Thursday and Friday I pretty much relaxed and enjoyed the good weather in Queenstown. I also did quite a bit of shopping for my first multiple day track. Lots of food, a waterproof cover for my backpack, a little pot and a water absorbing shirt were some of the items I was still missing.
On Saturday I set off on the Routeburn Track, 33 km through the wilderness of South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The track traverses from Glenorchy to the Divide (between Te Anau and Milford Sound). The first day was only 2 hours though, since the Falls Hut was booked full I had to stay in the Flats Hut. The huts were pretty well equiped though: gas cookers and even flush toilets! But considering the price was 19 euro per night (1,5 times the price of a hostel), one would expect something as well, even in the middle of nowhere. At least the huts on the Kepler track are only 13,50 euro per night. The second day I hiked about 6 hours, arriving at Mackenzie hut at 14.30. The last day was about 5 hours of hiking in total. It was great to be in the wilderness with the comfort of the huts and the company of the other hikers. On both evenings I have been playing a lot of card games. Weatherwise the hike was quite okay, only a bit of drizzle on the second day. Unfortunately it was mostly cloudy the second and third day, and I was often thinking “I wonder how the view is without the mountains”. Nevertheless, I made about 50 photos, so beautiful was this remote area.