The Routeburn Track stretches over 32km and has some of the most stunning views and diverse flora of any of the Great walks in the Queenstown/Fiordland area.
Starting just beyond Glenorchy (a small township outside Queenstown) the track takes you through mountain beech, to climb to the alpine tussucks of the Routeburn Falls.
An overnight stop in either the Flats or Falls hut is as good as any of the hostels available in any town in NZ; providing kitchen facilities, running water, flush (western) toilets and bunk style rooms with mattresses and of course great similar minded people to chat to.
From here the track climbs to the Routeburn Saddle crossing and tracks along the Hollyford valley, alpine flowers and high altitude flora predominate the landscape as well as views to the sea on a clear day.
Continue on and below in the hanging valley is Lake Mackenie and the next hut for the night, Kea birds frequent this location and the crystal, clear lake is a photographers delight with the snow peaked mountains in the distance.
From here the track leads through green, mossy vegetation - and past numerous bubbling brooks and streams, you can quite imagine a pixey or fairy appearing along this magical section of the track before it opens up to extensive views across the valleys and into the Fiordland National Park.
Those with more time may wish to stay at the Howden Hut so you have time for the sidewalk up Key Summit before finally arriving at the Divide which is on the road to Milford Sound.
As you are so close, it's worth organising a trip to Milford Sound from your pick up at the Divide and enjoy a cruise on the sound before coaching back to Queenstown or Te Anau for a well earned shower and beer.
Kiwi Discovery offer packages for the independant hiker who wants to walk the track but have their transport and Milford Sound Cruise arranged in advance.
Maps and more information available on the website
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