The Routeburn Track is a 32km 3 day/2 night walk located between the head of Lake Wakatipu in Glenorchy and the Milford Road. A wide variety of native birds can be seen and heard along the track. The track passes through tussock grasslands, herb fields, beech forest and bog plant communities. Spectacular views of U-shaped and hanging valleys dominate the landscape as you pass numerous waterfalls and alpine lakes.
The track can be walked either way, starting from Glenorchy, close to Queenstown or from the Divide along the Milford Road, either way it can be reached by a scheduled bus.
As an additional option, on finishing the track at the Divide you can bus to Milford Sound and spend the night on the Milford Mariner.
Equipment: There are three Department of Conservation Great Walk huts on the track; Clinton, Mintaro and Dumpling. Hut facilities include: gas cookers, tables, benches, cold running water, lighting and heating in the main kitchen/dining hut, bunkrooms with mattresses, flush toilets and wash basins.
BYO pack with food and personal belongings Staff are stationed at each hut and are equipped with radios for use in emergencies and for weather forecasts.
Glenorchy holds the key for travellers who are keen to do New Zealand's Great Walks. The main access to the renowned Routeburn, Rees-Dart and Greenstone-Caples Tracks is through Glenorchy and then up the valley to the track entry points. The drive up Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy is worthwhile even for non-trampers, as ever-changing alpine views unfold with every turn of the road.
The tramping opportunities in this area are the finest in the country. The fame of the Routeburn is eclipsed only by the Milford Track.
The Routeburn crosses the Humboldt Range through spectacular scenery with dense forest, river flats, plunging waterfalls, and alpine lakes.
The Rees-Dart is the toughest tramp, crossing alpine passes and rough terrain. The Greenstone and Caples are gently graded valley walks for the most part.
Equipment: Different tracks have different facilities. Check out the Department of Conservation website for individual track info.
A horse ride from the Dart River stables at Glenorchy is a must and many equine extras for Lord of the Rings filming came from there.
Equipment: Bring sandfly repellant, long pants, a warm waterproof jacket, a flask of hot coffee/tea and as many rolls of film for your camera as you can carry!