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Routeburn Trek, New Zealand - Hiking From Routeburn Falls to the Routeburn Road End

Our last day started with a glorious morning. The sun rising over the frost-covered horizon, with just a hint of cloud cover, it was one the best views every from a shelter anywhere. The trail continued to be rocky, but not as treacherous as the day before. We made good time. Too good and looked to slow down, finding side trips for additional views. We dawdled down the trail, realizing the one negative aspect of hiking the Routeburn trail was how short it was. Three days along it were just a tease.


While we started the trail by ourselves, after hiking three days we had made many friends.


So after completing both the Routeburn Trek and Milford Trek the burning question is which one did we feel deserves to be placed on the top ten list of best treks/hikes in the world? A cyber drum roll please. The answer comes with a qualification. Clearly the weather you experience on your trek defines to a degree how amazing your experience will be. Given the harsh weather conditions of our Milford Trek hike it would be easy to declare Routeburn the better trail. However, given that we had the three horrible weather days on Milford and picture perfect weather on Routeburn one has to try to remove the weather bias from our decision. Both my wife and I felt Milford's 10 meter view in front of you was unparalleled. When we trekked Routeburn's valleys and waterfalls were more impressive, but some of that was due to the fog blanket we experienced on Milford. However, the view up close on Routeburn never matched Milford's splendor and for that reason we recommend Milford over Routeburn if you have to make a choice. Why only select one though, as both treks are really short. We did them back to back and so should you. If there is any criticism of the treks in Southern New Zealand it would be that it's a really far way to go for such a short trek. By combining Milford Trek, Routeburn Trek, and the Kepler Trek, you have an experience worthy of the long travel.

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