Key Summit – Routeburn Track. © foorious Creative Commons

Key Summit Track on the Routeburn Track

Key Summit Track, Fiordland
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Enjoy panoramic views over Fiordland mountains and alpine lakes as well as native vegetation and birdlife on this fantastic, easy half-day walk on the Routeburn Track from the Milford Road.

About the Walk

How long will it take? This is a 3.4km three-hour return walk via the same track.

This walk begins at The Divide, about 85km along the Milford Road from Te Anau (a 90-minute drive).

This is an easy half-day walk on the Routeburn Track (a Great Walk), and a sign marks the turnoff to the Key Summit Track. This easy track is great for families and offers spectacular views of Fiordland National Park. If you only have time for one walk on your drive to Milford Sound and the weather is fine, this track is well worth the effort.

One of my favorite places in New Zealand is Key Summit along the Routeburn Track in Fiordland National Park. Starting at The Divide, the side trip to Key Summit starts about an hour to an hour and 1/2 into the Routeburn Track hike at a fork in the path and takes 20-30 minutes to get to the summit. The Department of Conservation has good info on the track here: #pureNZ #NZmustDo #RealMiddleEarth #doc #canonbringit #NZimagery #NZvacations #ig_newzealand #goNZ #NZvacations #doc #ig_newzealand #fiordlandnationalpark #routeburntrack #keysummittrack #keysummit #tramping #MakeItHomeNZ #wanderlustofnz #bestNewZealand #love #travel #travelNZ #explore #adventure #hiking #womenwhohike #LoveIsOutThereContest

A post shared by Amy Proctor (@iluvnewzealand) on Oct 24, 2017 at 6:34pm PDT

From The Divide car park follow the Routeburn Track for about an hour to get to the Key Summit Track. From here it’s a 20-minute climb to Key Summit, with panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran mountains.

A self-guided alpine nature walk passes a range of native vegetation: beech forest, sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and bogs. Birdlife is prolific and tomtits, robins, kererū and bellbirds are commonly seen.

During the last ice age, which ended about 14,000 years ago, a huge glacier flowed down the Hollyford Valley and overtopped Key Summit by 500m, with ice branches splitting off into the Eglinton and Greenstone valleys.

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