Discover one of the best New Zealand Great Walks by hiking a portion of the Routeburn Track, situated against the scenic Southern Alps in UNESCO-listed Mt Aspiring National Park. The Routeburn Track is a trekker’s paradise, teeming with snow-capped mountain peaks, ice-carved valleys and alpine lakes. A moderate level of fitness is required, as you’ll cover up to 13 miles (22 km) in about 7 hours.
After morning pickup from your hotel in Queenstown, you’ll travel by mini-coach to the starting point for your full-day guided hike. Set out at a moderate pace along a forest trail of centuries-old southern beech trees and podocarps, and learn about the unique flora of Mt Aspiring National Park.
Along the way, your guide shares information about the historical significance of the Routeburn Track and how it was used by the pre-European Maori people to search for valued greenstone. Keep an eye out for some of the park’s 59 bird species including the flightless takahe bird, the endangered mohua (yellowhead) bird and the kea — the world’s only alpine parrot.
Follow your guide across Routeburn Canyon, where you may dare to take a refreshing plunge into the river. You’ll take periodic breaks for provided snacks and lunch, and to check out scenic spots and cascades such as Routeburn Falls.
After finishing the lengthy day trek, relax on the return drive to Queenstown and feel a sense of accomplishment after tramping through some of New Zealand’s most stunning alpine landscapes.