This is held on the day prior to your walk departure date in the Ultimate Hikes Centre in Queenstown at 4.45pm. The briefing will explain the next few days of your walk, run through the packing checklist and show you the equipment you can borrow.
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Day 4 - Quintin Lodge to Mitre Peak Lodge
21km (13.5 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Track Terrain: Mainly flat well-graded track, however it is uneven ground with some rocky sections.
The track is well graded but it has some uneven and rocky patches. It’s the day of more waterfalls though, even if it’s not raining! Mackay Falls is first followed by Giants Gate where you stop for lunch. From here it’s a wide track to Sandfly Point and the boat across to Milford Sound and Mitre Peak Lodge. Enjoy the views of Mitre Peak and join your friends in the bar for a well-earned celebration.
Day 5 Milford Sound - Te Anau
By now the morning schedule will be routine – only this time you’ll have your belongings labelled to go in the bus, and returned borrowed gear. The bus will drop you at the wharf to board the Cruise on the famous Milford Sound. Enjoy waterfalls and wildlife and glimpse the Tasman Sea before returning to dry land and hopping back on the bus for the ride back to Te Anau.
In Te Anau, you will be directed to your accommodation for the night. The rest of your day and night is free to explore or relax ready for the next section of your hike - The Routeburn Track.
Please note: Dinner & breakfast the following morning are not included in the package.
Day 6 - Te Anau to Mackenzie Lodge
12km (7.5 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate.
Track Terrain: The track is reasonably smooth, with some steep rocky sections.
Your adventure begins again with a coach ride from Te Anau, after morning tea, to the Divide on the scenic Milford Road You will climb the wide and well formed track from the Divide to the optional ascent to Key Summit. Here you can sit among the alpine plants and gaze down three valleys from which water flows to three different coasts.
You then descend to Lake Howden hut for a hot drink and picnic lunch, before gradually climbing through lush silver beech forest to the base of Earland Falls. from there the descent into Mackenzie lodge is steep and rocky, and refreshments, a hot shower, three course meal and comfortable beds are waiting.
Day 7 - Mackenzie Lodge to Routeburn Falls
11 km (6.9 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Track Terrain: Uneven and steep in places, with a series of zig zags, then mostly flat, before heading downhill with some boardwalks and steps
You leave the ancient forest draped in moss and lichen and enter the world of daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss. At Ocean Peak Corner, you have a full vista of the Darran Mountains across the Hollyford Valley, which slices through Fiordland to the distant Tasman Sea at Martin's Bay. After lunch at the Harris Saddle, you can ascend Conical Hill for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. After walking around Lake Harris you descend into the upper basins of the Routeburn Valley, with the towering mountains above. Spend your final night at the beautifully located Routeburn Falls Lodge.
Day 8 - Routeburn Falls to Queenstown
9Km (5.7 miles)
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Track Terrain: Mostly wide and smooth with some rocky patches.
Take time to enjoy the dramatic landscape around the Falls, before descending to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats. The track shadows the river as it roars through a magnificent gorge. Gorge Flat is a great place to stop for lunch. From here it is a gentle walk through the beech forest to the Road End. A coach will take you back to Queenstown, stopping at the small town of Glenorchy on the way