Accommodation | Departure Dates | Getting There | Fitness Level | Prices

Routeburn Track Freedom Walk Itinerary

Report in to the Department of Conservation centre in Queenstown the day before your departure to check weather, sign the intentions book and collect your hut passes. Own accommodation in Queenstown or Glenorchy.

DAY 1: Routeburn Shelter, Routeburn Falls Hut

Walk 3-4 hours /9km ( 5 m )

The track starts at Routeburn shelter several kilometres past Glenorchy. The climb via Routeburn Flats to Routeburn Falls takes you through a rich mixed Beech forest as you slowly gain altitude from the valley floor.

Serpentine Slip, the Sump, Sugarloaf and Bridal Veil streams … plenty to see along this section.

DAY 2: Routeburn Falls, Mackenzie Hut

Walk 5-7 hours / 11 km ( 7 m )

Today is divided into three distinct sections: the climb to Routeburn Falls, the traverse around moraine and bluffs to the Harris Saddle and the descent to Lake Mackenzie Basin.

As the track starts to climb you leave the trees and enter the alpine world of daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss. At the Harris Saddle the views get even better if you climb Conical Hill with a 360 degree panorama.

The traverse along the Hollyford Face is for many people the most spectacular scenery of the whole track. With the Darran Mountains above and the Hollyford Valley far below, you are in big country.

DAY 3: Lake Mackenzie, The Divide

Walk 5-6 hours / 12km ( 7m )

Tramper approaches Routeburn Cairn

Routeburn Cairn

Via the Earland Falls to Howden Hut. At Key Summit take a short side trip for breathtaking views of the Hollyford, Greenstone and Eglington Valleys.

A gentle down hill walk to the Divide through silver beech forest.


Routeburn Falls and MacKenzie Huts are public DOC huts. Bookings are essential during summer. There is no power but there is lighting and heating in the main kitchen / dining area, flush toilets are in an outside ablution block, gas cooking facilities are provided during summer months. You will need to provide your own cooking equipment. Bunk rooms have communal sleeping with mattresses provided.

Departure Dates

The track is officially open ( Great Walks Season) from late October to late April. Outside of these dates there is no gas cooking available and no Hut Wardens and extreme winter conditions can occur at any time.

Getting There

The Routeburn Track starts  several kilometres beyond Glenorchy and finishes at the Divide on the main road between Te Anau and Milford Sound. Please note these points are over 300km apart by road. Track transport is not included in this Freedom Walk package but we are happy to help organise connections.

Fitness Level

A moderate level of fitness is required. To enjoy your walk you need to be able to walk for 4– 7 hours over 9 – 12 km ( 5 – 7 miles ) each day. The track is a mixture of natural bush and mountain tracks. You do need carry your own pack from lodge to lodge which is likely to be 7 to 12 kg.


Your Freedom Walk package includes 2 nights accommodation during the Great Walks season.

The price per person is NZ$125 including GST. We do not recommend the track for children under 10. Prices are valid to 1 November 2013.