Key Summit

Key Summit is a small 918m summit accessible off the western end of Routeburn Track, 85 kms from Te Anau. The Routeburn Track takes 3 days to complete, but the walk to Key Summit itself is only a 3 hour return journey. The summit itself is home to tarns and an alpine wetland, as well as views of the Darran Mountains and the Hollyford Valley.

List Status Official
Elevation 918 m (3,012 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Otago/Southland
Location Coordinates 44° 48′ 54″ S, 168° 7′ 39″ E
Nearest Town/s Anau Te Anau
Range Livingstone Mountains
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 3 hours (return)
Distance 6.4 km (4 mi)
Start/End Points The Divide, SH94
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Unmarked Route
Season Help.gif Summer/Autumn
Sights 360 views of Fiordland
Hazards Alpine weather , exposed

Getting There

By Car

From Te Anau take the Te Anau to Milford Sound road (SH94). The Divide is just north of Lake Fergus and Lake Lochie. There are a shelter, carpark, and toilets at The Divide.

Public Transport

As Key Summit is located on the Routeburn Track, there are plenty of shuttle options from Te Anau or Queenstown. TryBuckley Transport (Queenstown)

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The walk to Key Summit starts from The Divide, which is the lowest east/west crossing of the South Alps, at 532m. From The Divide, the Routeburn Track sidles around the northern end of the Livingstone Range, and through a mossy silver beech forest. An hour into the walk, a signpost indicates the turn off to Key Summit, and from here the track zig-zags up to above the bushline. A boardwalk then guides you around an interpretative walk at the summit.

Height Profile

Key Summit-2d.jpg