The Routeburn Track was named one to the top eleven trails in the world by National Geographic Adventure magazine and is rated as one of New Zealand’s best Great Walks. This incredibly special place overlaps two National Parks; the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park, and forms part of the Te Wai Pounamu World Heritage area (‘Place of Greenstone’).
Whilst the Routeburn Track may be a shorter multi-day hike at 32km, it has some of the biggest scenery. With snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys, waterfalls, alpine lakes and enchanted forest heavy with iridescent green moss, the views are simply stunning.
The Routeburn Track is a 3 day (two night) walk with four comfortable well-equipped huts (Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Falls Hut, Lake Mackenzie Hut and Lake Howden Hut) and two campsites (Routeburn Flats and Lake Mackenzie).
In the summer
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Happy New Year 2018 Instagram captions season (November to April) you need to book huts and/or campsites on the track. You can buy hut tickets and make reservations at DOC visitor centres nationwide, or through their online booking service.
From May to October, you don’t need to book, but you must buy backcountry hut and campsite tickets before your walk, which can be purchased from any DOC visitor centre. During the winter season, there are reduced hut facilities and additional safety hazards to consider.
Transport to and from Routeburn Track
The Routeburn Track is not a loop track and can be walked in either direction, but is usually completed by starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, and finishing on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, several kilometres from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.
Whichever way you want to walk the track it is easy to arrange transport for each track end, including a full loop transport package departing Queenstown to either end of the Routeburn Track.
For a slightly longer and equally rewarding option combining the Routeburn Track with the Greenstone or Caples Tracks to form a very popular circular loop. Track end to track end transport is available, as well as a return to Queenstown.
Routeburn Return Day Trip
The Routeburn Track is excellent for day trips from Queenstown, with both independent and guided walk options available.
For an unguided day walk simply get our bus from Queenstown to Routeburn Shelter and return to Queenstown the same day.
Our bus departs central Queenstown at 8am. Enjoy a short stop in Glenorchy before arriving at the Routeburn Shelter at approximately 9:45am. The bus leaves the Routeburn Shelter to Queenstown at 2:15pm, and in peak times again at 5:30pm.
Routeburn Loop Package
Includes transport to and from the Routeburn Track, walking in either direction. Various departure times available.
East to West – Routeburn Shelter to The Divide
Queenstown to Routeburn Shelter bus departure time:
8am, 11:45am, 4:00pm
The Divide Shelter to Queenstown bus departure time:
West to East – The Divide to Routeburn Shelter
Queenstown to the Divide shelter bus departure times:
Routeburn Shelter to Queenstown bus departure times:
9:45am, 2:15pm and 5:30pm
Routeburn Loop with Milford Sound Cruise
Combine a multi day hike on the renowned Routeburn Track with a spectacular Milford Sound cruise. Only 45 minutes drive from the Divide Shelter at the Western end of the track, this is the ideal way to include an excursion to Milford Sound in your tramping itinerary.
This package is only available walking East to West. Queenstown to Routeburn Shelter bus departs 8:00am, 11:45am and 4:00pm
The Divide to Milford Sound departs 11:00 am
Milford Sound Cruise departs 12:45pm
Milford Sound to Queenstown departs at 2:30pm
Guided Walks of the Routeburn Track
Enjoy one of New Zealand’s best day walks with an expert guide amid some of the world’s most stunning scenery.
Walks can be specially tailored to your requirements and ability, exclusive half and full day hikes in small groups.