Thursday, March 7, 2013

Routeburn Track Photos

We hiked for a day on the Routeburn track, basing ourselves at the Sylvan DOC campsite, nearby. This campsite is situated down a rough gravel road north of Glenorchy. Glenorchy is at the end of the lake on which Queenstown is located (Wakatipu) and the drive between the two towns is very scenic.

Miiner's cottages at Arrowtown, a charming but touristy small town we passed through en route to Queenstown

Bridge in park in Queenstown. This park was an oasis in an otherwise frenetic city. Queenstown is the base for tourism in both Fiordland and the Queensland Lakes area.

Look off on the drive towards Glenorchy from Queenstown

We began our hike at crack of dawn, because we intended to do the equivalent of two days hiking in one day. All told we hiked for more than 9 hours, with a couple of hours rest along the way, returning at 7 pm.

Routeburn falls lie just above the large hut (48 bunks) and an even larger luxury lodge for guided walkers.

Harris lake lies just below Harris saddle, which was our halfway point on the track.

Some absolutely massive rocks had fallen from the cliffs above the trail.

Shelter and guided walker's rest stop on Harris Saddle. Low clouds/fog came and went in this area.

Looking down on Harris shelter. We climbed Conical Hill above the saddle for some great views, leaving a backpack at the shelter. 

View from Conical Hill - our turnaround point on this hike.

There were a few good photographers on the peak, so we took the opportunity for a couples shot,

360 degree views on Conical Hill

I demonstrate the use of hiking poles above Harris Lake. We have found a single pole quite useful on some of the more scrambly walks.

Lunch spot at Harris Saddle

Giant daisies

Wind swept lookout over Routeburn Flats with the Falls hut and lodge below.

Cows graze in the field at the Sylvan DOC campsite

We are now in Kingston, just south of Queenstown, catching up on emails and doing pharmacy  training.

Our little cottage at Hector's Holiday Camp in Kingston - home for two lovely relaxed days.

Today we leave for Te Anau and the start of the Keppler Track. We will miss Kingston and have enjoyed our stay here at Hector's. I recommend 'The Cottage' as a great little, relatively inexpensive ($60/night) option for campers wanting to get off the ground for a night or two! We have booked a hut on the Keppler track for tomorrow night (54 dollars each!) because we have heard that the scenery on the ridge above the hut is amazing and there is no way to reach it on a day hike.

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