The Milford Track, New Zealand
The Milford Track is 53.5 kilometres in the heart of spectacular Fiordland National Park, which is part of the Te-Wahipounamu--South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The track starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes in Milford Sound. Crystal clear water, soaring mountains, and the richly hued forests to wander through make an indelible impression and memory. Te Anau, the nearest township, has a full range of accommodation, shopping and hire services.
From Te Anau a bus transports you to Te Anau Downs wharf where a ferry takes you across to Glade Wharf, where the walk begins. Independent walkers will stay overnight at Clinton Hut, Mintaro Hut and Dumpling Hut. Ending at Sandfly Point, walkers get a boat transfer across the stunning Milford Sound to the roadhead back to Te Anau.
The track accommodates 40 independent and 40 guided walkers per day. Independent walkers must carry all their own food and sleeping bags for accommodation in the DOCS huts. Mattresses are provided as well as limited battery lighting, washing up facilities, food utensils and cooking equipment. Guided walkers are provided with warm huts, hot food and hot showers.
The independent walkers’ hut are comfortable and welcoming, especially if the weather is overwhelming. MacKinnon’s Pass, cheeky Keas (native parrots), Sutherland Falls and the numerous streams which you walk through.
Moir's Guide South is a classic NZ tramping guide that has tons of information on Fiordland and the Southern Lakes, including the Milford Track. Almis Simankevicius' book - On the Milford Track - is a fascinating narrative weaving history legend and track notes into a single slim volume.
WHEN TO GO
Generally best travelled between November and April, although the weather can be hectic at anytime so full waterproofs must be carried.