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The turnaround point is the Lake Marian Viewpoint, where you can just see Lake Marian perched in a high hanging valley in the Darran Mountains across the Hollyford Valley. Park your car at Divide car park to start part of the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track. After a gradual climb a signed intersection points the way to the Key Summit Track, which veers above the Routeburn. The track is well, graded and passes through pleasant forest with limited views. Key Summit The most popular side trip in terms of numbers as this track to the left (or right if approaching from the carpark) is a day walk accessible from The Divide. A light fog in the valley below us and some residual clouds meant that we couldn't see the full and brilliant view, but what we were able to see was nonetheless gorgeous. If the mountains are clouded in, you wll be walking through a cloud and see nothing. It is an amazing day walk, combining stunning … This walk offers spectacular views of Fiordland National Park. One thing we noticed was even quite late in the day people were just starting up (after 4PM) for what is a good 3-4 hour return walk, so, perhaps a later visit gives better chances of a view? The hike itself is not that interesting (though we did see a kaka chewing on a branch on the way.

Key Summit is the first major landmark on the famous Routeburn Track - a DoC Great Walk which traverses Harris Saddle on its way to Lake Wakatipu. The rain had mostly stopped and the storm clouds were lifting, and we watched the shadows of the cloud clusters fall on the trees and mountains as they were blown away by the brisk wind. Located in Fiordland National Park and Milford Road/Milford Sound area in the Fiordland region, Mountain tarn at Key Summit Image: Shellie Evans ©, Boardwalk, Key Summit Track Image: Shellie Evans ©. As you drive down Highway 94 after entering Fiorland National Park, you will eventually come to a stop called The Divide. A self guided alpine nature walk passes a range of native vegetation: beech forest, sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and bogs. Moderate switchbacks lead uphill, first through forest and then through open country with views that extend down the Hollyford Valley. Enjoy panoramic views over mountains and alpine lakes on this half-day walk off Milford Road on the Routeburn Track - it's suitable families with children. It said 3hr for return but we took <2hr for return. They dropped us off and picked us up again but as it is a linear walk - there and back - you can pa, 3-3.5hrs/3.4km return-easy hike of Key Summit Track is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of all ages. Key Summit is an outstanding easy excursion from the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track. Key Summit is an outstanding easy excursion from the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track. 3-3.5hrs/3.4km return-easy hike of Key Summit Track is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of all ages. It was an excellent stop to break up our car trip and stretch our legs, and would probably be suitable for kids over the age of five or six if you were willing to take it slowly and could bring plenty of snacks. Hotels near Key Summit Track; Hotels near Milford Foreshore Walk; Hotels near Milford Beach Reserve; Near Airports. If you’re looking for the ultimate hike close to Milford Sound you should head straight for Key Summit. Department of Conservation | Te Papa Atawhai, https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/fiordland/places/fiordland-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/routeburn-track-key-summit-track/. Walkers then head gradually downhill through silver beech forest to the divide on Milford Road. After completing the summit nature loop, head back down the way you came. Moderate switchbacks lead uphill, first through forest and then through open country with views that extend down the Hollyford Valley. Park your car at Divide car park to start part of the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track. 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. Fairly easy walk with stunning views from the top, We did this hike on the way out to Milford Sound and it took about 2.5 hours round-trip from the car-park. There also begins Routeburn Track, but after you pass beech forest Routeburn and Key Summit tracks will split. The Key Summit Track is located on the the drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau or Queenstown. Key Summit Track on the Routeburn Track By Leonie Freeman in collaboration with Department of Conservation 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 path itself is well-maintained and has a definite but manageable and steady uphill rise. 3-3.5hrs/3.4km return-easy hike of Key Summit Track is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of all ages. At the top there there is flat ground to sit and eat, but no tables and chairs. Park your car at Divide car park to start part of the Routeburn, Milford Road The Divide, State Highway 94 , Fiordland National Park, Milford, Auckland New Zealand, Key Summit is an outstanding easy excursion from the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track. Key Summit is an outstanding easy excursion from the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track. From here there's another 15 minutes to the lookout, for the classic instagram views though at least this section is mostly a circuit with some interesting pools. Near the top of the climb, the trail splits as … From here, the track climbs steadily to the Key Summit Track turnoff. Biodiversity inventory and monitoring toolbox, Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track, Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. Key Summit Day Walk This is a wonderful day out with Fiordland Walks capturing the most amazing views of several valleys from lookouts on part of the Routeburn Track and beyond. Tour departs from Te Anau, with a drive along the Milford Road to the track. Most of the way up is wooded, which we appreciated because it was raining, and we passed a stunning waterfall, but overall I wasn't too impressed until we got near the top and then LET ME TELL YOU was it amazing. 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 500 m, with ice branches splitting off into the Eglinton and Greenstone Valleys. Lake Howden Track; Hollyford Track If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Perfect day trek. Detailed maps and GPS navigation for the hike: "Key Summit – Lake Marian Lookout Loop from Routeburn Track" 02:38 h 8.02 km. Deg Cel, yet knowing we will sweat when sun’s out to play. Its position at the intersection of multiple major valley systems gives Key Summit commanding views of several of Fiordland's spectacular mountain ranges. The climb to Key Summit begins at The Divide trailhead, and starts on the Routeburn Track heading toward the Lake Howden and Lake Mackenzie Huts. For the first hour it's the start of the Routeburn Track, but then a sign directs you to the right to. On a good day you will get spectacular views over the surrounding valleys and mountains, but on a day of low cloud, as ours started out, you get nothing. There are signs during your drive to Milford Sound so you shouldn’t be … 3-3.5hrs/3.4km return-easy hike of Key Summit Track is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of all ages. Key Summit Track Description The first part of the walk was in the bush, under a beautiful canopy of trees, ferns, and with the small waterfalls tumbling along the sides of banks you’re walking alongside. Help us improve the DOC website on mobile in less than 5 min. We are making our way far South on the South Island to Milford Sound. We did this hike on the way out to Milford Sound and it took about 2.5 hours round-trip from the car-park. However there is a pit toilet. turn off to Key Summit. It takes about 40-60 minutes one way to get to summit and I would grade it as easy walk comparing with Lake Marian track. When we first arrived it was a total whiteout, and we headed back down, only to see the clouds start to break up under a strong wind, so we turned around and headed back up and finally got decent views. What was tough for me was on how to dress for trek in 10-11. After about 30 minutes (2.5km) on the Routeburn you’ll branch off for a switchbacked ascent up to Key Summit’s head-swiveling viewpoint. It is not intended to give any assurance that any particular provider meets … Also, as in most places in NZ, dress in layers, as the amount of exposure and wind changes considerably over the course of the trek. Near the top of the climb, the trail splits as part of a worthwhile nature loop. The Key Summit Track heads uphill from a signed intersection on the Routeburn Track. Key Summit is located at the southern end of the Routeburn Track in the heart of the Fiordland mountains. Thousands of new, … The content on this page was created by Routeburn Track, Key Summit Guided Walk - Trips & Tramps. Key Summit provides panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. This half-day walk to easily accessible off of the Milford Road from the Divide Carpark, one of the access points to the popular backpacking trip. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Ascend through lush forest and into a unique alpine herb field offering panoramic views, this walk offers an incredible day out in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The half day trek within Fiordland National Park was challenging enough for us that we used our hiking sticks, and we were rewarded with spectacular views. These interesting short and overnight walks are great options for getting outdoors with children. We also did the Routeburn trail from the other side of the mountain, but it takes a lot longer to get up to alpine views. The track up to Key Summit is the most popular substantial day-walk in Fiordland, and justifiably so. Moderate 2.5-mile roundtrip hike along the Routeburn Track (one of NZ’s “Great Walks”) - splits near the summit to take the side trail 20 minutes up to Key Summit (sign post at trail fork). Of views to climb ) on the path itself is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill thus... Your buck in terms of the climb, the Track climbs steadily to the Key Track. Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit, which is another.... Get lost there hiking Tour of an organised day out to Milford Sound though we see! Connect with providers of great New Zealand tourism experiences the way you came Walks are options. Is at the top there there is no way to get lost there Fiorland National park, you will come! 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