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Routeburn Track Independent Walk

32 km (about 11-15.5 hr walking)

Days
4

Pricing From
$580

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Fully booked from October 2017 through 1 April 2018.

If interested in a guided walk, please contact us.

 

Like the idea of having everything arranged for you but walking independently? Our unguided walking track package gives you more time to enjoy this stunning hiking track, letting you experience this New Zealand "Great Walk" to the full!

The Routeburn Track New Zealand Independent Walk traverses wild and scenic mountain country in Fiordland National Park, between the Hollyford and Dart valleys at the base on New Zealand's Southern Alps. Independent walkers stay in DOC huts, situated at Lake Howden, Lake Mackenzie and Routeburn Flats or Routeburn Falls. These huts must be booked.

If you are interested in a Routeburn Track Guided Walk, please contact us direct with dates, number of people and ages of any children, as we can forward further details.

Tour Grading: C

  • The Routeburn Track traverses both Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, part of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. 
  • The track complements rather than competes with the Milford Track.

Routeburn Track Independent Walk Profile

Cost per person (27 October 2017 - 30 April 2018)

Accommodation - all centrally located Details

Twin/Double Room

(applies only to pre-trip accommodation,
all huts are communal bunk rooms)
4 Day/4 Night without cruise
5 Day/5 Night with Milford Sound cruise
Nomads or Black Sheep Hostel
Backpackers
Adult
Youth (15-17yrs):
Child (10-14yrs):
NZ$580
NZ$415
NZ$395
NZ$720
NZ$535
NZ$475
Blue Peaks Lodge
Motel/Apartments
Adult
Youth (15-17yrs):
Child (10-14yrs):
NZ$635
NZ$475
NZ$455
NZ$805
NZ$605
NZ$545
Garden Court Suites & Apts
Motel/Apartments
Adult
Youth (15-17yrs):
Child (10-14yrs):
NZ$660
NZ$505
NZ$485
NZ$845
NZ$645
NZ$585
Copthorne Lakefront Resort
4 Star Hotel
Adult
Youth (15-17yrs):
Child (10-14yrs):
NZ$690
NZ$535
NZ$515
NZ$875
NZ$675
NZ$610
Mercure Grand St Moritz
5 Star Apartment Hotel
Adult
Youth (15-17yrs):
Child (10-14yrs):
NZ$740
NZ$585
NZ$570
NZ$920
NZ$720
NZ$670
Prices quoted are on a twin share basis, and a single supplement applies. 
Extra night's accommodation prices available on request.
Deposit of NZS150 per person is payable on booking; the balance must be paid no later than 28 days prior to travel date
Nomads or Black Sheep Hostel - Backpackers, short walk from town centre
Blue Peaks - Motel/Apartment, 5 mins walk to town
Garden Court - Motel/Apartment, 5 mins walk to town
Copthorne - 4 star Hotel, 5 mins walk to town
Mercure Grand St Moritz - 5 star apartment hotel, 5 mins to town
As demand for accommodation over the Xmas & New Year period is at a premium, an accommodation surcharge is likely to apply if accommodation is available.

Routeburn Falls

Humboldt Mountains from the Routeburn Track

Humboldt Mountains

Beech Forest on the Routeburn Track

Beech Forest

Routeburn Track Independent Walk, New Zealand

Routeburn Track Independent Walk, New Zealand

Routeburn Track Independent Walk, New Zealand

Routeburn Track Independent Walk, New Zealand

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Queenstown

Check in to your accommodation in Queenstown. At 3pm there is a pre-walk briefing at our Queenstown Office.

Day 2Queenstown to Routeburn Falls Hut3-4hrs 8.8km walk

A 9am transfer from Queenstown via Glenorchy to the beginning of the Routeburn Track. This well formed, easily graded track begins to climb steadily up the gorge after about half an hour through red, silver and mountain beech forest into the narrow Routeburn Gorge, then around the open, grassed Routeburn Flats. Past Sugarloaf Stream the track is the remnant of the old bridle path built in the 1870s.

From Routeburn Flats, there is a steady grade, through red beech forest, then silver and mountain beech and onto the cooler, higher slopes. The track re-enters the bush to the Routeburn Falls Hut.

Day 3Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake McKenzie Hut 6-7hrs 11.3km walk

The track rises steadily past waterfalls, alpine lakes and rock studded basins to the Route Burn at its outlet from Lake Harris and then across the Harris Saddle (1277 metres). This sub-alpine section of track is above the bush line and very exposed and can be extremely hazardous in adverse weather conditions. Be sure that you heed the advice of conservation staff in such conditions. Allow one to two hours for the climb. Sub-alpine herbs and cushion plants are a feature of the vegetation, please keep to the track, especially around Harris Saddle, to protect these very fragile plants in the vicinity.

On a fine day a short rewarding climb from the Harris Saddle up Conical Hill offers views of all points of the compass, the Hollyford Valley through to Lake Mckerrow, the Darran Mountains, Martins Bay and the Tasman Sea, and down the Routeburn. Allow 1 to 2 hours for the return trip.

Past the Harris Saddle emergency shelter and toilet the track drops steeply down a gully from the saddle and traverses along the exposed Hollyford face, before descending on a well-formed series of zigzags leading down to Lake Mackenzie Hut.

Day 4Lake Mackenzie Hut to Lake Howden Hut 5-6hrs 12.2 km walk

It's a leisurely walk this morning down to Howden Hut. The track climbs for about 30 minutes then sidles along the mountain face to Earland Falls and Howden Hut. It provides great views of the Hollyford Valley and passes through silver beech forest. Stop and listen for the bush robins, tomtits or the wood pigeons.

After lunch, climb the 919m Key Summit. This fragile alpine area has an amazing array of plants which flourish here, such as orchids, bog pines and bog daisies, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes. before arriving at the Divide to catch the 4.20pm coach back to Queenstown. (This option is the 4 day/4 night package).

Milford Sound Option

As above except accommodation is booked at Howden Hut for your 3rd night on the track. This option gives you more time to take in the views or enjoy a leisurely morning at Lake Mackenzie, or relax around Howden Hut with ample time the next morning to catch a bus to Milford Sound.

Day 5Lake Howden Hut to QueenstownAbout 7kms/2-3 hrs walking (includes Key Summit)

The track continues down past Lake Howden and through beech forests to finally join the Milford Road at the Divide.

Side Trip: Key Summit

This popular walk climbs above the bushline to an alpine wetland and, in good weather, offers magnificent views of the Darran Mountains and the Hollyford valley. A self-guided alpine nature walk passes a range of native vegetation: beech forest, subalpine shrublands and alpine tarnsand bogs. Birdlife is prolific and tomtits, robins, New Zealand pigeons/kererū and bellbirds/korimako are commonly seen.

At the Divide you will be picked up and taken onto Milford Sound where you board a cruise to take in the sights of the world famous Milford Sound and Mitre Peak. Complementary tea and coffee and a licensed bar are on board the purpose built vessel and a picnic lunch is included in your package so you have fresh sandwiches after your walking adventure.

After your Milford Sound cruise, your luxury coach returns to Queenstown with a short comfort stop in Te Anau. Reclining seats and ample leg room mean it's hard to stay awake on the journey home. You will arrive back at your hotel in Queenstown early evening for a well deserved shower and choice of dining options!

Note: Extra night's accommodation are available in Queenstown before and after your tour, prices are available on request.

Total 33kms Walking

Cost per person

2017-2018: From NZ$580

See the Overview for full pricing details.

Deposit of NZS150 per person is payable on booking; the balance must be paid no later than 28 days prior to travel date

 

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellations after a confirmed booking is made will incur a fee of $150 per person.
  • Any amendments to a confirmed booking will incur a $60 fee per person plus any additional charges imposed by the Department of Conservation or accommodation.
  • Any bookings cancelled within 7-28 days prior to trip departure may incur a fee.
  • Cancellations received 7 days or less prior to trip departure are non-refundable.
  • We reserve the right to amend, cancel, or postpone services due to weather, road conditions and/or at our own discretion.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Queenstown

Check in to your accommodation in Queenstown. At 3pm there is a pre-walk briefing at our Queenstown Office.

Day 2Queenstown to Routeburn Falls Hut3-4hrs 8.8km walk

A 9am transfer from Queenstown via Glenorchy to the beginning of the Routeburn Track. This well formed, easily graded track begins to climb steadily up the gorge after about half an hour through red, silver and mountain beech forest into the narrow Routeburn Gorge, then around the open, grassed Routeburn Flats. Past Sugarloaf Stream the track is the remnant of the old bridle path built in the 1870s.

From Routeburn Flats, there is a steady grade, through red beech forest, then silver and mountain beech and onto the cooler, higher slopes. The track re-enters the bush to the Routeburn Falls Hut.

Day 3Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake McKenzie Hut 6-7hrs 11.3km walk

The track rises steadily past waterfalls, alpine lakes and rock studded basins to the Route Burn at its outlet from Lake Harris and then across the Harris Saddle (1277 metres). This sub-alpine section of track is above the bush line and very exposed and can be extremely hazardous in adverse weather conditions. Be sure that you heed the advice of conservation staff in such conditions. Allow one to two hours for the climb. Sub-alpine herbs and cushion plants are a feature of the vegetation, please keep to the track, especially around Harris Saddle, to protect these very fragile plants in the vicinity.

On a fine day a short rewarding climb from the Harris Saddle up Conical Hill offers views of all points of the compass, the Hollyford Valley through to Lake Mckerrow, the Darran Mountains, Martins Bay and the Tasman Sea, and down the Routeburn. Allow 1 to 2 hours for the return trip.

Past the Harris Saddle emergency shelter and toilet the track drops steeply down a gully from the saddle and traverses along the exposed Hollyford face, before descending on a well-formed series of zigzags leading down to Lake Mackenzie Hut.

Day 4Lake Mackenzie Hut to Lake Howden Hut 5-6hrs 12.2 km walk

It's a leisurely walk this morning down to Howden Hut. The track climbs for about 30 minutes then sidles along the mountain face to Earland Falls and Howden Hut. It provides great views of the Hollyford Valley and passes through silver beech forest. Stop and listen for the bush robins, tomtits or the wood pigeons.

After lunch, climb the 919m Key Summit. This fragile alpine area has an amazing array of plants which flourish here, such as orchids, bog pines and bog daisies, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes. before arriving at the Divide to catch the 4.20pm coach back to Queenstown. (This option is the 4 day/4 night package).

Milford Sound Option

As above except accommodation is booked at Howden Hut for your 3rd night on the track. This option gives you more time to take in the views or enjoy a leisurely morning at Lake Mackenzie, or relax around Howden Hut with ample time the next morning to catch a bus to Milford Sound.

Day 5Lake Howden Hut to QueenstownAbout 7kms/2-3 hrs walking (includes Key Summit)

The track continues down past Lake Howden and through beech forests to finally join the Milford Road at the Divide.

Side Trip: Key Summit

This popular walk climbs above the bushline to an alpine wetland and, in good weather, offers magnificent views of the Darran Mountains and the Hollyford valley. A self-guided alpine nature walk passes a range of native vegetation: beech forest, subalpine shrublands and alpine tarnsand bogs. Birdlife is prolific and tomtits, robins, New Zealand pigeons/kererū and bellbirds/korimako are commonly seen.

At the Divide you will be picked up and taken onto Milford Sound where you board a cruise to take in the sights of the world famous Milford Sound and Mitre Peak. Complementary tea and coffee and a licensed bar are on board the purpose built vessel and a picnic lunch is included in your package so you have fresh sandwiches after your walking adventure.

After your Milford Sound cruise, your luxury coach returns to Queenstown with a short comfort stop in Te Anau. Reclining seats and ample leg room mean it's hard to stay awake on the journey home. You will arrive back at your hotel in Queenstown early evening for a well deserved shower and choice of dining options!

Note: Extra night's accommodation are available in Queenstown before and after your tour, prices are available on request.

Total 33kms Walking

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