Let’s go tramping Dunedin

Let's go tramping - D - Routerburn track family pic

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is situated in Mt Aspiring National Park. It offers spectacular mountain landscape views and an outdoor adventure in nature: ice-carved valleys clad with beech forest, waterfalls, and rugged mountains iced with snow. It is excellent for day trips as well as multi-day tramps, which is great for families or those with less time. The track is well-formed with gradual climbs, so it is feasible for those new to tramping.

Routeburn shelter to Routeburn flats hut

1.5 – 2.5 hours, 6.5 km

From the car park at the Routeburn shelter, cross a swing-bridge to the well-formed track that meanders through beautiful beech forest. You can follow the main track, or there is a short side trip option available (40 minutes to one hour nature walk) after 10 to 15 minutes walk from the start.  A marked turnoff on the left takes a winding path down from the main track onto the valley floor.  There are panels along the way that explain what is special about this forest. After meandering its way through this flat area for 10 – 15 minutes, the track rejoins the main Routeburn Track at Sugarloaf Stream. 

Once past Sugarloaf Stream, the track is a remnant of the old bridle path built in the 1870s, and climbs directly to Bridal Veil Stream. It then sidles above the Routeburn Gorge. A second swing-bridge takes you back across the Routeburn to open grassed flats. At the marked junction, turn right to Routeburn Flats Hut (20 bunks) or left to continue to Routeburn Falls Hut.

Routeburn Flats Hut to Routeburn Falls Hut

1 – 2 hours, 2.3 km

This is a steady climb through beech forest crossing two swing bridges, so it’s a good option for families who seek a little more challenge. A recent slip allows excellent views of the valley below. Care should be taken crossing this slip, especially after heavy rain. The Emily Creek Bridge is considered to be the halfway mark to Routeburn Falls Hut (48 bunks).

Huts on Routeburn Track

During the “great walk” season (23 October 2012 to 30 April 2012), a booking is required to stay in a hut. The hut fee is $54/night/adult, and children (17-years-old and under) are free but still require booking.  You can book online from the DOC website (www.doc.govt.nz) or call DOC Great Walks Booking Office (03-249-9514).

Facilities available in huts are: flush toilet, gas cookers, running water, fire place with fuel, mattresses, and a DOC ranger living besides each hut.  There is no cellular phone coverage on the track and in huts.  Further information can be obtained from the DOC website.

How to get there

From Queenstown, take the Glenorchy-Queenstown road to Glenorchy (48km, 45 minutes drive). In Glenorchy, you can take a break in a café, and get weather and track information in Glenorchy Holiday Park. From Glenorchy, take Glenorchy-Paradise road, then Priory Road, and Glenorchy-Routeburn Road to Routeburn Shelter (28km, 30 minutes drive in total).  There is a large car park and toilets near the track entrance.


Check track condition and weather forecast before your trip with the Department of Conservation Queenstown Regional Visitor Centre, level one, Outdoor Sports Building
36-38 Shotover Street, Queenstown.

Phone: 03-442-7935   Fax: 03-442-7934   E-mail: queenstownvc@doc.govt.nz

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