Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

The first section of this classic multi-day walk follows the Routeburn through beech forest as it tumbles down from Routeburn Flats. You are surrounded by high peaks the whole way, and there are uninterrupted views of these as you approach Flats Hut.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s classic multi-day tramps. Walking through the Mt Aspiring portion of the walk as far as Routeburn Flats makes for an excellent day hike of moderate difficulty. The track follows the Routeburn through beech forest as it tumbles down from the flats, and there are views through the trees of the burn and high peaks along the way. When you get to the flats the scenery opens up to provide uninterrupted views of the Humboldt Mountains, and Flats Hut makes is a good spot for lunch before heading back the way you came.

If this is not enough scenery or exercise for you then continue on to Harris Saddle and Conical Hill for even better views. That will be a long day walk but totally worth it. There’s information for the whole walk on the DOC website.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats: The Scenery

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
The car park at the start.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
I take so many photos trying (and mostly failing) to accurately portray the atmosphere of a NZ beech forest; I think one is better than average.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
A few of these bridges to cross.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Look at the colour of that water.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
New Zealand’s national symbol is the silver fern, and there were quite a few ferns on this stretch of the walk.

Three shots from other occasions…

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
The Routeburn on a previous, slightly more overcast, occasion.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Luscious beech forest.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
The Routeburn. This was taken on an overcast day: it’s even more aqua on a sunny day.

Back to December 2018…

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
I liked this shot.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Crossing over dry creek beds on the Routeburn Flats. (Excuse the finger in shot.)
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Some grand mountains rising above Routeburn Flats. These scenes are near the turnaround point and are a rewarding end to the outward leg of the walk.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
The Humboldt Mountains. I think that peak on the left is Somnus (2293m). I walked just a little past the Flats Hut to get this shot.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Aggressive looking topography in the afternoon light.

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ

Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
More fern action.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
This section looked like a manicured garden.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
These dainty flowers were nice.
Routeburn Track to Routeburn Flats, Mt Aspiring National Park NZ
Crossing back over the Routeburn at the end of the walk.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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