The Routeburn track is one of the nine of New Zealand’s great walks. It is a 32km one way track meandering its way over the rugged terrain between the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fjordland National Park.
The best time to tackle this trek is the end of October to the end of April and while it can be done outside of these months it wouldn’t be advised for the “Average Joe walker” due to difficulty with getting through mountain passes with heavy snowfall and the risk of avalanches. During the warmer seasons the cabins along the trail are manned with Rangers and cooking facilities are provided (gas cooking stoves) so you can carry less stuff and enjoy the lovely scenery that bit more.
The huts along the track need to be booked prior to arrival. The walk itself can take from between 2 days and 1 night (which is what we did it in) or usually at a more leisurely pace taking 3 days and 2 nights. You can book the huts here. If you are young and fit there would be no problem in doing it in one night but if you are happy to take your time and want to stop a little more I would advise going with 2 nights.
The majority of walkers start the track from the Queenstown side in a place called The Routeburn Shelter which is not far from Glenorchy but can also be started from the other side at The Divide which is closer to Te Anau.
A bus from Queenstown to the Routeburn Shelter can take up 2 hours while Quennstown to the Divide can take about 4 hours.
With the walk being one way another important thing is to to book transport to the start and at the end of the track depending on where you end up. The times for the transport are available here to help you with your planning.
With everything planned out all you have to do is to walk the 32km of this absolutely majestic NZ landscape. Traverse over mountain passes, pass by trickling streams and gushing waterfalls.
Embrace what is best about New Zealand!!