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.
|Location/List||South Island, New Zealand|
|Location Coordinates||44? 48′ 54″ S, 168? 7′ 39″ E|
|Nearest Town/s||Anau Te Anau
|Duration||3 hours (return)|
|Start/End Points||The Divide, SH94|
|Track conditions||Track, Unmarked Route|
|Sights||360 views of Fiordland|
|Hazards||Alpine weather , exposed|
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.
As Key Summit is located on the Routeburn Track, there are plenty of shuttle options from Te Anau or Queenstown. Try one of the following links:
Google Earth Map
- You can also
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.
Weather and Webcam Links
|Day Walks in New Zealand: 100 Great Tracks (Bird’s Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2007), See pages 166-167|