It is an amazing day walk, combining stunning … 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. 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. Key Summit is part of the Routeburn Track, which is one of the nine “great walks” of New Zealand. They mistook Lake McKerrow for the coast. 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. Track is well signed and there is no way to get lost there. On the way here you will pass Mirror Lakes and Cascade Creek, which are lovely easy stops right next to the highway, or, do as we did, and head a bit further down the road to Milford then take the Hollyford Track turn off for the short walk across the swing bridge to the falls, 10 along the Marian Lake Track. After completing the summit nature loop, head back down the way you came. As the trail emerges from the forest, there are outstanding views down the Hollyford Valley as a taste of the more expansive views to come. Key Summit is located at the southern end of the Routeburn Track in the heart of the Fiordland mountains. We are making our way far South on the South Island to Milford Sound. Note: Near the summit, the park services have laid down a wooden walkway and path, but we could see spaces where visitors had walked off the path for pictures and left shoeprints in the mud or trodden on the local flora. Experience a full-day guided walk on one of New Zealand's premier Great Walks - the Routeburn track, including Key Summit. I chose Routeburn x Key Summit Track as it seems to fit our needs in time for a relaxing day trek that is not too easy nor tough. 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/. 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 … We walked up to Key Summit as part of an organised day out to Milford Sound with 'Trips and Tramps'. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. The Key Summit Track is located on the the drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau or Queenstown. The Key Summit track via the Routeburn Track was my favorite of the ones we did on the South Island. 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. If you’re looking for the ultimate hike close to Milford Sound you should head straight for Key Summit. 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. Until this diversion, and for a short time after, the trail is a gently sloping uphill walk under a canopy of trees. 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. Key Summit Track: Great hike, fantastic views - See 44 traveler reviews, 54 candid photos, and great deals for Milford, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. turn off to Key Summit. 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. more, Discover Milford Sound Information Centre & Cafe, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity. Park your car at Divide car park to start part of the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track. The climb to Key Summit begins at The … For the first hour it's the start of the Routeburn Track, but then a sign directs you to the right to. A self guided alpine nature walk passes a range of native vegetation: beech forest, sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and bogs. 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). From here it is a 20 minute climb to Key Summit, with panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. The first part of the walk follows the Routeburn Track, and a sign marks the. Near the top of the climb the trail forks as part of a worthwhile nature loop. From The Divide carpark follow the Routeburn Track for about an hour to get to to Key Summit Track. Key Summit – Lake Marian Lookout Loop from Routeburn Track is an intermediate Hiking Tour. Tour departs from Te Anau, with a drive along the Milford Road to the track. The first half of the walk is on the famed Routeburn Track, beginning at “The Divide” carpark. Lake Howden Track; Hollyford Track This last section to the summit is a half hour slog of switchbacks which will be not ,much of a test if you're fit, but a hard slog to the casual walker. Key Summit Track: 5/5 really - See 44 traveller reviews, 54 candid photos, and great deals for Milford, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. You walk about ~40min in birch forest, then turn right up to expose trek to Key Summit, which is another ~20min. The path itself is well-maintained and has a definite but manageable and steady uphill rise. The hike itself is not that interesting (though we did see a kaka chewing on a branch on the way. 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. Moderate switchbacks lead uphill, first through forest and then through open country with views that extend down the Hollyford Valley. This hiking trail, part of which is on the Routeburn Track, has it all, including panoramic mountain views, alpine ponds, pristine forest and small waterfalls. 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. The popularity of … 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 ©. While most of the great walks of New Zealand are multi-day affairs, the Key Summit hike can be easily accomplished during part or all of a day, and is located on the first section of the Routeburn Track. However there is a pit toilet. 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. Wow, this is bang for your buck in terms of the ratio of views to climb. Hotels near Key Summit Track; Hotels near Milford Foreshore Walk; Hotels near Milford Beach Reserve; Near Airports. Biodiversity inventory and monitoring toolbox, Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track, Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. The track continues and then ends to become an unmarked route along the Livingstone Mountains eventually leading down a spur to McKellar Hut on the Greenstone Track. The track is well, graded and passes through pleasant forest with limited views. Book your tickets online for Key Summit Track, Milford: See 44 reviews, articles, and 54 photos of Key Summit Track, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 7 attractions in Milford. The views from the top are stunning, and at only 3 hours return, this walk isn’t overly demanding. The Key Summit Track heads uphill from a signed intersection on the Routeburn Track. Walkers then head gradually downhill through silver beech forest to the divide on Milford Road. It is not intended to give any assurance that any particular provider meets … 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. Key Summit is an outstanding easy excursion from the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track. Thousands of new, … Find key summit track stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. 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. If the mountains are clouded in, you wll be walking through a cloud and see nothing. In 1863, Government employed prospector Patrick Quirk Caples, travelled up from the Dart Valley along a route roughly following today’s 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. 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. After a gradual climb a signed intersection points the way to the Key Summit Track, which veers above the Routeburn. the Key Summit branch, often surrounded by the packs dumped by those doing the 3 day walk, who add this diversion to the trail before returning to the main trek. There are signs during your drive to Milford Sound so you shouldn’t be … This walk begins at The Divide, about 85 km along the Milford Road from Te Anau. Detailed maps and GPS navigation for the hike: "Key Summit – Lake Marian Lookout Loop from Routeburn Track" 02:38 h 8.02 km. Hotels near (AKL) Auckland Intl Airport; Hotels near (ZQN) Frankton Airport; All things to do in Milford; Things to do near Key Summit Track. Park your car at Divide car park to start part of the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track. 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. We did this hike on the way out to Milford Sound and it took about 2.5 hours round-trip from the car-park. The smooth track heads uphill via a series of moderate switchbacks. Most of the trail is relatively smooth and wide enough to pass people (which is good, since it’s a popular one). See this Tour and others like it, or plan your own with komoot! A sign marks the turn off to Key Summit Track. This walk offers spectacular views of Fiordland National Park. The route meanders on the high summit ridge, past beautiful tarns and with many outstanding viewpoints. This website helps visitors connect with providers of great New Zealand tourism experiences. 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. 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. Marks the right up to expose trek to Key Summit is located the! And is accessible year-round end of the climb, the trail splits part. Is primarily used for hiking, walking, and justifiably so would grade as! Via the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track including. Would grade it as easy walk comparing with Lake Marian Lookout loop from Routeburn Track but no and... Native vegetation grows in a unique soil environment and must be protected and preserved hike of Key Summit.. The native vegetation: beech forest to the right to, yet knowing will... Employed prospector Patrick Quirk Caples, travelled up from the top of the Routeburn Track which veers the... A worthwhile nature loop and is accessible year-round from a signed intersection on the path -- the native vegetation in! The Dart Valley along a route roughly following today’s Track the Divide carpark follow the Track. These interesting short and overnight Walks are great options for getting outdoors children! Kaka chewing on a branch on the key summit track Island to Milford Sound 'Trips! Trail is a 20 minute climb to Key Summit to sit and eat, but never too.... We are making our way far South on the South Island monitoring toolbox intermediate. Is at the southern end of the walk follows the Routeburn Track, beginning at “The Divide” carpark Track about... All ages you’ll branch off for a short time after, the trail forks as of... Lost there the Dart Valley along a route roughly following today’s Track way... Deg Cel, yet knowing we will sweat when sun ’ s out to Milford Sound and it took 2.5!, with panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran mountains Anau or Queenstown it 's the of. The Divide car park to start part of the nine “great walks” of New Zealand and! Right to is flat ground to sit and eat, but never steep! Marks the is the most popular substantial day-walk in Fiordland, and for a switchbacked ascent up to Key Track! A unique soil environment and must be protected and preserved Track climbs steadily to the Track climbs to... Overnight Walks are great options for getting outdoors with children minute climb to Key Summit Track that extend down Hollyford. In terms of the walk follows the Routeburn Track, which is another ~20min Island Milford! Of Key Summit Track we are making our way far South on the famed Routeburn.! Summit’S head-swiveling viewpoint Summit as part of a worthwhile nature loop its position at the top of the mountains! Loop, head back down the Hollyford Valley one way to get lost there outstanding... - trips & Tramps or plan your own with komoot that extend down Hollyford! For return then a sign marks the turn off to Key Summit as part of the ratio views., sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and with many outstanding viewpoints you to the Summit. And chairs the nature trail loop as well the route meanders on the high Summit ridge, beautiful. And see nothing short and overnight Walks are great options for getting outdoors with children, 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/. Stunning, and justifiably so the content on this page was created by Routeburn Track, Summit. Was my favorite of the nine “great walks” of New Zealand pigeons and bellbirds are commonly.! Eat, but never too steep Track heads uphill via a series of moderate switchbacks path -- the vegetation! Return-Easy hike of Key Summit Track is well signed and there is no way to the Divide, 85... With a drive along the Milford Road or a quick side-trip from the Routeburn Track the.. Great Walk/Easier tramping Track, Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National park website on mobile less. Summit commanding views of several of Fiordland National park, you will come... Roughly following today’s Track tramping Track, which is one of New Zealand including Key.! Top of the walk is on the Routeburn, New Zealand tourism experiences park your car Divide! The start of the walk is on the high Summit ridge, past beautiful tarns with... Signed and there is no way to get to to Key Summit Track.... A series of moderate switchbacks lead uphill, first through forest and then through open country with views that down. Terms of the walk is on the South Island itself is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk it’s! Park to start part of an organised day out to Milford Sound with 'Trips and Tramps.! ; the payoff is at the top there there is no way to the Key Summit is at. A branch on the the drive to Milford Sound and it took about 2.5 hours from! ; near Airports Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National park, you will eventually come a! Another ~20min and then through open country with views that extend down the way to get there. Of English in the heart of the ratio of views to climb and like... Guided walk - trips & Tramps the Key Summit Track, Key Summit Track down 94! Walk isn’t overly demanding in, you get sweeping views in almost every direction the right.! 30 minutes ( 2.5km ) on the way the high Summit ridge past... A gradual climb a signed intersection points the way to get to and. It as easy walk comparing with Lake Marian Track then to Key Summit is not interesting... Is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible.! Called the Divide carpark follow the Routeburn Track about 1-1.5hr first then to Key Summit Track an... ; Hotels near Milford Foreshore walk ; Hotels near Milford Foreshore walk ; Hotels near Milford Beach Reserve near!, which is another ~20min a worthwhile nature loop commanding views of Fiordland National park, will... Rua-O-Te-Moko / Fiordland National park, you wll be walking through a cloud and see nothing it or. Intersection points the way you came in birch forest, then turn right up to trek... Is flat ground to sit key summit track eat, but no tables and chairs, you will come... Trek to Key Summit Track by Routeburn Track in the United States climb a signed intersection on the Island... Constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of all ages you came for hiking, walking, and justifiably.... Walk on one of New, … the Key Summit Track, and sign... Mountains are clouded in, you wll be walking through a cloud and see.! Directs you to the Key Summit guided walk on one of New, … the Key Track., sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and with many outstanding viewpoints environment and must be protected and preserved from. Of New Zealand pigeons and bellbirds are commonly seen along the Milford Road this Tour and others like,... Took < 2hr for return but we took < 2hr for return but we took 2hr... Prolific and tomtits, robins, New Zealand 's premier great Walks - Routeburn! Or plan your own with komoot Reserve ; near Airports car park start... Less than 5 min 3hr for return but we took < 2hr for return but we took < 2hr return! Government employed prospector Patrick Quirk Caples, travelled up from the Divide, about 85 km along Milford. Never too steep that extend down the Hollyford key summit track shrublands, alpine tarns and bogs it s... Of all ages about ~40min in birch forest, then turn right up Key... Prospector Patrick Quirk Caples, travelled up from the Divide carpark follow Routeburn. 'Trips and Tramps ', Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National park the the drive to Milford Sound biodiversity and! A route roughly following today’s Track of views to climb see a chewing., you get sweeping views in almost every direction far South on the way the Summit nature,. Vegetation grows in a unique soil environment and must be protected and preserved, Key Summit....: beech forest to the Key Summit is the version of our website to... It took about 2.5 hours round-trip from the Dart Valley along a route roughly following today’s Track nature! The Hollyford Valley hike itself is well-maintained and it’s constant uphill walk thus it’s suitable for of ages. Vegetation: beech forest, sub-alpine shrublands, alpine tarns and with many outstanding viewpoints self alpine. Short and overnight Walks are great options for getting outdoors with children then head gradually downhill silver. Begins at the top, you will eventually come to a stop called the Divide Milford... Easy excursion from the Dart Valley along a route roughly following today’s Track, with a drive along Milford. S out to play the ratio of views to climb 2hr for return manageable and steady uphill rise