Routeburn Track - Day 4
21 January 2018
The final day of the Routeburn Track involved only a short walk of 9 kilometers all up about 4 hours walking; and all of which is either downhill or flat so it was a nice easy day to fnish on.
As such we took our time in the morning enjoying the amazing view across the valley below.
We arrived down at the Routeburn Flats Hut which at the base of Routeburn Falls mid-morning and stopped here for a long morning tea, and using the facilities to have a hot drink.
There is a dead end track called the Routeburn North Branch Track which I thought I would have a wonder down – and what a great decision that was! I spent about 15 minutes walking through this field of grass before heading into a valley with trees and the surprise was the bird sounds that were everywhere. This made me realise that the Routeburn Great Walk has amazing views but with so many people on it they must scare away a lot of the wildlife; and that not far away from the track there is actually plenty of biodiversity to be heard and seen. I enjoyed the hour walk and up down this side path and it made me realise that the Milford Track is a much better walk, not only for the views but due to the greater wildlife you can see as the numbers of people are less and there are no day walkers.
Then it was heading out to the Routeburn Shelter, I needed to be out by a late 4pm for when the bus was due to arrive.
During the last coupe of weeks I had seen most of the rare birds that live in Foirdland such as the little riflemen but the one remaining bird that I wanted to see, which we had not yet come across was the yellow-crowned parakeet – and near the end of the track the path split – so Julianne went one way and I went the other to see if either of us could see a yellow-crowned parakeet.
Well I didn’t see anything, but Julianne who is far more a Ranger than I am and is most excellent at spotting wildlife got a great view as one flew above her. I dashed down and saw the bird in the far distance. This is why she had the camera.
There was about a 20 minute wait for the bus, and after all these day’s tramping and my lower level of fitness I was a tad sore and achy, so it was nice to take my boots off and relax and think that I have successfully completed both the Milford Track and Roubteburn Track over the last couple of weeks – two of the more famous Great Walks in New Zealand.
The bus turned out to be a ute with a back seat, which was nice so it was a more comfortable journey to Queenstown. The driver recommended the Flame Bar & Grill for dinner as I wanted steak! And luckily the Flame bar just happened to be across the road from where we were staying in Queestown – in a backpackers right next to the water. So very close and very yummy. Nice to have 'proper' food instead of tramping food.
Our room has these great large windows right over the centre of Queenstown – you just couldn’t get more central location. That evening a lot of washing went on, both us and our clothes. It was great to get clean again.
The room was so great and central that the buskers late at night actually made it hard to get to sleep, careful what you wish for!