Question regarding Routeburn

  • Hey guys, I'm planning my first trip to New Zealand and had a question regarding the Routeburn track. As I understand it, most people hike from Routeburn shelter > Falls hut and spend the night there. Then Falls hut > Mackenzie hut, spend the night there. Finish on day 3. As I was trying to book a spot in the huts I realized that Mackenzie hut is sold out, no comping available either. So, my only option would be to do Falls hut > Lake Howden hut on day 2, spend the night there. Is this reasonable or are the distances too much, I would really appreciate hearing from somebody who has done this before. I am obviously not an experienced tramper by any means. Thanks! Ed
  • depends how well you cope with climbing and descending the several hundred metres of hills and covering 20km with a full pack.
  • It's very reasonable if you have the physical fitness. But it's a shame to go so fast, since it's stunningly beautiful through there, and it's best to have time to soak up the views. I did it in two days, and my girlfriend did the whole thing in one day, and we both agreed it was a waste of a gorgeous place, to zip through so quickly.
  • Yes, it can be done. If you look at the DOC brochure on the Routeburn ( ) and count up the hours they say its a minimum of 10 hours between Routeburn Shelter and Howden Hut. IMO even their minimum times are quite conservative. If you're slightly on the fit side then you should be able to walk all of that in about 8 hours if you don't go up Conical Hill... 10 hours if you do. Its up to you weather you want to blitz through, do it at some later time, or not do it at all :)
    This post has been edited by the author on 19 December 2017 at 09:14.
  • It is doable, we did the same with a group of 7 casual trampers. Just prepare a 10+ hours walking long day and will be late arrival to the hut. If you booked in, there will be bunks available no worries but might be upper level.
  • Sunrise is before 6am, so if you are prepared to start at dawn you should have plenty of daylight time.
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by edman
On 18 December 2017
Replies 5
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