The Routeburn Track is deservedly one of the most popular walks in New Zealand. The Sugarloaf / Rockburn Track starts 15 minutes into the Routeburn Track and is remarkably unpopular, which is a good thing!
Despite it being a long weekend I saw pretty much no one on the track all day. I had an epic lake, a deep chasm, views of cloud filled valleys, and endless beech forests to myself.It was rather cold though, 2C when I left the Routeburn Shelter car park at 9am. I returned by 5pm after a full 19km day of walking, with only a 20 minute stop for lunch. Reaching the 1,154m Sugarloaf Saddle involved a 650m ascent which quickly warmed me up.
The pass made for a good lunch stop, though sadly the track soon headed back into the forest. It was welcoming at first, then rather dicey heading down a steep and slippery collection of tree roots and rocks.