The Key Summit Track is a medium 3.4 km walk that will take you around 3 hours to complete one way.

From The Divide car park, the Key Summit Track follows the Routeburn Track for the first hour, after which the Key Summit Track branches off to the right. From there, it is a steady climb to Key Summit through a series of switchbacks.

The first part of the walk takes you through beech forest, but as you begin to climb, the vegetation passes to subalpine shrublands. With the forest behind you, you will be able to take in the views over the Hollyford Valley and the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. 

At the summit, the track continues around as a loop around the summit. You will be able to see the alpine tarns and bogs and reach the Lake Marian Viewpoint. Lake Marian is nestled in a valley in the Darran Mountains. The loop brings you back to the top of Key Summit, where you return to The Divide or continue on the Routeburn Track.

In order to fully enjoy the mountain views that this walk offers, it is preferable to do it on a clear cloudless day.

The Department of Conservation emphasizes the importance of keeping to the track as alpine soil and vegetation are very fragile.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
  • Time needed: 3 hour walk
  • Distance: 3.4 km
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Bikes allowed: No
  • Route: One way
  • Elevation: 400 m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: There are toilets at the start of the walk and a pit toilet at the top.
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
  • Last Updated: April, 2020

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Summary points about this walk

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