Last Updated: 15th Apr 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Routeburn: Divide to Conical Hill

Te Anau, Southland

Submitted by Sarah Coxon

Last Updated: 15th Apr 2024


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 72 ?

Gnarl Factor: 43 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back


Native bush


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.3%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







The yin to Conical Hill and Return's yang - a great way to see the other half of the Routeburn Track, without the logistical faff of running it point-to-point.

From the Divide Carpark, there's only 500m of relatively flat to warm up before kicking into the first climb of the day. At 2.5km you'll reach a junction with the option to take a short side trip up to Key Summit (918m) with a nature loop and views of Lake Marian, but otherwise stay left and crack on. You could also save Key Summit for the return leg, assuming there is anything left in yours.

Being a Great Walk, the Routeburn track is obvious and easy to follow, but still packs a reasonable amount of technical rocky and rooty trail, mixed in with stretches of nice, easy running. Any junctions are clearly marked with the classic DOC signboards, and orange triangles or poles are dotted along the way.

Much of the early route is bush-clad as you pass Lake Howden, Earland Falls and the 'Orchard,' before descending to Lake MacKenzie (and the hut, should you need facilities).

From Lake MacKenzie the track climbs steadily to clear the bushline, with stunning views back over the lake and the range behind it. It then turns to the north to sidle along the Hollyford Face with dramatic views across the Hollyford Valley and Darran Mountains, before a small climb up to Harris Saddle.

Once at the saddle, the track to Conical Hill is tucked behind the shelter - a steep 1km push that features some stairs and some scrappy technical track.

This is the high point of the route, and a perfect chance to refuel while you soak in the 360-degree views!

Once you've had enough, retrace your steps down Conical Hill and back on to the main Routeburn track. Now it's back to the Divide as fast or as slow as you like - there are still plenty of great views to enjoy, or you can open up a little on the net downhill (noting that there are a still a few small climbs to keep you honest).

If you've been fortunate to enjoy good weather, a quick dunk under the Earland Falls on your way past will do wonders to revive the legs for the last 6.5 km back to the car

This trail includes the peak Conical Hill.

Earland Falls (174m), Lakes Howden, MacKenzie and Harris, beautiful views of the Hollyford Valley and surrounding mountains

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Large designated carparking area, with shelter and info panels, toilets, and cell tower (eg if sending start/finish intentions). Various transport operators provide transfers to the Divide - check online for current timetable and cost info.

0 km

0 minutes




The track is well-formed and easy to follow. Any junctions are well sign-posted.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

Several small, clear streams cross the track just before reaching MacKenzie Hut, and along the several km of sidle along the Hollyford Face. MacKenzie Hut itself is also an option. Filter or treat if you're concerned.

Ice and snow in winter. Avalanche paths are known to cross the Routeburn and Conical Hill tracks - check the DOC website or call their Te Anau Visitor's Centre for up-to-date track conditions.

The section from MacKenzie Hut to Conical Hill can be very exposed to the weather. The track can be very popular with hikers over summer, so just be aware and considerate of others track users.

Trail Legend

Eline Bach Kolling

Eline Bach Kolling

has completed Routeburn: Divide to Conical Hill once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Routeburn: Divide to Conical Hill

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

Be the first to submit a review for Routeburn: Divide to Conical Hill !

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

The Routeburn

The Routeburn

Length: 32.0km

Level: Intermediate

Hollyford Road - Routeburn Loop via Deadmans and Pass Creek

Hollyford Road - Routeburn Loop via Deadmans and Pass Creek

Length: 28.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Other trails nearby
Henry the Hooligan!

Henry the Hooligan!

Length: 10.0km

Level: Beginner

Key Summit Nature Trail Loop

Key Summit Nature Trail Loop

Length: 8.7km

Level: Beginner

Caples Track - The Divide Version

Caples Track - The Divide Version

Length: 31.0km

Level: Intermediate

Waiau River Loop

Waiau River Loop

Length: 23.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby