Routeburn Track in the Fog

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February 28th 2011
Published: March 11th 2011
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From Mt Cook we drove to Queenstown where we began our first attempt at one of New Zealand’s 10 “Great Walks”. The Great Walks aren’t exactly easy on the budget compared to other tracks in the country, but being the hikers that we are we figured we had to see what all the fuss is about.

Our first day we had beautiful weather and it was also a fairly short day to get to Routeburn Flats. Unfortunately most of the day was spent hiking in the trees with no views, but the forest and river are quite nice. The next day was a long day where we hiked past Routeburn Falls up and over the Harris Saddle and then back down to Lake Mackenzie. This is meant to be the best part of the track where you get above the tree line and have grand views of the mountains around. The weather had other ideas and our views were obscured by thick fog. Still we had a good time even if we couldn’t see much. The final day we hiked out from Lake Mackenzie in the rain and fog once again. So generally we can’t say that we really saw Routeburn at its best, but it was great to get out for a multi-day backcountry trip. A couple of days later we tried to salvage the trip by doing a day hike up to Key Summit but were foiled by fog again. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be.

One unexpected cost was the transport. The track starts near Queenstown and finishes at the Milford road north of Te Anau. Transport cost us $110 per person to get us to the start of the track and return us to Queenstown.

Additional photos below
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At lake Mackenzie

11th March 2011

Wow - what a panoramic! I could sit and stare at that for ages... well I just did!
11th March 2011

Still following your blogs...
This bought back memories for me - did the Routeburn about 20 years ago! Nice photos in spite of the fog. No food photos in this one though! I miss them!

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