Introduction

Find out about the Routeburn Track between 2 November 2020 to 6 December 2020.

Routeburn Track is partially open

From 2 November 2020 to 6 December 2020, the section from Lake Mackenzie Hut to The Divide is closed due to significant storm damage.

While the track is repaired, you can only do a return walk from Routeburn Shelter and go as far as Lake Mackenzie Hut. You can stay in any huts/campsites between Routeburn Shelter and Lake Mackenzie, in any order for a maximum of 2 nights.

Bookings are required and will open on Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 9:30 am. The booking system for this period (huts/campsites booking system) will be different to the booking system for the period when the track is fully open (Great Walks booking system). You’ll need to create an account on the huts/campsites system, even if you already have an account on the Great Walks system. It's best to do this before making a booking.

  • Track is well marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough.
  • Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur.
  • DOC manages avalanche risk and sections of the track may be closed if there is avalanche risk.
  • Track is not recommended for children under the age of 10, due to the exposed  mountainous environment and often adverse weather conditions.

On this page:

Highlights

  • Wind through the Routeburn gorge along the crystal-clear Route Burn (river).
  • Follow the cascade of Routeburn Falls.
  • Take in spectacular views of the Hollyford valley and Darren Mountains.
  • Walk right past Earland Falls (174 m).

Explore on Google Street ViewWatch videos

routeburn-river-565.jpg
Routeburn River
Image: Keri Moyle ©

Walking options

From 2 November 2020 to 6 December 2020, you can only walk from Routeburn Shelter as far as Lake Mackenzie Hut.

Places to stay

There are 3 huts and 2 campsites between Routeburn Shelter and Lake Mackenzie. These must be booked well in advance.

Hut facilities

Huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, toilets, basic cooking facilities, solar-powered lighting and cold running water. A DOC ranger is in residence. Huts do not have food, cooking utensils, showers or bedding.

Campsite facilities

Campsites have basic facilities including toilets, sinks and a water supply. Routeburn campsites have picnic tables and cooking shelters. Campers can't use hut facilities.

Fees and bookings

Huts

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $65 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $65 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $32.50 per person, per night
Campsites

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $20 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $20 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $10 per person, per night

* New Zealand rates:

  • "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" means those:
    • who hold a residence class, student or work visa; and
    • who have lived in New Zealand for six of the previous 12 months; and
    • for whom New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.
  • Proof of eligibility will be required for the New Zealand rate - see acceptable eligibility proof.
Discounts

A 10% discount is available to members, staff and instructors of the following organisations, who also hold a valid 12 month Backcountry Hut Pass: NZ Mountain Safety Council; NZ Federated Mountain Clubs; NZ Deer Stalkers Association; NZ Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR); Scouts New Zealand; GirlGuiding NZ.

Backcountry Hut Passes can be used. To pay with your Backcountry Hut Pass, create/update your account on our huts/campsite booking system. Under 'Apply for a discount', select 'Backcountry Hut Pass Holder' and upload a scan of your pass. Once we've verified your pass, it will automatically be applied when you make a booking.

Bookings

Huts and campsites must be booked in advance. Bookings will open on Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 9:30 am. Book online.

Getting there

From 2 November 2020 to 6 December 2020, Routeburn Track can only be accessed from the Routeburn Shelter end, 25 km from Glenorchy along a partially unsealed road. There is no access from The Divide end, near Te Anau.

Destination Fiordland and Destination Queenstown have information about transport operators.

What to take

To have a safe and enjoyable trip, it's essential you have the appropriate clothing and equipment. Find out what to take.

Know before you go

There are steep drop-off along sections of the whole track.

Weather conditions can change quickly in any season. Fiordland National Park experiences very high rainfall (up to 9000  mm per year) and weather conditions can change quickly in any season. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. Be prepared for all conditions. Check the Fiordland National Park weather forecast (MetService website).

The risk of avalanche can extend into December. During the Great Walk season, DOC manages avalanche risk and sections of the track maybe closed if there is avalanche hazard.

There is no cellphone coverage.

Your safety is your responsibility. Know the Outdoor Safety Code - 5 simple rules to ensure you have a great trip and make it home.

Track description

Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats Hut

Time: 1 hr 30 min – 2 hr 30 min
Distance: 7.5 km

The track begins at Routeburn Shelter, gently winding alongside the crystal-clear Route Burn (river). After passing Sugarloaf Stream, you’ll climb to Bridal Veil Waterfall and continue above the gorge. A swing bridge leads to open grassed flats, and the Routeburn Flats Hut and Campsite.

Route Burn on Google Street View

Routeburn Flats Hut to Routeburn Falls Hut

Time: 1 – 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 2.3 km

The track climbs steadily through stunning beech forest, providing views of the Humboldt Mountains. End the day at Routeburn Falls Hut, on the edge of the bushline and close to the impressive Routeburn Falls cascade.

Routeburn Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut

Time: 4 hr 30 min – 6 hr
Distance: 11.3 km

Climb steadily up the valley, through wetlands and tussock-covered flats, before sidling along the bluffs above Lake Harris to reach the highest point on the track at Harris Saddle/TarahakaWhakatipu (1,255 m).

The track then descends and traverses along the exposed Hollyford Face, with expansive views over the Darran Mountains. This section of the track is well-known for its impressive array of alpine plants. A steady descent leads to Lake Mackenzie Hut, set beside the enchanting Lake Mackenzie.

Darren Mountains on Google Street View

Side trip: Conical Hill

Time: 1 hr 30 min – 2 hr return

A short, steep climb from the Harris Saddle up Conical Hill gives superb views of the Hollyford Valley through to Lake McKerrow and beyond to Martins Bay and the Tasman Sea.

Be aware:

  • Snow and ice can sometimes make this trip hazardous early and late into the Great Walks season.
  • Due to rock fall danger, observe the no stopping zones along this track.
Mackenzie Hut to The Divide

From 2 November 2020 to 6 December 2020, this section is closed. Return to Routeburn Shelter via the same track.


osc-summer-565.jpg

Back to top