Routeburn Track – The Best Walk in New Zealand

Routeburn Track Guided Walk Hike Trek

The Milford Track has often been talked up as being the greatest walk in New Zealand and even the world, but have you ever heard of the Routeburn Track? I had never heard of the Routeburn Track, until I started reading up on the Milford Track. The nine greatest walks in New Zealand included these two walks.    The Routeburn Track had great reviews. Some walkers even stated that it was better hike than the Milford Track.

While surfing the web, looking at options, I discovered that Ultimate Hikes offered a longer guided trek called “The Classic” which sounded like a spectacular walk. The classic trek included the Routeburn Track guided walk after completing the Milford Track guided walk. Would it be too exhausting doing both walks, one after the other? That was my only real concern. Walking “The Classic” would be a hard to turn down. Stuff it, if I was going to go to New Zealand and walk the Milford Track, I might as well do “The Classic” and see if it lived up to its reputation.

Ultimate Hikes welcomes us

After a bus journey with Ultimate Hikes from Queenstown, our group stopped at a small town for a break. We had some snacks and were asked a fun question. Who would you take an island if you could only take one person? The catch being that you couldn’t personally know them. One guy said a famous science-fiction book writer (I think), another said Dr. Jekyll (the famous killer) and I said Beyoncé, because she could sing for me. That’s the problem when you’re part of a tour group. You’ll be subjected to weird stuff. There’s more to come.

Routeburn Track Starting Point

Differences between the Routeburn Track and Milford Track.

Walking the 32 km Routeburn Track normally takes 3 days, with 2 nights spent on the track. This compares to 5 day/4 night walk on the Milford Track.

The Routeburn Track is considered more of an alpine walk with stunning mountain scenery to take in. If you love wide open space, then you’ll love this walk.

The Routeburn Track

Hiking Routeburn Track New Zealand


Passing by calm pools of water is so soothing. The water is freezing though.

Routeburn Track Lake


The spectacular waterfall below is known as Earland Falls. The 174 m (570 ft) cascade is really impressive.

Routeburn Track Waterfall


Routeburn Track Guided Walk Ultimate Hikes


Fiordland National Park Lake New Zealand


Three Pools Water Routeburn

The weather was hot, especially when wearing a marino wool shirt. I’m not sure why I did’t bring a few normal t-shirts.

Walking the Routeburn Track

Looking over the roofs of the Routeburn Falls Hut and the Humboldt Mountains in the distance.

Accomodation Huts Lodge Routeburn Track


Catching our desert. They don’t always make it easy for you in expensive lodges. You can see a pancake flying in the middle of the photo, just under the tap.

Catching Pancakes Routeburn Track

This guy below who worked at Google has a flying pancake headed his way. We each had to catch our own pancake. If the person failed, they went hungry for desert.

Ultimate Hikes Lodge Food

You can see the pancake flying just above this guy’s head. When my turn came, I caught the pancake, but half of it ended up dangling from the plate. Is this a weird thing to do?

Luckily they actually did give us another pancake if we dropped it, which many did. I was going to eat my partially destroyed pancake, but they gave me another one anyway. It was delicious.

Pyramid Mountain Routeburn Track

This section of the walk was the most beautiful in my opinion. It was a great day and I remember thinking I had to get a photo of myself taken.

Trecking the Routeburn Track Beautiful Walk


The rivers in the South Island of New Zealand are so pristine.

Routeburn Track River


Nature River Routeburn Track

The bridges over over rivers are magic.

Walking Bridge Routeburn Track New Zealand

I spent a bit of time relaxing at this special spot.

Relaxing Spot Routeburn Track