Routeburn Track (At least to Harris Saddle and back)

South Island NZ

Part of the Routeburn Great Walk in Otago, I only had a day and one car so I couldn't go to the end. Most fit walkers I talked to said you can easily do it in a day.


Getting there

Driving from Queenstown, head to Glenorchy. Continue you on the Rees Valley Road and look for the signs. You should eventually end up on a dirt track called Routeburn Road which takes you to the start. If doing the whole thing, you'll need to arrange pick up at the other side on the Te Anau Milford Highway.


I used the Routeburn track tramping guide I got for $1 from the Department of Conservation.

Route/Trail notes

It's a fairly well kept walk. Lot's of developed tracks, bridges and even concreted with steps in parts. However, it is absolutely truly beautiful. You follow a valley for the first few kilometres (one from Lord of the Rings) keeping the grassy creek to your right. Eventually you start heading up hills and mountain sides following well defined tracks. After the Routeburn Falls Hut the track is less well defined heading up. You have to keep looking for marked orange posts every 50 metres or so. They should be fairly visible from the track. As you go up over the falls, keep to the left of the little valley, past a few boulder fields and walking towards the peaks in front.

I only got to the Harris Saddle, which definitely passes the highest point of the trek at 1255 metres. Behind the saddle there's an adventurous scramble up to even higher points.


If doing the full thing/multi-day you will have to book ahead and pay for accomodation in any of the many huts.

GPS Tracks

  • No GPS available for this walk yet.


Walked the whole track, lucky we had good weather.

Deborah on 6 Feb, 2018

Slightly cold and wet, even for the middle of summer. Had to turn back half way up the scramble behind Harris Saddle as the weather was turning horrid.

But an absolutely amazing walk. Lots of people on it taking their time. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. I just wanted to stop every few seconds and take a picture.

Allan Allport on 4 Jan, 2009

A wonderful three day experience Varied terrain and scenery. Lots of rain on day one when we did it.

Lesley Chenoweth on Apr, 2005


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