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“Incredible views from the Key Summit”
Review of Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track
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Routeburn Track Private Guided Walk from Queenstown
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Full-Day Milford Sound Hiking Tour with Cruise
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Routeburn Explorer
Ranked #3 of 48 things to do in Te Anau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Great Walks season is October - April (see website for exact dates). Outside this period facilities are greatly reduced and there are additional safety hazards to consider. Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip. See website for the price of accommodation on this track.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Did part of the track, the highlight of the track. Key summit, 2.5 hrs, up and down total. Access from the Divide point well identified on the route between Te Anau and Milford Sound, do not miss.

1  Thank MontrealErt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2014

My brother, sister and I undertook this trip in 3 days, 2 nights from the Shelter to the Divide.

The first day walking was nice and easy, good bush track. The Routeball Falls Hut has some stunning scenery and I was very impressed with the hut overall. Flushing toilets, clean water supply (it's not treated but everyone drinks it), good sized kitchen.

The second day is a bit more challenging with some climbs and then a long steep descent down to Lake McKenzie Hut. The descent was deceptive and it's for this reason that i wouldn't recommend going from Divide to Shelter direction. I would hate to go up that hill, it was bad enough to come down. The track is quite rough in some places but still a track. We met people of varying age and fitness on this track so all you have to do is watch your step and take your time and you'll be fine! I'd suggest having walking poles for some extra stability going downhill if you are worried. The second hut was again equipped with the necessary facilities and well maintained. THe Hut wardens at both huts were a hoot (that is if you like a kiwi sense of humour). THey were happy to give advice (although they can't predict the weather only share the forecast!) and had some great stories to tell.

Third day was good but we had bad weather and alot of the waterfalls/streams that crossed the track had flooder so you definitely got your feet wet! Was also a long mud section that i'm unsure ever dries out. My trainers were okay (i wore trainers instead of hiking shoes because they are more comfortable for longer summer hikes) but the mud was quite bad in some places and this is the only part i thought hiking boots might have been a better choice.

Conical Hill
We ventured up conical hill. It's steep and took our moderately fit group about 1hr 20min. My knees were sore afterwards. The view was amazing and you could see down the Hollyford valley right out to sea however, you can also see this view further down the track towards Lake Mckenzie. Also, the wind was incredible. So cold. There is also snow (in the middle of summer people!) and you had to be pretty careful where you put your feet.
If you have the time....do it.

Short on time?
If you were short on time and fit and ambitious you can definitely do this in two days although you'l have slightly less time to enjoy the scenery. You can even do a one day hike up to Lake Harris/Harris Saddle (and then up Conical hill) from the Shelter if you had the energy but again, fitness, determination and good gear would be needed for this as you would be walking for a 12hour day but if you are short on time it's another option.

Weather...it's cold....always!
Pack light but pack for cold and rain. We went in the middle of summer and still had some low temperatures and needed thermals, soft shells, hats, gloves, good rain jacket etc.

3  Thank kiussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Paced but challenging. Great views over crystal clear turquoise waters. Friendly huts. Good distances between huts. Terrain generally good. Did the tramp at age 65 so no longer super fit. Just make sure not to overload your pack and you'll be fine!! Buy lightweight dried foods and the trick is not to pack too much food - that's always the killer. Also, it's worth investing in a lightweight sleeping bag depending what time of year you're doing the Walk. I did it in January so sleeping back warm down to +5C was fine. I also took silk liner in case I needed a bit extra.

Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

Most people walk this track in the other direction (finishing at the Divide) and spend 2 nights on the track. We started at the Divide and spent 3 nights on the track. That allowed us a short walk on the first day to Howden Hut with time to do the Key Summit side trip on the way. Key Summit is really worth it. It puts you right up high with great views plus an interesting nature walk. We found the walk quite a bit easier than the Milford Track (it is considerably shorter). We stayed at Mackenzie Lake hut and Routeburn Falls Hut. Camping are near Lake MacKenzie looked nice as did the Routeburn Flats Hut and camping area. Kids managed the walk easily carrying their own gear. Harris Saddle could be nasty in the wrong weather (even in summer) so take warm and weatherproof gear.

1  Thank grant-kathy-amy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

We did a one day tour which makes it a twenty km round trip but wow so crazily beautiful with some amazing views and great variety between rivers, plains, flora, trees, fauna and bird life. The route burn falls are also so amazing. Just love the walk. Definitely understand why it is a great walk.

Thank Shaun T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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