Safety information you should consider before commencing your trip.

May to late October – winter season

Special skills and preparation are required to complete the Routeburn Track in winter. Facilities are greatly reduced. There is increased risk from snow, ice, avalanche terrain and sub-zero temperatures.

There is no cellphone coverage.

Track not recommended for young children

Track is not recommended for children under the age of 10, due to the exposed mountainous environment and often adverse weather conditions.

There are steep drop-offs

There are steep drop-offs along sections of the whole track. The track is well marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough.

Weather conditions

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 Routeburn Track weather forecast – NIWA website.

Avalanche risk

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.

Take precautions not to spread didymo 

Didymo has been found at locations along the Routeburn Track, including at Potters Creek, Deadman’s Creek, and No Name Creek. These creeks are between Harris Saddle and Lake Mackenzie.

All visitors should take precautions when crossing streams to avoid transporting didymo to other areas along the Routeburn Track.  

Use the Check, Clean Dry guidelines to ensure didymo is not spread to further pristine creeks. Do not take water from these areas and avoid filling water bottles here.

More information about preventing the spread of freshwater pests in Fiordland National Park.

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