Follow the Routeburn Track in New Zealand
In 2005 the National Geographic Adventure Magazine placed the Routeburn Track on their list of eleven top trails in the world and it is recognized by the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a Great Walk. As the track covers the South Island, hikers will begin their journey at the Southern Alps (on the Northern side of Lake Wakatipu) and complete the track at Te Anau, which is located near the Homer tunnel. Due to the distance the trail covers, there are overnight huts along the way, and a few safety precautions hikers are advised to follow.
What makes the Routeburn Track such a wonderful experience is the fact that is runs through no less than two massive national parks, namely the Fiordland National Park and the Mount Aspiring National Park. The border between the two national parks is Harris Saddle, and there is an emergency hut located here. The other huts include Howden Hut, Routeburn Flats Hut, Mackenzie Hut and Routeburn Falls Hut. Explorers on the Routeburn Track will notice the changes in landscapes, forests, ground covering and animal life, as with areas such as Milford Sound region which receives more rainfall than the eastern region and where mostly mountain beech and New Zealand red beech can be seen.
Hikers tackling the Routeburn Track must just remember that camping is allowed, but if they prefer a hut, they will have to book these in advance. Day hikers are also invited to enjoy the Routeburn Track. Hikers of a lower fitness level are recommended to rest overnight, and a reasonable fitness level is needed to navigate the terrain. Hikers should ensure they have the necessary survival kit with them at all times, including enough food, water, a medical aid kit, waterproof clothing (or clothing that dries quickly), comfortable boots, sunglasses and an extra set of dry clothing.
Some of the track has uneven ground and even though there is a swing bridge, some of the waterways do not feature bridges and hikers will have to walk through the streams. Hikers can look forward to peaks that offer panoramic views, breathtaking waterfalls, gorges, valleys and lakes, making the Routeburn Track one of the most unforgettable and picturesque trails hikers will ever experience.