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Routeburn Track - Key Summit Unguided Day Walk

We provide bus transport from Te Anau, you walk the 3 hour return walk to Key Summit, an Alpine Tarn high in the Fiordland Mountains. At Key Summit, snowy peaks, the vast forested Valleys and perfect Alpine gardens are all rewards for your efforts. There is a self guided alpine nature walk which showcases a range of native vegetation: beech forest, sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and bogs. Birdlife is prolific and tomtits, robins, wood pigeons and bellbirds are commonly seen.

This map displays a best estimate of the address provided.

Town / City
Te Anau
9.30am - 5pm
Address / Event
meeting place
Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, Lakefront Drive Te Anau
(Department of Conservation, Te Anau).
Show Map
This product is Weather Dependant, it is recommended that you contact the
supplier 24 hours prior to departure to re-confirm your departure details.

This activity is Bus Transport from Te Anau to the Divide (Routeburn Track) and return Divide to Te Anau on the same day.

9.45am sharp: Bus travels from Te Anau to The Divide (departing from the Department of Conservation) 3:15pm: Return bus travels from The Divide to Te Anau (arriving at DOC approx. 5pm).

Travellers will arrive at the Divide approx. 1 hour after departure time, allowing up to 4 hours of unguided walking time. While on the track you are responsible for your safety and need to be self sufficient and prepared for the day and bring appropriate clothing, food and footwear for the conditions and manage your time to ensure you are in the correct location to meet the bus back to Te Anau on time. Please note: The Routeburn Track is a remote location. There are no shops and no cellphone coverage

The initial stages of the Routeburn Track has a 400 metre accent through beech forest and continues to rise above the tree-line, arriving on the tussock clad tops of Key Summit to an alpine world of unique vegetation, tarns and 360 degree views.

The name Key Summit is derived from the fact the mountain lies at the source of three watersheds leading to three oceans - The Southern Ocean via the Eglinton and Waiau Rivers, the Tasman Sea via the Hollyford River and the Pacific Ocean via the Greenstone and the Clutha Rivers.
Subject to walking timings, you may also have time to visit Howden Hut and Lake Howden on your return journey


Medium level of fitness is recommended – the hike is up a mountain

The Routeburn Track from the Divide to Key Summit is a well formed hiking track; however walkers should still be aware of roots, streams and other obstacles.

Divide to Key Summit: 3-4 hours return
Divide to Howden Hut and Lake Howden: 3-4 hours return

Suggestions for What to Bring On Your Unguided Day Walk. You are responsible for your own safety.
• Waterproof jacket – never venture into Fiordland without it.
• Warm clothing – this is a mountainous environment and weather can change quickly. Hat and gloves are the best items to keep those extremities toasty.
• Sunscreen and sunhat – the sun can be fierce and the air is so pure little UV is absorbed.
• Camera – bring lots of film or make sure your memory card has plenty of space. You will take far too many photos.
• Lunch and snacks – there’s a great selection of cafes in Te Anau to purchase a tasty bite to eat and also two supermarkets to buy high energy snacks from.
• Water bottle – rivers and streams in Fiordland are good to drink, but you should always be stocked up before you leave.
• Bug spray – yep! You will meet the occasional sandfly or two…...
• Good walking shoes or boots – these should be comfortable and worn in. Parts of the track are uneven and trainers often don’t provide the ankle support needed.
• Day pack to carry your gear –this should be comfortable and waterproof or lined with plastic bags to keep everything dry.

It is recommended you check weather conditions prior to departure to ensure safety on the track


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