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Routeburn Track [CLOSED] is a 19.9 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Glenorchy, Otago, New Zealand that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until May.

Length 19.9 mi Elevation gain 5,364 ft Route type Point to Point

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Closed

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (3)

Note: As of February 2020, the intense rain has caused extensive damage and the track is closed for the rest of the season. Please check with the park page for more information. New Zealand's second most popular Great Walk. A moderately difficult high-mountain traverse that links Fiordland and Mount Aspiring national parks. Usually a two to three day trip - popular in summer and almost impassable during winter. New Zealand's second most popular Great Walk. A moderately difficult high-mountain traverse that links Fiordland and Mount Aspiring national parks. Usually a two to three day trip - popular in summer and almost impassable during winter. For the full route North to South see here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/new-zealand/otago-region/routeburn-track This route has slightly more incline, but the majority of tours and guided hikes go the opposite direction (South to North), so it can be nice to do the opposite and avoid some of the crowding, however, either direction is a great choice. For the list of segments: https://www.alltrails.com/lists/routeburn-track

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (86)
Photos (428)
Recordings (55)
Completed (281)
Denise Stinchfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 08 2020
Hiking

I hiked this trail with a group a few years ago. Beautiful for the whole hike. Unfortunately the intense rain has caused extensive damage and the track is closed for the rest of the season. So sad for those who planned on hiking it this year.

Cam Tuohy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jan 10 2020
Hiking

Magical hike, highly recommend

Oliver Descoeudres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
Hiking

Brilliant walk - despite the slightly cloudy weather. Did this is just over a day. Best done over to days, rather than three. https://hikingtheworld.blog/2019/12/27/routeburn-track-great-walk/

Erin Lord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 22 2019
Hiking

Did this trail in three days. Got rained out but the wardens were great and let me stay in the hut and then hiked twice as much the next day. Only downside was the crap ton of rain the first day. The second day was gorgeous and by far worth it.

Cheng Lim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 12 2019
HikingMuddyRocky
View Cheng's Recording
Vit Gula
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Nov 27 2019

The best hike in New Zealand!

View Vit's Recording
Samuel Huang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Nov 22 2019
Hiking

Queenstown with Wojtek!!

View Samuel's Recording
Clive Dale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 18 2019
Hiking

What’s to be said that has not already been said? Beautiful. We started at Divide and finished at Shelter. Not sure why we did that but glad we did the walk DOWN from the Saddle is amazing - this way you don’t have to keep stopping to turn around and admire the views.

Joaquín Galarza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 22 2019
Hiking

Outstanding hike, full of different scenarios. Lush forests, flat easy tracks in the shade, open paths uphill in direct sunlight. Waterfalls, bridges, high altitudes, espectacular trees and lakes, the mischievous keas and great places to camp. Did it in two days, one night in my tent on lake Mackenzie. I've made 20 km on the first day starting from Routeburn Shelter, completed the remaining 12km starting 8am on the second day to The Divide under the rain. Book in advance, both huts/campsites and shuttles from/to QTN and Te Anau.

Maya McCracken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 18 2019
Hiking

My favourite hike in NZ Went from the divide through to Glenorchy end in a day, surreal to pass through by many vistas over 8. 5 hours Starting early and carrying a lighter pack but still with a tent just in case Absolutely stunning!

Linda Manning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Was an amazing walk.

Bradley Jowitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 10 2019

favourite hike in NZ so far. nice trail along the valley then rises up over the pass.

Alana Hansell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 04 2019

Second part of the Classic hike. Best birthday present to myself.

Jason Pascoe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 01 2019
HikingBridge out

Stunning hike! Weather had taken out the first part of the track (divide end) so took a small access track instead. Did it with the wife and kids, so this access track isn’t as difficult as the DOC site makes it out to be.

April Chaplin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 08 2019

Absolutely the best hike I've ever done. So lucky to have clear skies on the mountain on day two, with epic views of snow-covered mountains surrounding me. I did the Shelter - Divide route, but there was a slip between Howden Hut and the Divide so I took the Pass Creek alternate, and it actually worked out wonderfully. Pass Creek is rocky, muddy and a bit "back country" which was a nice change from the well maintained paths of the main route. Try to start your assent to Conical Hill before dawn so you can watch the sun rise. The variety of terrain, vegetation and surrounds makes this hike absolutely brilliant. This hike was HEAVEN and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Ryan MacAusland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 31 2019
Hiking

Completed in early February. One of the greatest hikes I’ve ever done. Lots of other hikers but for good reason. Stayed the first night up the north fork of the routeburn river. Had the entire Valley to myself. Second night I stayed in the falls hut. Got up at 4:30 am to hit Harris Saddle And conical by myself and the experience was rewarding. Also saw a Rock Wren on my way down from Harris Saddle. Didn’t see anybody else on the trail really until I started descending towards Mackenzie lake. Camped by the lake and then finished off at the divide. Will definitely do this hike again.

B C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 08 2019
BackpackingMuddyRockyWashed out

Fantastic views at the saddle on a clear day. Very tough when raining hard. My wife and I completed this in 2 days at a moderate pace with 65l packs carrying 25 lbs and 35 lbs. We went from routeburn shelter to mackenzie, the to divide on day 2. Trackhopper (a company that moves your car for you and even fills up your gas, needed in such a remote part of the island) was amazing and on time and well-worth the service. We were able to seamlessly continue our vacation to Milford sound directly after.

Avalos Diana
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 02 2019

Great hike! I started from Greenstone car park and hiked the Caples track on day 1 and camped at the free campsite Greenstone saddle in order to complete the Routeburn the next day. With my backpack (tent, sleeping bag, food,...) without running I was able to complete the hike in 10 hours (with a good pace but took time for lunch and jumping in the river).

Ian G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Feb 01 2019
Hiking

Fantastic tramp. Personally I found the steep bit's challenging, both up and down, but one foot after the other and you get there. We took 3 days, 2 nights - staying at The Falls Hut, and MacKenzie Hut. The lake here is very cold but after a long days walk is inviting: pure and clean. A great way to wash away the tiredness, sweat and dust.

Yotam Ben-Ami
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 25 2018
Hiking

This is a very detailed trip report of my 1-day Routeburn hike. I'm including all details as personally I found it very challenging to find this info online and I was nervous before attempting to complete this 3-day hike in a single day. First things first: I'm a 47 year old man, have had 2 back surgeries so no running for me. I'm a fast walker and am in decent shape but by no means a fitness freak. I completed the entire hike including Conical Hill in 8:45 hours. Without Conical Hill it would have been 7:45 hours, and this includes plenty of stops for rest, pics and eating. The point? This is not a multiday hike, as long as you are reasonably fit. Having said that, I did have spectacular weather (hiked it in late December), and I'm sure that had I had to brave the elements I'd be singing a different tune.... The hike is amazing and beautiful, highly recommended! The hike (all times below include the stops mentioned above and can be easily shortened) : - Routeburn Shelter - Flats Hut: 1.15 hours. The hike starts off very mellow in a beautiful and shaded forest. There are plenty of flat areas to get you up to speed and overall this segment is extremely easy. It's more of a stroll than anything else. - Flats Hut - Falls Hut: 45 minutes. Slightly steeper but still very manageable. This section starts to get your legs working but is by no means strenuous. It's gorgeous and the trail is not technical at all. - Falls Hut - Harris: 1.10 hours. This section is the most physically demanding. It gets steeper and the trail becomes more technical. Having said that, it's still very manageable. Personally I take a 1 minute break every couple of miles to rest my pathetically weak calves and then continue on. All good. - Conical Hill side-trip: 1 hour. This section is technical, steep and involves a lot of loose rock and some snow. It's by far and away the toughest part of the hike, if you decide to do it. Since this is a side-trip you don't have to do it, but the views from the top are probably worth it. You can leave your backpack at Harris and pick it up when you're done. - Harris - MacKenzie: 1.5 hours. There is nothing hard physically in this section, but if you're not prepared it can be mentally challenging. Why? Because when you look at the trail map you feel that from Harris "it's all downhill", but that's simply not the case. There is a pretty long uphill segment that, as noted, isn't tough at all but can be demoralizing if you aren't expecting it. But then you find yourself above the amazing Lake MacKenzie and you forget about everything. - MacKenzie - Howden: 2.5 hours. OK... this segment took way longer than expected. The main reason was that it was very demoralizing as the trail just kept going uphill and I just wasn't read for it. Yes I saw some uphill on the trail map, but in reality it seemed to be much more significant than on the map. This segment was mentally tough and it showed in my times. Having said that, I also stopped for a 30 minute lunch at Mackenzie which made this segment longer. Again - there is nothing that's too physically demanding here, as long as you're mentally prepared for the uphill. - Howden - Divide: 30 minutes. Having suffered through the hike to Howden, I was expecting the last uphill to be brutal as it appeared to be pretty steep on the map. However, that wasn't the case at all. The uphill is maybe 1km long if that and was over in a breeze. From that point on it was just a matter of cruing down to the parking lot. All in all an amazing trail. If you're considering doing it in 1 day, go for it. Of course you should come prepared for weather but in terms of physical effort there's no reason not to do it. An 8 hour trek when there are about 15 hours of daylight is a no brainer. A note about water: There is water EVERYWHERE. It's fresh, clean and potable. There is really no reason to bring water as you can fill up wherever and whenever you feel like it. Enjoy!

Richard Trachy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 15 2018
Running

left from Glenorchy ... 40km total to Mackenzie hut and back to parking area ; did the conical peak and rested there for a while ! great views all the way! very nice

Shane Hudson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 06 2018
Backpacking

Cannot put into words how amazing this hike was. Completed last week of November. Really lucky and had almost no rain and 3 mostly sunny days. Although more incline we started at Routeburn shelter side. Noticed tours and guided hikes go the opposite direction so glad we started where we did. Took 11:30 shuttle from Queenstown to Shelter and were to “The flats” campsite within a couple of hours. Set up camp at the flats and did a late afternoon and evening side hike across the river which was amazing. Referred to as North Branch Track. Highly recommend not missing the “flats area”. 2nd night was spent at Mackenzie Hut area but we camped. Did evening little hike to “cracked rock” which is just a bit further up from the camping area. 3rd day we took the side route up to “key summit” and still had time to make 3:30 shuttle at the divide (note- we move pretty quickly). The summit was worth it but crowded. This area is close to “the divide” where as mentioned before the tourists and single day hikers get dropped. You can drink the water straight from the river or the lakes. Both camp sites had toilets and eating area with sinks with running water. You have to hike your trash out.

Antony Tasker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Nov 30 2018

A group of us did the track in a day, finished at the divide car park. Weather was good to us and we had a fantastic day, great track

Megan Folchick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 20 2018
Backpacking

One of my favorite hikes. I did this back in April and it was great! The huts and path are all well maintained and it was a nice little challenge. Not too difficult but challenging at times due to ice and snow

Carrie Paul
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 12 2018
Hiking

My first multi-day hike! I wasnt sure which of the great walks to do, I only had time for one and my friend who hiked New Zealand for 3 months highly recommended Routeburn. It was absolutely stunning and a definite highlight of my time in New Zealand. I did it right at the end of the season and really enjoyed it. I was lucky to find spots available in the huts, I booked it a month ahead of time and if I wasn't going alone there wouldn't have been enough free beds.

Danya Reinsfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 11 2018

Absolutely stunning vistas, we were incredibly lucky with the weather - 3 bluebird days to enjoy incredible scenery. A good challenging hike

Ellen Zwitser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 21 2018

Ran this track with dad in 1 day it was awesome :) Gotta love enjoying gods creation and the freshest air every

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