Our family, a not very fit Mum and Dad and our 2 kids age 6 and 8, have just stayed for two nights on the Routeburn Track. We are still on a high from this trip. It was amazing. If you are considering going, trust me, just do it!
The scenery is stunning, the changes in such a short distance make the walking pass very very easily.
So what about the logistics?
We stayed the first night at Kinloch Lodge. We love Glenorchy but think the camp ground there is not much chop. The charge for the cabins which are basically shipping containers is ridiculous. Whereas the family rooms at the Kinloch Lodge while small are clean and fine for an overnight stay. We also really liked the clean, well stocked, communal kitchen, the lovely position close to the water, the child friendly dogs. The owners are very child friendly too as they have young kids.
We could easily have just stayed at Kinloch as it was stunning but in the morning we mucked around for a while, packed the packs up and then headed up the road to the beginning of the Routeburn track. 20 kms or so up the road. Don’t forget the insect repellent before you get to the track start.
We booked in for two nights at Routeburn Flats hut. DoC says it will take about 3 hours for adults. We always add another hour to what they say and sure enought the walk took us about 4 hours with lots of stops to look at trout, swing bridges, eat choclates and admire the views.
The Routeburn Flats hut in bypassed by many walkers/trampers who head straight for the Routeburn Falls hut. So there were weren’t many people there either night we were there. The hut warden, Liz was very friendly and nice to us and the children.
The falls hut is in a beautiful alpine valley. Big grassy plains surrounded by high snow covered mountains. You will think you are living inside what is more often viewed in a postcard.
The next day we left our packs at the Flats hut and did a day walk up to the Falls. Stunning. We were lucky to get the “out of the box” brillant weather day, with perfect views in every direction. Did some swimming near the Bridal Falls and then another swim in the stream above the hut then back home for tea.
We all enjoyed walking without a pack. It was so much easier without the 15kgs on your back.
Next day we headed back to the Routeburn Glenorchy car park. It rained and rained and rained. We realised that the gear we have for the kids is not in any way adequate for a rain forest but soon we were in the car, then we all got changed into dry gear in Glenorchy. The Glenorchy cafe sells delicious coffee and food and way we fell upon it , you’d think we had been out of the city for weeks not just two nights.