Linking Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park, this famous hike – one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks – offers an epic adventure in the Great Outdoors. At 32km long (19.8mi), hiking the Routeburn Track takes around 3 days. Popular among visitors and locals alike, the track is famous for its crystal-clear rivers, Middle-earth like Beech forests, awesome mountain vistas and impressive waterfalls.
See our range of walking itineraries for your New Zealand holiday.
Highlights of the Routeburn Track
Some of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine scenery can be found along the Routeburn – its no wonder that the area that the track runs through has been labeled a World Heritage Site. No matter the time of year, the Routeburn’s rivers, forests and waterfalls see plenty of impressive rainfall – the yearly average is around 7m (23ft). Many of the rivers are home to swing bridges, which are fun to cross on foot, and the start of the Routeburn Track offers a mix of beech forest, turquoise waterways and grassy river flats. Incredible waterfalls, alpine lakes and meadows begin to reveal themselves as the track winds its way into the high country. Once up into the mountains hikers are rewarded with incredible vistas of the Darran range and views out towards the Tasman Sea.
Getting started on the Routeburn Track
This is not a loop track, and the Routeburn can be walked in two different directions. The most popular starting point is the Routeburn Shelter, near the town of Glenorchy, a 20-minute drive from Queenstown. Alternatively, walkers have the option of starting from The Divide Shelter, which is on the Milford Road in the heart of Fiordland National Park. There are plenty of transport options for either end, and Department of Conservation huts dot the trail (you’ll need to book well in advance).
A Day Walk on the Routeburn Track with MoaTrek
It’s a common question for visitors – how can I experience a taste of the Routeburn, without having to walk the full distance? Enjoying a day walk on the Routeburn Track is easy when you’re touring New Zealand with MoaTrek. Our tours combine a compelling mix of activities like swimming with dolphins, sailing on a catamaran and meeting rare wildlife along with time to yourself. When we visit Queenstown, guests enjoy a day of free time to explore as they please. An awesome way to spend the day is to enjoy a guided Routeburn Track day walk. From Queenstown, you’ll journey to Glenorchy before walking through ancient Beech forests to the Routeburn Flats. The Routeburn Flats are surrounded by soaring, snow-capped mountains – don’t forget your camera! For guests on our 'Best of New Zealand 23 day Kakapo' itinerary or stretching your legs on the famous Routeburn Track on your free day in Queenstown is always a popular option. Sound like just what you're looking for for your 'Trip of a Lifetime' to New Zealand? Give us a call or Get your Free Brochure now. Cheers!
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