Summary: The Routeburn Left Branch drops over 700m from Lake Harris to the valley below. Routeburn Falls is near the bottom, where the plunges over multiple cliffs.

Fed by Lake Harris which is high up on an alpine ridge (at 1440m above sea level), the Routeburn Left Branch drops steeply down to Routeburn Flats (700m), in New Zealand’s Fjiordland. I’ve seen the height of Routeburn Falls reported as 176m based on the vertical height of the steepest section of the valley that the river cascades down.

IMG 9312 LR Routeburn Falls

The Routeburn Falls are about 40m in height, where the Routeburn Left Branch cascades over cliffs before plunging vertically into a shallow pool just above Routeburn Falls Hut. They waterfall is quite picturesque, being framed by tall cliffs next to and above the falls.

Getting to Routeburn Falls

If you’re doing the Routeburn Track, you’ll follow the Routeburn Left Branch as you descend from Harris Saddle. The best view of the falls is just before the track reaches the Routeburn Falls Hut. You can also visit the falls as a day walk from the Routeburn Shelter, which is 18.2km return. Routeburn Shelter is about half an hour drive from Glenorchy or an hour from Queenstown.

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