‚ÄčThe Routeburn Track is a popular 32 km track found in the South Island of New Zealand.The track is started by beginning on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, and completing on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, a few kilometers from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. 

The Department of Conservation characterizes this track as a Great Walk and maintains four cabins along the track: Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Falls Hut, Lake Mackenzie Hut, and Lake Howden Hut. The track covers two National Parks; the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Parks. Access to another tramping range called the Greenstone and Caples Tracks is from Lake Howden Hut close to The Divide.

Beginning at Routeburn Road end, the track crosses a suspension bridge and begins up the left hand side of the Routeburn River. The track crosses sugarloaf stream and the Bridal Veil waterfall and prompts a more extreme climb that goes over the chasm to Forge Flats. The valley opens up not long after this point, re-crosses the Routeburn and heads towards the Routeburn pads. Leaving the Routeburn Flats cottage, the track climbs relentlessly towards the Routeburn falls Hut, passing Eagle Bluff and Emily spring, to the site of a noteworthy slip in 1987. 

This slip has cleared the beech timberland from around the track bearing views to the Routeburn and also up the Routeburn towards Mt. Somnus  and Mt Momus. Past the Routeburn Falls hut, the track moves toward Lake Harris. Going under cliffs as it steers around Lake Harris there is a view up 'the valley of trolls' towards Lake Wilson and the Serpentine Range. 

Above Lake Harris, the track touches base at the Harris hut. From the seat, the track crosses southwards along Hollyford, before a drop to Lake Mackenzie Hut. From Lake Mackenzie, the track crosses a little valley before moving to the bushline. 

It then leads past the 'Plantation', an open lush area dabbed with ribbonwood trees, to the Earland Falls. The track proceeds down to Howden Hut. From here the track diverges towards the Greenstone and Caples Tracks which make a semi-circuit back towards Glenorchy, the Routeburn proceeding past Key Summit to The Divide street end and the finish of the track.

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Andrew Bergersen
Author: Andrew BergersenWebsite: https://www.newzealandexperience.co.nzEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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