Nearly 20,000 people visit the Routeburn Track each year. Meet some of them who work, guide or walk this track. They each have an interesting story to tell.

 

Multi Day Hikers

 Gillian Baker

Gillian Baker

Birthday band burn up the track.
Gill Baker and her band of merry women and men took on the challenge of tramping the Routeburn to celebrate a milestone for Gill. Not to give too much away, but it was a significant birthday ending in a zero, and some people describe it as a half century.
Our first day from the shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut nearly drowned us, torrential rain with the upside of fantastic waterfalls, torrid rivers and thrilling swing bridges. That rain turned to snow on the tops overnight and the next day was a completely different spectacle.
As we crossed the Harris Saddle, it was like we’d entered a scene from the Sound of Music, flower filled meadows, alpine tarns ringed around with snow- capped peaks sparkling in the sunshine.
We skipped along the ridges, two of the party think they saw a mohua, then meandered down through an enchanted forest to Lake MacKenzie Hut for a swim.
Mark your milestone with a trip to the Routeburn Track - it can’t be beaten for scenic variety and reasonable accessibility. Text: Susan Hutchinson



The Runners

Anna and Ellen completed the Routeburn track in 2015 and 2016 respectively with dad Mark in what has become a “coming of age” event for the kids in the Zwitser family. The aim is to run the trail in one day in the year that Anna, Ellen and Jesseturn 16. The trail is tough but beautiful, makes for a long hard day but offers great memories and is something that can be looked back on as an achievement and hopefully a reminder for our children that the best things in life are free, that the impossible is possible with effort, training and dedication and the only thing that limits us is ourselves. The Routeburn represents all that is good about life, creation, nature and New Zealand, I could think of no purer and better place to do this and look forward to bringing Jesse through over the coming years!”

 


Routeburn Stoat Trapping Project.

The project was started in March 2012 by Evan Smith, Conservation Services Ranger at Lake Mackenzie Hut on the Routeburn Track. He was concerned by declining bird numbers and so took action, putting out a few stoat traps and educating hikers on the threat that stoats and other pests cause to our native wildlife. Inspired by Evan's story concerned hikers have sponsored additional stoat traps to protect the area.
Each time one of the traps catches a predator, it means there is one less hungry mouth out there hunting down and killing our native wildlife.
Like all the hikers who have donated to this project, we're really excited by what this will mean for the security of the vulnerable native species that live near the Routeburn track – birds like kaka, kea and rock wren.

Project Aims
The project aims to protect and enhance the biodiversity values of the Routeburn area by controlling introduced predators. Over time the goal is to expand the area to join up with other predator control projects in the wider area (ie: Hollyford Valley, Nilford Road, Caples Valley and Routeburn/Dart valleys) so that larger pieces of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks are protected.

Project Progress
$70,000 raised since 2012,
180 trap boxes in place from Harris Saddle to Key Summit and the Divide.
Over 1200 hikers have donated to the project since march 2012
Over 200 predators removed from the Routeburn Area.

How to get involved
Without public support and the help of donations, conservation projects like this are not always possible. To find out more about the Routeburn Stoat Trapping Project, or to contribute to the project, contact: Lake Mackenzie Hut Conservation Services Ranger or Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. Phone +64 3 249 7924 address Lakefront drive Te Anau 9600 email fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz