Milford Guide Web App

  1. Map
  2. General Information
  3. Te Anau to The Divide
  4. The Divide to Milford Sound
  5. Milford Sound Cruise
  6. The Hollyford Road
  7. Driving the Milford Road
  8. Getting Organised

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Te Anau to The Divide

Alpaca Junction

Coordinates: -45.410670 167.734700

Alpaca Junction, where Sandy Brown Road and the Milford Road, meet, is a popular photo opportunity for tourists on their return journey from Milford Sound, the Alpaca's are often in the paddock across the road. Please park your vehicle safely off State Highway 94 on Sandy Brown Road.

An interesting diversion nearby is the Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum on the corner of Sandy Brown Road. Entry is by donation, if it is not open when you pass a viewing can be arranged by telephone, 03 249 7054 or if you are on an international phone +64 3 249 7054. A large selection of vintage machinery, including cars, tractors and motorcycles, is on display across several buildings.

Lake Te Anau Overlook

Coordinates: -45.388790 167.759920

Stop on the corner at the left and walk down the road 50m for an elevated view of the South Fiord of Lake Te Anau. The best conditions are usually in the evening and it is good irrespective of the weather. A calm clear sunset is magic but a windy, cloudy day can produce spectacular rays over the fiord.

Milford Road Alliance Booth

Coordinates: -45.367310 167.756840

When the road is closed due to extreme weather, the Milford Road Alliance (MRA) booth is manned and traffic is stopped. They may warn drivers of icy spots, check you have snow chains or turn you back.

When the booth is unmanned, there is a large electronic sign warning of potential dangers and road closures.

This is also the place to stop to read a summary of DOC camping sites.

MRA Booth Overlook

At the end of the MRA Booth near the neon road information sign, is the best opportunity to photograph the South Fiord of Lake Te Anau from an elevated position.

The view is sublime on a calm, clear or cloudy evening with the sun breaking over the mountains across the lake.

Rough Track to Lake Shore

Coordinates: -45.361640 167.758530

Follow the rough track down a steep hill to the lake for an excellent view and interesting Kowhai tree. The track is not suitable for large campervans but smaller vehicles should manage well all year.

Walk North along the lake shore for a better view, eventually a point with a flat area of diverse lake shore vegetation is reached. Excellent picnic spot.

Freedom camping is not allowed here.

Access to Boundary Creek

Coordinates: -45.307290 167.786040

Walk North through the native bush along the lake shore to Boundary Creek and beyond. You are seldom more than 50m from the road, yet you will find yourself in a parallel universe of native birds and especially good evening photo opportunities.

The best views of the Middle Fiord are past Boundary Creek, which you will need to wade across.

It is also possible to stop on the road side after Boundary Creek and walk through the forest to reach the lake shore, but it is difficult to find a safe place to park a vehicle.

A brilliant way to spend an hour off the beaten track.

Henry Creek Camping Area

Coordinates: -45.232550 167.812270

Henry Creek Camping Area is 25 km from Te Anau and it is the only DOC camp site on the shore of lake Te Anau. It has sizable capacity (30 sites) and a number of standard DOC toilets.

During the day it is frequently empty and makes a good picnic spot. Across the lake is the Middle Fiord. The site of the original Te Anau Downs Station homestead was close to Henry Creek, but it was soon moved to near the Boat Harbour at present day Te Anau Downs.

Follow the gravel road South and continue on foot past the rock barriers placed on the historic road to Henry Creek itself. An easy five to ten minute walk. Piles from the old bridge are visible in the Creek and there are some interesting lakeside photo opportunities on the way and a very interesting tree near the end of the walk.

While Te Anau is the jumping off point for many Fiordland adventures, the lake is very under appreciated. If you have the time, you will never regret exploring Lake Te Anau, hidden in plain sight are three magnificent fresh water fiord's.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Lake Mistletoe

Coordinates: -45.200180 167.822460

A humble and often overlooked stop. The lake is not itself terribly interesting but the overlooking picnic table is a good place to enjoy the morning sun. The lake is host to wetland birds.

It is possible to continue on a path for a short distance through forest and along Mistletoe Creek. On a hot sunny afternoon the light and water reflections are truly spectacular on this short section, exiting further down the Milford Road.

Drop in to the Fiordland National Park Lodge across the road, for refreshments on your way back to your vehicle.

All together an easy 45 minute walk.

Fiordland National Park Lodge

Coordinates: -45.199510 167.822360

The Fiordland National Park Lodge has in the past been somewhat run down but has recently changed hands. Now owned by two young, go ahead couples there is sure to be great improvement over the 2017-2018 season and beyond.

Self catered motel units and backpackers accommodation are offered.

Te Anau Downs

Coordinates: -45.193450 167.827290

Te Anau Downs is 29 km along the road with fabulous views across the lake to the Middle Fiord and the Murchison Mountains. The boat to the Milford Track leaves from the wharf.

Nearby is an old hut and the Pelton wheel of a power plant that served Te Anau Downs Station in the 1890's. Pop your head through the door and check out the inside, one of the oldest buildings extant in the Te Anau basin and a completely unexpected photo moment, best in the morning when the sun is streaming through the north facing windows.

It is possible to follow the gravel road past the boat ramp and hut to the mouth of the Eglington River. It quickly degenerates to an unmaintained track and is not recommended for camper vans, low vehicles or in wet weather.

The first frozen shipment of lamb left New Zealand from Port Chalmers, Dunedin, in 1882 and Te Anau Downs Station was settled by the Melland family in 1883. It was the first European settlement on Lake Te Anau but was not profitable and changed hands a number of times until the 1920's when it was bought by John Chartres who built the first section of the Milford Road to Te Anau Downs. Originally, wool was barged out to present day Te Anau.

Milford Track

Coordinates: -44.932459 167.930257 to -44.683350 167.902127

The 'finest walk in the world' starts at Glade Wharf at the head of Lake Te Anau, follows the West Branch of the Clinton River to Lake Mintaro, ascends Mackinnon Pass and descends the Arthur River to Sandfly Point.

The Milford Track is only walked from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound, boat transport is required at both ends. A Great Walk, 53km long, it is usually done over 4 days and booking is required between late October and early May.

It is possible to organise a water taxi and do a day walk on the Milford Track. Fiordland Water Taxi operate at both ends of the track.

During the winter/spring it is sometimes possible for experienced and well equipped trampers to do the Milford Track without booking and using inexpensive hut tickets but it is often not advisable due to avalanche conditions. 57 active avalanche cones cross the Milford Track, bridges and cooking facilities are removed over winter.

Dunton River

Coordinates: -45.163470 167.893860

Close by in the sheep pasture is the Eglington River. Looking West, the distinctive Turret Peaks are on the left and across the North Fiord which is not visible from the road are the Franklin Mountains.

Lake Te Anau continues for a considerable distance north once the Milford Road leaves its shores, it ends at a latitude that crosses the Milford Road at the grassy Eglington Valley Lookouts.

The boat to the Milford Track, private vessel or a Water Taxi are the only way of seeing the Northern part of Lake Te Anau. There is no easy way to explore the Middle Fiord, North Fiord or Worsley Arm but there are commercial operators that offer cruises on the South Fiord, leaving from the wharf at Te Anau.

Boyd Creek

Coordinates: -45.133250 167.946610

Forty three kilometers from Te Anau on the Eastern side of the road is Boyd Creek, site of a historic sawmill and little known walking track to the tops. Public access is initially through private land, please close the gate after you enter and do not drive beyond the DOC parking area.

The track soon enters the forest and eventually, after a challenging 3 1/2 hour walk, tops out onto tussocky high country below the Countess Range.

Most people do not travel beyond the tops, but it is possible with considerable route finding experience to continue on to the Upukerora headwaters. The Upukerora River, colloquially known as the Upak, is the first river crossed when travelling out of Te Anau.

Boyd Creek is a favourite hunting ground for keen local photographers, and there are a few tightly held secrets you may stumble upon.

Fiordland National Park Boundary

Coordinates: -45.118330 167.953720

Fiordland National Park includes the shore of Lake Te Anau but it is at this signposted boundary between farmland and forest that one enters the park proper.

It should be noted that there is usually no entrance fee to any national park in New Zealand. Staying overnight at a DOC campsite, sleeping in a hut or camping is not free. If you walk in a park with a guide then your guide will have a concession and will pay DOC an activity fee per head and this is always included in the price they quote you.

Money collected on the Milford Road by DOC is used to empty the toilets along the road or track, a service that does not run at a profit. Human waste is trucked or helicoptered out to be disposed of safely.

Walker Creek Camping Area

Coordinates: -45.100590 167.968890

Close to the river, Walker Creek is the first of several DOC camping areas in the Eglington Valley. It is a beautiful spot but small with 1 toilet and unless you are self contained, best avoided if it looks busy.

Even if you are only passing by the short 2 minute walk to the banks of the Eglington is highly recommended for a broad view both up and down the valley.

Walker Creek is named for Stanley Walker, a road engineer who lived in a house further along the road at the start of the East Branch Track. The Mason brothers operated a saw pit at Walker Creek.

The bird life all the way up the Eglington Valley is heavily protected and there are many opportunities for bird watchers.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

The Eglington River

Coordinates: -45.087520 167.978330 and with better access -45.084430 167.981630

The Milford Road is squeezed between a bluff and the Eglington River at this point. This was the first major difficulty encountered by the road building crew, they lost a truck in the river before blasting the cliff to make a safe road margin.

There is a roadside stop immediately before and another after the bluff, the second has better access and provides a better viewpoint up the valley. The light is probably most favourable early in the morning and after mid day.

Well worth a stop.

Totara Camping Area

Coordinates: -45.074710 167.986280

Totara is a medium sized camping area with good access for large vehicles and 2 DOC toilets for campers not in self contained camper vans.

I was unable to find a Totara tree at Totara. Totara is a podocarp, producing an edible primitive cone. The only native tree in New Zealand that grows in stands and heavily exploited in the past. European settlers used it as a construction timber. Maori used it as a carving timber and for waka (canoes), among other uses.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Mackay Creek Camping Area

Coordinates: -45.070130 167.990540

Mackay Creek is named after surveyor's chain man, Jack Mackay, Smithy Creek further along the road is named for his well liked boss.

Here it is possible to camp away from the Milford Road and access is easy for large camper vans. There are multiple DOC toilets. Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Eglington Valley Lookouts

Coordinates: -45.063740 167.992740 and beyond.

The Eglington Valley lookouts start soon after the bridge over Mackay Creek at the coordinates above, it has a slightly elevated viewpoint and in my opinion is the best stop, though it comes before the official bus stopping places and is easily missed.

There are several places on both sides of the road to pull over, so if you miss the one you are aiming for there is likely to be another further along the straight. You can stop again on the way home to experience the wide plain in different light.

Most people will stop somewhere along this straight at least once.

Drones are a common sight, please remember that they can't legally be flown on DOC land without a permit. Air traffic control also needs to be informed, which is hard to do on the spur of the moment without a powerful radio given there is no cell phone reception anywhere along the Milford Road.

Molly Dwan's Tea House

Coordinates: -45.052210 168.008940

In the early 1930's Molly Dwan protected by her dog Roy, built a tea house 'East Lodge' to the right of the road, sheltered from southerly weather below the terrace before East Branch Bridge. She planted a garden and vegetable garden, carefully fenced to keep the deer out. She later married Stan Shore who was medical attendant to Marian Camp and Homer Camp.

It would not have been as isolated a place as it now seems, road engineer Stanley Walker lived in a house just across the East Branch.

Sadly nothing remains of her stone walls or cottage.

East Branch Track

Coordinates: -45.049290 168.010670

55 km from Te Anau on the right (East) in the open tussock at the start of the East Branch Track, the concrete chimney base of road engineer Stanley Walker's house can be seen. Nearby, on the Te Anau side of the river is the site of Molly Dwan's tearoom 'East Lodge'.

It is possible for experienced route finders to walk up the East Branch of the Eglington and connect with the Greenstone Valley over 2 days, refer to Moir's Guide South which can be purchased online from the NZ Alpine Club or in person from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

There is very poor access to this track and the tramping is difficult with river crossings so it is recommended for experienced and well prepared parties only.

The Track is on the North side of the East Branch for approximately 2 hours, crossing to the true left of the East Branch at Annear Creek, the first flats are reached after 8 hours of difficult tramping, grit, determination, Moir's guide and a good map can take you further. Not a day trip for the unprepared.

Mirror Lakes

Coordinates: -45.028310 168.011350

The Mirror Lakes are frequently visited and have excellent accessibility. They are close to the road and need not take much of your time.

On a calm day they more than justify their reputation with fabulous reflections, crystal clear water, forest and water birds, expansive views of the Earl Mountains and Mount Eglington.

The Eglington River and Mount Eglington were named for the Earl of Eglington by an early surveyor.

Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain

Coordinates: -45.023302 168.010279

Leaving Mirror Lakes, you follow a gentle bend to the right onto a long straight known as the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain and the mountain that appears to disappear is named Disappearing Peaks.

At present it is difficult to observe this phenomenon because the surrounding Beech forest has formed a canopy over the narrow road.

Sawmill Clearing

Coordinates: -45.013730 168.009030

Along the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain, before Wesney Creek is an obscure metalled track leading off on the Eastern side of the road.

It soon leads to a clearing which was the site of the last sawmill on the Milford Road, tractor driven and run by the three Brown brothers. Sandy Brown Road in Te Anau is named after one brother and another brother Mervyn also oversaw bridge building on the road.

If you venture up this short track, on foot, you will find some weathered cut logs at the pit. All along the way look out and listen for the most spectacular birds along the Milford Road. Everywhere are breeding pairs, sometimes with juveniles.

This is a little known place with poor access, if you are keen on birds I suggest looking for the unsignposted track on the right hand side on your way to Milford, and stopping carefully at the roadside on your return journey for the short walk through the forest.

45° South

Coordinates: -45.002681 168.009377

The sign at 45° latitude appears to be in the wrong place, my GPS tells me 45° is further along the road past Deer Flat Camping area. The sign clearly predates widespread use of GPS.

Stopping is not advised, there is nowhere to safely pull off the road.

Deer Flat Camping Area

Coordinates: -45.001480 168.009080

Deer Flat is a large campsite with multiple DOC toilets. It is possible to camp well away from the Milford Road and access is easy for large camper vans although the turnoff, soon after 45° South, is very sudden and easily missed.

Deer Flat is close to Knobs Flat, site of the only clean flushing public toilets (but no showers) on the Milford Road.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Knobs Flat

Coordinates: -44.977570 168.016480

Knobs Flat is the site of the only clean, flushing public toilets on the Milford Road, built to service bus traffic.

Nearby an accommodation provider run by a local identity offers a small number of motel units and campsites with toilet and hot shower facilities, as well as very reasonably priced guided walking, bat and bird watching. Highly recommended.

Knobs Flat was once a road camp, as was Cascade Creek, Gunn's Camp and Milford Sound Lodge.

Kiosk Creek Camping Area

Coordinates: -44.974540 168.016940

Kiosk Creek is the only DOC camp site on the Eastern side of the Milford Road. It is open to the early morning sun and has a slightly elevated perspective.

There are 2 DOC toilets and the clean and flushable Knobs Flat toilets are a short drive away.

In spite of its name there was never a kiosk at Kiosk Creek. Melita Aitchison ran a kiosk further down the road at Cascade Creek. In my opinion it is the best DOC camp site on the road.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Smithy Creek Approach

Coordinates: -44.962390 168.016740

Smithy Creek marks the end of the open Eglington River flats and a return to increasingly verdant forest. There are a number of potential places to stop before the forest and the wide open views rival the earlier Eglington Lookouts.

Smithy Creek is named for Harold Smith who surveyed the road through the Eglington Valley and also the section of road from Milford Sound.

In the Smithy Creek Area are several easily observed 'knobs' or hillocks after which Knobs Flat is named. Depending on who you talk to, they are either the remains of a landslide or, more likely, glacial in origin.

Glade House via Dore Pass

Coordinates: -44.947990 168.015780

Glade House is on the Clinton River at the start of the Milford Track. It is possible to walk to the start of the Milford Track rather than boat there, but only for parties with New Zealand alpine experience. An ice axe is required, not to mention a bridgeless crossing of the Eglington River. The descent from Dore Pass requires skilled route finding and it is very easy to get bluffed.

For those capable of making the crossing it is a full days walk to Glade House and it is possible to pre-arrange a water taxi back to Te Anau Downs.

Flood Bank

Coordinates: -44.933820 168.024870

The flood bank alongside the Milford Road is a popular photo stop for people travelling in small vehicles. Access is limited.

The best views are south towards the Earl Mountains, you are under the Disappearing Peaks to your West.

Upper Eglington Camping Area

Coordinates: -44.928830 168.030330

Upper Eglington has 1 DOC toilet and access is poor for larger camper vans.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Earl Mountain Tracks

Coordinates: -44.913340 168.044530

Ten minutes walk down this exceptionally wet track one comes to an 'old school' forest service walk wire.

You will need to clean your shoes at the trail head in the provided detergent filled tub to prevent the spread of invasive Didymo (green river and lake slime, or rock snot as it is colloquially known). Not as bad as it sounds, you are guaranteed to return with muddy feet, wash them again too keep your vehicle clean.

This is probably the most satisfying short Fiordland wander on the Milford Road, the birds are exceptional, you are almost certain to come close to several species and then there is always that wobbly walk wire to entertain.

It is possible to cross the walk wire and continue up Hut Creek or Mistake Creek and even to combine them into an overnight loop by crossing U pass. This is a difficult route, river crossings are required and in wet weather the rivers are not safely crossable. Moir's Guide South, available from the DOC Fiordland Visitor Centre, has a detailed route description.

Cascade Creek

Coordinates: -44.894520 168.083890

Even if you are not camping, Cascade Creek is worth a stop for the sensational Lake Gunn Nature Walk, also in the time before Christmas it is famous for its rampant purple and blue lupins.

DOC has expanded facilities at Cascade Creek over the winter of 2017 to cater for increasing demand for camp sites on the Milford Road. Cascade Creek is a large campsite with the most modern facilities on the Milford Road. It is also the last place you can camp before the Milford Sound Lodge or Gunn's Camp.

If you struggle to find a vacant camping spot in the height of summer, then Cascade Creek is your best bet. There is usually a resident warden over summer.

Adults $13/night, 5-17 years 1/2 price, infants free, payment is cash except over the summer when a DOC warden will visit and can accept payment by card.

Cascade Creek campsite was the site of a major road camp. Melita Aitchison, the wife of a road worker, operated a kiosk and accommodation house on the right before Cascade Creek and the daffodils in her garden flower to this day. There is a mountain peak and a waterfall in the area named Melita.

When it closed, Cascade Creek Road Camp was operated as a lodge by the Tourist Department and later the Automobile Association. It burnt down in the eighties.

Lake Gunn Nature Walk

Coordinates: -44.894670 168.081970

The Lake Gunn Nature Walk starts a short distance down the Cascade Creek road. Officially it is a 45 minute loop but I would suggest for most people it will be considerably faster, there are no hills or difficulties and it is probably accessible to most wheelchairs and prams.

The track winds through the forest to lake Gunn and one of the best photo spots on the lake. In my experience the green forest light can be fantastic on a bright day. DOC interpretive signs along the way are very informative and helpful. Listen for birds and if you hear something, slow down and look, you may be entertained by a friendly Fantail or Robin.

I suggest that for people interested in shorter walks, the Lake Gunn Nature Walk, the Chasm and the Milford Sound Foreshore Walk are the must do experiences on the Milford road.

There is a DOC toilet at the start of the track and several further along the road at the Cascade Creek Camping Area.

Lake Gunn Overlook

Coordinates: -44.88282, 168.09515

The Lake Gunn Overlook is half way along the shore of the lake. The road is slightly elevated and is squeezed tightly between the water and the Livingston mountains. There are few places to stop on Lake Gunn and they are all small and man made, this is the largest and provides the best view available.

Lake Gunn is named for George Gunn who with fellow run holder David McKellar first reached lake Gunn in 1861. Davey Gunn who farmed the run in the Hollyford Valley from 1929 was responsible for salvaging Henderson's Road Camp on the Hollyford Road in 1951 and turning it into a tourist venture and base for his farming activities. Now known as Gunn's Camp. Davey Gunn drowned in the Hollyford River on Christmas Day 1955 and Gunn's Camp was continued by his son Murray until his retirement in 2005, it is now run by a charitable trust.

Lake Gunn Day Use Area

Coordinates: -44.856930 168.103010

The Lake Gunn Day Use Area at the head of the lake is at the site of Mud Camp. Nothing remains of the camp. In its days as a road camp, workers would cart gravel to keep their belongings out of the mud in the bottom of their tents.

Access is now very good and it is a classic photo stop which in my opinion is best in soft cloudy light, but should be good at any time. In the summer look out for the beautiful small purple flowers of the tree fuscia.

It is not a place that gets much sun in the winter but over summer it may be the best picnic spot on the Milford Road. There are DOC toilets available. Camping is not allowed.

Lake Fergus

Coordinates: -44.845750 168.107350 and -44.844190 168.110570

The two best places to stop on lake Fergus are an unnamed layby before Windy Point which I have marked on the map with a waypoint 'Primo Point' and at Windy Point.

In calm weather the clarity of reflections in the lake are something to behold. The birds on the shore, meters from the road, are exceptional. If you stop at Primo Point you are likely to encounter South Island Robin and the brave or foolhardy can walk well out into the lake on a large fallen tree for the best angle.

There is a patch of dead avalanche damaged trees at the Southern end of Lake Fergus, where the lake is often calmest, they make an excellent subject. Finding a place to stop safely on the narrow and busy Milford Road can be dangerous and difficult when there is no lay by handy.

Lake Fergus was named for Member of Parliament Thomas Fergus in 1889 by William Homer and George Barber who travelled from the coast up the Hollyford to what is now known as the Homer Saddle. Homer was the first to suggest the tunnel.

Lake Lochie

Coordinates: -44.830620 168.115920

Lake Lochie is small, handkerchief sized. There is an opportunity to pull off the road down a short track and it may be a good picnic spot. The water birds and lyric forest birds are a big treat for those who take the time to look and listen. Camping not allowed.

The Divide

Coordinates: -44.824830 168.117510

The Divide was once a major road camp but is now a good comfort stop with several DOC toilets, a shelter and a large parking area, serviced by bus company Tracknet in the summer.

Once construction of the Milford Road reached the Divide at 532 meters above sea level, a decision was made to continue to the Homer Saddle through the major difficulties ahead. The next road camp was at Marian Corner where the Hollyford Road forks off down the valley and the Milford Road begins its climb to the Homer Tunnel at 945 meters above sea level.

Key Summit Walk

Coordinates: -44.824830 168.117510

The walk to Key Summit, from The Divide, is highly recommended. The forest is an interesting experience in all weather and light, even if you do not fancy the 1-2 hour walk to the summit. The track is maintained to a very high standard by DOC, it is sustained uphill all the way to Key Summit but footing is easy.

Key Summit is safe in all seasons, there is no avalanche risk unless you continue past Howden Hut on the Routeburn. Sunset at Key Summit on a clear day is something to behold with expansive views of the Earl Mountains, Darran Mountains, Hollyford Valley and Alisa Mountains.

The bird life is heavily protected by trapping and it is a unique opportunity to ascend easily through layers of verdant forest and tussocky herb fields to the sparse tops.

The Routeburn Track

The 32km Routeburn Track is classified as a Great Walk from the end of October to the beginning of May. Overnighting on the track, either camping or in a hut, requires booking (often months) in advance. It can be walked in either direction between the Divide and Routeburn Shelter near Glenorchy. Trail head and terminus are more than 300km apart by road and it is common to use public transport of some sort to get back to where you started. Tracknet provides transport from Te Anau to the Divide during the great walks season and also connects to Queenstown daily. It is possible for fit, experienced trampers to combine the Routeburn Track and the Greenstone or Caples track into a loop starting and finishing at The Divide.

The Routeburn is often done over 3 days, staying overnight at Lake Mackenzie Hut and Routeburn Falls but there are two other DOC huts and it can be walked in any way that suits you as long as you have pre booked your huts/camp sites.

During the winter and spring the Routeburn Track can be done using inexpensive hut tickets, however the track is cut by 35 avalanche cones and facilities such as bridges and gas cooking are removed. It is potentially a very serious winter/spring trek and not recommended without consulting a nearby DOC visitor centre. Avalanche transceivers, snow probes, shovels, and satellite emergency beacons are required.

The Greenstone-Caples Track

The tussocky Greenstone and narrow forested Caples Valleys can be linked into a loop of approximately 4 days, they have the same trail head and terminus, at either the Divide or Greeenstone shelter on Lake Wakatipu near Glenorchy.

Three good 20-24 bunk huts, manned by DOC hut wardens in the summer, can be used for the price of a hut ticket. It is also possible to combine either the Greenstone or the Caples with the Routeburn.