Conquering the Routeburn 

When Barry broke the news a few weeks back that we’d be doing a multi day hike in the NewZealand wilderness I got very excited. I love being outdoors and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I love hoofing it about the place on foot so what better way to see some of New Zealand’s spectacular scenery than a few days of hiking?

The track he selected was the Routeburn, one of NZ’s Great Walks. Huts dotted along the way provide basic shelter for walkers but due to the route’s popularity, bookings for the huts are scarce. Barry managed to plan and book the entire thing so the hard work was done and all I had to do was show up! 

The hike was simply stunning… snow capped peaks, glacial lakes, stunning views of far off valleys meant we were never short on motivation to keep going; knowing something spectacular lies around the next corner kept us powering through each rocky hill. 

I felt extremely lucky every step of the way; lucky to be in such beautiful surroundings, lucky to have the health to complete such a walk, lucky to have had such quality time with the bro. 

The huts were great places altogether! As I just sat back and let Bar plan everything, I had no idea what to expect from the huts… would there be toilets? (Yes) Would there be toilets that flushed?? (Yes!) Did we need cooking equipment? (Kind of) And what about electricity for charging things? (Absolutely not) The huts were a more basic version of alpine huts I stayed in previously in Austria: bunks & a basic mattress provided as well as cooking stoves but we needed sleeping bags & cooking gear and then we were pretty much set. There was a real sense of comradeship in the huts with people either preparing to start or finishing up the route so we bonded with strangers over tales of what to expect on the route. The Routeburn was our common ground so striking up conversations with our bunk mates was far easier than in other circumstances. We played cards with an American spy, got the talk about the Birds & Bees from a Canadian High School biology teacher, salivated thinking about stroopwafles with a Dutch hiker, jumped in an ice cold lake with some Germans & drifted off to the magical sound of someone in a neighbouring bunk unashamedly passing gas to beat the band. 

The route itself was just view, after view. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…

KATIE

Bardy & I perched on a rock on the Routeburn
Barry legging it across a rope bridge
Early morning reflections on McKenzie Lake
Walking the Harris Saddle
Taking it all in on the Routeburn
Not a bad lunchtime view…
Crystal waters at McKenzie Lake
Routeburn Flats… our last stop!
One of the many incredible waterfalls
We made it! Posing at the Routeburn Flats hut.
Another beautiful lake & snowcapped mountain
… another incredible view!
Walkway through the forest

6 thoughts on “Conquering the Routeburn 

    1. Aw you’re going to love it! It’s even more beautiful in real life ☺️ My one piece of advice would be bring strong insect repellant for whilst you’re hanging around the huts… I got eaten alive by sandflies!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the advice. I had heard about sand flies but didn’t think they would be that bad. I’ll definitely bring strong repellant. I am so excited it’s ridiculous. I’m like a kid at christmas! Lol

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  1. Amazing.. sounds like the perfect ‘ Katie & Barry trip. Scenery there is just so great. Looking forward already to your pictures when you get to Able Tasman….love Dad x

    Liked by 1 person

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