Routeburn Track – Day 1

After my rest day in Milford Sound, I got up early the next morning ready to catch the bus to Te Anau. Except I was hopping off part way there at The Divide: the start of the Routeburn track on this side of the mountains. This track is more like your classic track, where you can walk it from either side. There are also day walks you can do from either end – an option many will choose rather than walk the whole track.

There were several walks I could have combined with the Milford track. I chose this one because I had last walked it over 20 years ago. Back before it was a Great Walk (a set of walks in NZ that have been upgraded with better facilities, etc, for walkers). I was looking forward to walking this track as an adult and seeing what it was like now.

I chose to walk in the same direction as I had last time. Of course, it helped that I was coming from Milford Sound. The track started with a bit of a climb through forest.

I knew I had plenty of time to make it to the hut that night, so took the side trip to Key Summit.

Despite being overcast, the views were still worth the climb.

And the nature walk at the top was a beautiful place to stop and have a snack

After coming down from the summit, it wasn’t much further to Howden Hut. Here the track splits off to the Greenstone track. This is another track I walked over 20 years ago. I would have loved to again this time but didn’t have the time. I stopped for lunch near the lake, enjoying being in this beautiful place.

Then it was back into the forest

Past a beautiful big waterfall

Climbing further

Enjoying the views

Until eventually I arrived at Lake Mackenzie hut. Just in time for dinner. Where, instead of having your own bunk. You get to share with three others. Ok, so it’s the width of 4 matresses, but still. Luckily I only shared mine with 2 others. Unluckily one was a very loud snorer. All night long.

On the plus side, I met up with a friend from the Milford track who’d started the Routeburn the day before from the opposite side.

Routeburn track, day one on Flickr.

This post has been reconstructed from the web archives of my old blog. It was originally posted on 10th Feb 2014, and I walked the Routeburn Track in December 2013.

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