Although the Routeburn Track is a three-day trek, one can walk part of it as a 7-kilometer day hike. The Divide trailhead at one end of the track begins with a steady climb through a beech forest and sub-alpine shrubs and continues with a steep zigzag above treeline to Key Summit. A loop from the summit goes through a variety of environments, including small alpine ponds and bogs. Viewpoints from the summit and along the loop offer stunning vistas of the snow-capped Darran Mountains, Lake Marian, and the lengths of the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone Valleys.
We were on the Grand Traverse, encompassing the Greenstone and Routeburn Tracks. We had left the Lake McKenzie lodge earlier that day and were approaching Ocean Peak. The mist was lifting and the day would prove to be spectacular!