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Routeburn Track Questions & Answers

Ottawa

I was wondering if this is doable in one day. I'm not keen on staying in a hut- I have sleep issues! We are very fit- run marathons etc. How difficult is the trail? Thanks!

7 months ago Answer

14 answers

Pukekohe, New Zealand
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When we did the track there were a few fit people that were doing it in a day, looked like a long day but as you say you are fit it is very do-able. The track itself is wide and well marked.

7 months ago
Ottawa, Canada
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Hi,

Hi,yes, you can do a one day walk on the Routeburn track (it is what we have done) from the Glenorchy parking lot (back and forth) to the Falls hut. You can even go further to the second hut during the one day walk if you are in a relatively good condition and if the weather permits. This is a good trail. We did a few trails while in N.Z. in March 2018 in both the North and South islands. Although they were all excellent hike experiences, the Tongariro Alpine crossing was exceptional!

7 months ago
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The track is difficult and depending on the weather can be very challenging. That being said there were people running the track! We hire someone to relocate our car and he ran the track to do it. If you are prepared for the weather, are fit, and have experience on steep ascents and descents you can do it in one day. Check in with the rangers for weather and track updates.

7 months ago
Ashburton, New Zealand
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Did it in a day last November. Glenorchy to Divide, then hitchhiked into Te Anau. Left at 6 am finished at 3 pm. No running just quick walk. Took plenty photos. Did plenty of training before. Remember weather can change quickly be prepared.

7 months ago
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Hi Ottawa person. I’m also from Ottawa.

You could run it in a day from a cardio perspective but might be a bit tough on the ankles as there are lots of foot-sized rocks. I would start on the glenorchy side. Another option would be to park at the glenorchy side and run to the saddle and back to your car. That was the nicest part and easiest to run. Won’t miss much on the divide side other than lots of wet rainforest that you can see near Milford sound. We saw a couple from Manotick doing this day trip and they had a great time and they were walking so you’d probably cover more ground.

7 months ago
Brisbane, Australia
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It’s definitlt doable!! I would start at the divide and finish at routeburn flats/glenorchy side of the track if I was to run it. The terrain isn’t hard but there’s a few steep parts. There’s also the option of camping if huts aren’t your thing!

You’ll just have to organize transport once at the other end. I believe there are some companies in Queenstown that will drop you off and then drive your hire car to the other end so it’s there waiting for you

7 months ago
Hamilton, New Zealand
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I understand people have run it in a day but then what’s the point. The scenery is stunning and you would miss so much. I wish I had taken more time to do it so I could relish the wonder of it all. As a Kiwi I reckon at least stay at one hut and do it in summer that way you would sleep outside on a verandah.

7 months ago
Perth, Australia
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Yes it is often ran in a day.... there is a competition race for trail runners on the Routeburn which is a one day event. Check with NZ DOC for run times. Most Nz great walks have one day race events for trail runners as do other back country trails

7 months ago
Wellington, New Zealand
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Can be done as they have annual running race. However need to take safety gear. As travelling above tree line. A school group were snowed in and had members die in the middle of summer. Weather can be very different at tops

7 months ago
Chicago, Illinois
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Totally doable. I run but am not a marathon runner and hiked it easily in a day. You do gain quite a bit of elevation but the trail is not very steep. The tricky thing is the weather. It rained heavily for a few hours when I hiked it last December.

7 months ago
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Hi there, yes it is totally doable in a day if you are fit enough. We saw lots of people running/walking it in a day on our trip.

7 months ago
Concord
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Hi I went with a walking tour group we did 10 miles 5 to a rest stop then back the same way if you do the entire trek you would need to camp.

7 months ago
Seattle
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I would not hesitate if you are experienced trail runners (you might have issues if all you've run is roads).

I'm 61 and my wife is 57. We did it in late February in a little over 10 hours (with a 2 hr detour to climb the tough, steep mountain at the top of the hill). In fact, they run an orgainzed trail run race every year on this course. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have done it in one day. The trail is in good condition in the Summer, it would be tougher in the Winter, of course.

Your problem is to arrange a vehicle shuttle or transportation at the other end. We used Track Hopper, and we highly recommend Mike. Hi office is in Glenorchy, NZ.

We found that the route is not really very runable, it is pretty technical the whole way with lots of rocks and roots. You need to carry extra food, storm gear, and a first aid kit. Watch the weather forecast carefully and don't go if there's a chance you'll be caught in a storm.

Train up a bit. It's a challenging 23 miles or so... Good luck.

7 months ago
Houston, Texas
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One day will be tough. I saw lot of people finishing in 2 days

7 months ago
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