Routeburn Track – Queenstown, New Zealand

So allow me preface this evaluate by declaring I am not a hiker, I really don’t commonly do hikes, not because my youth when just about every yr my parents would consider us to the Lake District in Cumbria in the Uk for an once-a-year summer getaway.

Staying forced to walk up mountains, swim in freezing lakes and carry a pack on my back for my holiday seasons when my good friends have been in Spain never ever left me with any drive to go hiking as an adult. But with my son reaching 14 this calendar year and promptly dropping curiosity in paying any time with me when one of the Dads from college implies we acquire 5 dads and 5 of our boys on 1 last hoorah throughout the mountains of New Zealand just south of Queenstown (someplace I have beloved checking out prior to) I jumped at the chance.

We had been booked in for the Easter weekend, it was a 3 days and two evenings hike as a result of Top Hikes which is the only operator to do overnight hikes. You get to stay in Non-public Lodges with showers, a 3-system food and some renowned NZ Pinot if you want, which sounded good to me.

The temperature could be something from large rain and freezing to blazing sunshine, you carried all your clothes and h2o but every little thing else was supplied and you typically experienced 3 guides to just take you by assorted terrain in excess of 32K’s and climbing up and down the mountains to a leading peak of 1600m, the issue amount was viewed as ‘moderate’.

Possessing arrived at Queenstown the day before we left we experienced our briefing in Queenstown which was pretty simple and took the boys out to supper prior to heading to bed for a 6am start. The weather conditions looked epic so we were loaded with hope. The other wonderful advantage was no cellular phone signal at all through the entire vacation, and this soon disappeared as we boarded the bus to take us to Te Anau where by we would start our walk via the divide.

This was about a 2-hour bus experience. On arrival it was time to check out your equipment, select up a packed lunch they had provided and start out up the first steep aspect of the track. We ended up travelling with about 20 other people outside of our group. 

The weather conditions looked slightly soaked, but it was day 1, who cares, the first climb was steep, not tricky up as a result of Silver Beech forest ahead of you received to Important Summit. It was here that we figured out just about every working day there is an extra hike you can do which may possibly be much more difficult, but would also acquire you to some epic views and insert to the experience, right here they allow you drop your pack and head up to the Summit.

Till now we experienced been in the tree line so had not definitely appreciated the sights, when we received up right here, very well wow! I have to say it took my breath absent, the youthful boys had forged in advance early but we caught them up listed here and even they seemed impressed (not an straightforward point to do to adolescents). 360 degrees, it did not even seem actual, the sky had turned blue, and the sun was out, it was a good omen.

Routeburn Track Queenstown New Zealand

Right after some images, the boys headed off without us and we headed back to our pack to satisfy way back again down at Lake Howden for lunch. I will not checklist all the food items but I have to say here and now, the meals on the excursion was so great, new develop, plenty of it, and the dinners in the lodge even better, not at the time was I hungry or not excited to see what they would give us subsequent. 

Right after lunch it was the afternoon session to fulfill at Mackenzie Lodge a few hrs afterwards which would be our very first overnight end, the preliminary section was very challenging going, it was steep and you walked by large roots and trees like you have been getting section in a Lord of the Rings movie, it blows your brain going for walks by spots like this that you only have only at any time witnessed in movies.

About halfway as a result of the afternoon, you appear up to this epic waterfall called Earland Falls (74m superior), where by you can prevent for a drink, but the spray from the falls was so damp we pushed on, also no sign of the boys. They were very well forward of us once more. The descent from below was slippery, nevertheless felt like a film scene but before long (not pretty shortly ample) you reach Mackenzie Lodge, and you are prepared for a shower and you are completely ready for some foods.

There is a lake at the lodge, the boys come to a decision to get in, this lasts about 11 seconds ahead of they realise how chilly it is, and then back for a different shower. The lodges are following amount, so a great deal far better than I could have imagined, we identified the boys, all got completely ready for evening meal and then headed in for a substantial feed, adopted by a couple of wines and then mattress, soaked dresses in the drying room and everybody was shattered, absolutely everyone asleep by 10pm as the generators are turned off and the lodge blacks out. The boys had liked it, they admitted it was 100 moments improved than they experienced assumed, they had not skipped their telephones and they have been cooked, working day 1 was a resounding success.

1713836353 720 Routeburn Track Queenstown New Zealand

Anything I had not mentioned is the guides are astounding, their information, their persistence, normally one particular at the front, one particular in the middle and a single at the back to make sure safety. The group typically spreads out as a lot as 2-3 several hours by way of the day with the various rate of diverse groups. They make this journey very extremely exclusive.

Day 2 starts off at about 7am, you will need to get up, shower, and make your individual packed lunch from all the objects in the kitchen area, which is ridiculous b the way, I felt like I experienced walked into an episode of Masterchef with all the decisions and then sit down for a continental or sizzling breakfast. Everyone is out front at 9am to commence day 2, some extra sore than others, a quick team photograph by the lake and then off we go. The boys are in the groove and have built it their mission to make guaranteed they are at the front of the group at all occasions, we make your mind up to go away them to it.

The ascent is a ton of zig-zags and tremendous steep in places, also not a enormous keep track of right on the facet of the mountain, after about an hour of fantastic heading you reach a mini peak and the see of the Darran Mountains throughout the Hollyford Valley, and to the distant Tasman Sea at Martin’s Bay is epic.

You then traverse the Hollyford Face for about 4.5km, about 2 several hours for this element, a totally distinct terrain to the working day right before, and fairly quick although long, the views the full way just take your breath absent prior to you arrive at the Harris Shelter for lunch. Right here is a further optional hike, whilst this is the hardest climb you will do the entire time if you choose to just take it on.

The boys are completely ready to go as we are also, this is a pretty steep scramble up and down, it will take an further 2.5 hrs and you are on your toes and fingertips climbing at the leading, seeking to avoid the snow, sure there was still snow below dotted all over making it a tiny a lot more interesting, to say the minimum, but the see at the best was the emphasize for me the whole journey. It was not straightforward, but having up to the prime and having a snowball combat when you had been in a t-shirt 40 minutes prior to is very well really worth it. The temperature was yet again best so you could see out to Martins Bay on the West Coast. 

1713836354 195 Routeburn Track Queenstown New Zealand

From right here at the best stage, the area of observe is narrow with some fall-offs, and you descend into the Routeburn Valley skirting the Routeburn Falls, now once again a fully various truly feel, wide open plains with no trees just grass, this component of the observe is graded with boardwalks, there have also been a lot of extraordinary ropes bridges along the way that actually add to the drama, but all are incredibly properly taken care of and you under no circumstances come to feel unsafe.

As you get to the Falls you discover Routeburn Falls Lodge, a very welcome sight, an extraordinary lodge, all over again showers, foods, and wine. Again this time we all headed into the falls which have been simply just freezing but such an experience to stand underneath them, albeit for not incredibly long. Very same regime for the night and I experience so comfortable, so taken away from the worry of serious lifetime it is really empowering. 

Day 3 is a great deal less complicated they convey to us, the keep track of descends a steep rocky area with some major actions down, you require to cross some modest bridges and an open up section fashioned by a tree avalanche in 1994 that presents amazing views of Routeburn Flats beneath.

When via this segment, the rest is a breeze, you achieve the Flats and yet again an further selection is open to you which we all do, we go down to the river, skim some stones and then head into the Pink Beech forest nevertheless once more displaying us absolutely various terrain. You head by the forest, substantial trees, and again the solar in the sky is blue, shortly later on you cross a substantial suspension bridge and get there at the Routeburn Shelter and the conclusion of the Routeburn Track. 

WOW, what a vacation, the bus is there to consider us the 45-minute excursion back with a shorter quit off at the pub in Glenorchy right before heading back again to Queenstown. We strike the cellular phone reception again and the full bus erupts with beeping and notifications and everyone’s head goes down to their telephones, but getting not looked at the cell phone for 3 times has been remarkable.

We fly out the subsequent working day so we head to our resort just before all likely to the Botswana Butchery for supper. What a excursion, the time with the boys was tremendous unique. The Ultimate Hikes organization is outstanding, the guides were epic, I do not think I could have had a much better time. If you have even remotely imagined about undertaking a thing like this I hugely advise it, there are persons of all ages from a youthful 8 many years previous up to a couple of in their 70’s (who were being some of the fittest I may possibly insert).

Related Posts