Routeburn Track

Safe Area

I’m safe in Te Anau right now after just getting back from four days on the Routeburn Track.  The Routeburn is one of New Zealand’s renowned “Great Walks”, and as such it has wide trails, huge huts, lots of people, and lots of signs telling the people where to go.

Since it is a one way hike with vast distances between the start and end points, I turned in my rental car, shipped one bag to Te Anau from Queenstown, and got a shuttle to the start. The trail itself is certainly spectacular, but it wasn’t necessarily THAT much better than all the other hikes I’ve been doing here. In fact some of my previous hikes were perhaps more amazing to me. Regardless, it was indeed a great walk, and I scored great weather yet again. I purposely booked two nights at the first hut (Routeburn Falls Hut), with the intent of doing some dayhiking exploring the second day, and that turned out to be a big advantage since the second day was pouring rain for the first half of the day. Worked out perfectly.

Harris Saddle

Harris Saddle, the highpoint of the walk, is definitely the highlight of the track, with big views of the rugged Darran Mountains to the west. I hiked up there for sunset and also for sunrise the following morning. With that lack of sleep, the Lake Mackenzie Hut was a perfect resting place for the third day. The hut is situated next to a beautiful green lake with pointy peaks behind, and I could have fun photographing nearby without having to venture too far. I slept like a log that night – even sleeping through all the snoring in the hut.

Now I’m in Te Anau, a small town on the shores of a large lake on the east side of the mountains. If Wanaka is the place to escape the bustle of Queenstown, then Te Anau would be the place to escape the bustle of Wanaka, if that makes any sense. As usual, I have no plans for the next few days… I’ll have to check the weather and figure something out.

By the way, do you like all my cheesy self-portraits I’ve been posting? Yeah, I know it’s dorky, but I’ve been having fun with the timer on my camera, and maybe someday when I’m an old geezer I’ll appreciate it.

4 thoughts on “Routeburn Track

  1. We all need some cheesy self-portraits once in a while. It’s a travelogue, not a gallery show. I like how your blog posts (not just the New Zealand ones) tell us something about the area and your trip, and therefore give more context to the fine-art shots we eventually see. I’m enjoying everything!

  2. It’s been awesome keeping up with your blog. My wife and I spent 7 weeks in New Zealand last year and loved our tramping. Your description of the Routeburn brings back very fond memories. I can’t wait to see the fine art shots to come! And the self-portraits are a cool way to get into your environment. I’ve always enjoyed having a few of those around along with the “real” shots of the trip when I return home!

  3. Love your “safe area” self portrait!!!

    You are lving the dream, man! Long Cloud!!!

    Get back here soon. Your country needs you!

    All Blacks rule, but we gots a new president AND Phillies won the world series AND your team is playing Sunday night football.

    There is a good fish and chips stand in TeAnau. Did you find it?

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