Bushwalking Trip Plan | Routeburn Track, New Zealand | Pt 3

Previously I looked at how to plan a walk to the  Routeburn Track in the South Island of New Zealand from Adelaide, South Australia, how to search the internet for information, whether November is suitable from a weather perspective,  reviewed commercial packages, and costed the logistics.

The next stage in tramping the Routeburn Track will involve locating relevant maps, and preparing a detailed route plan.


High quality image files may be downloaded free of charge from Land Information NZ (LINZ) or paper copies purchased from map retailers. 

  • geoTIFF (138 MB) (no margins, suitable for mapping software, have calibration data embedded)
  • TIFF (79 MB) ( full paper map including legend)
  • Topo50 map legend (858KB) (Additional to the Topo50 GeoTIFF)
  • Important Topo50 information

The relevant Topo50 (1:50K) Maps are CB09 Hollyford, CB10 Glenorchy and this whole area is covered by Topo250 Te Anau #25 (1:250K)

The relevant ones from the old series of maps, now replaced by Topo50 were Map 260 D40 / C40 Milford, Map 260 D41 Eglinton, Map 260 E40 Earnslaw

Routeburn Track Map download ( from Routeburn Track Independent Tramping Southland/Otago – 2010/2011 season – DOC) 

Routeburn Track Route


Most trampers seem to do the walk in 3 days, with 2 nights in one of the DOC huts, but it would be feasible to do it in one day, if you were fit, travelling light and admiring the scenery was not a high priority.

One Way
Time 2 – 3 days
From Routeburn Shelter, head of Lake Wakatipu
To The Divide, Milford Te Anau Road
Distance 39 km
Huts 4 Great Walks Huts, 2 Great Walks Campsites
Grade medium
Highest Point
1277m, Harris Saddle
Lowest Point 450m
Maps Topo50 (LINZ) CB09, CB10; Topo250 25                (Source: Backcountry NZ)

Detailed track notes are provided on the Backcountry NZ website

Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats
8 km
2.5 hours (2)
Flats to Routeburn Falls
3 km
1.5 hrs (1)
Routeburn Falls to Harris Saddle
5 km
2 hrs (1.5)
Harris Saddle to Lake McKensie
10 km
3 hrs (3.5)
Lake McKenzie to Lake Howden
10 km
3 hrs ( 3.5)
Lake Howden to Divide

(Source: Backcountry NZ)

3 km
1 hr ( 1.5 hr)


I have added all my bookmarks to Delicious, the  social bookmarking site, where you can see my Routeburn tagged bookmarks and those of others. Filter the bookmarks by tag eg “tracknotes”, search by tagger’s name eg “oz.bushwalkingskills”, or select those that have been bookmarked often, which is usually an indication of their value.

Web Research

Read other posts in this series about the Routeburn Track

Creative Commons License

This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s