters.The trail is well marked with orange arrows.Earland Falls.A last view of the mountain before entering dense beech forest.McKenzie Lake tent spot.Trail and view after Harris Saddle.Trail along Harris Saddle.Alpine region ascending to Harris Saddle.McKenzie Lake.

Trip Summary

Location: This track links the Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks on the South Island of New Zealand. 

Traditional Territory: Routeburn track is situated on Māori territory.

Maps & Resources

Website: Much of the information and up to date trail conditions can be found on the official New Zealand Department of Conservation website, on the Routeburn Track page. On this website y...

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