The Magnificent Milford Track in New Zealand

New Zealand’s most famous hiking route, Milford Track has been tagged by experts as one of the finest walks in the world. And they have every reason to rave about this magnificent hiking route! If it’s breathtaking scenery you are looking for in an ultimate hiking adventure; there is no doubt that the Milford can you give this, and more!

Interestingly, this 53.5 – kilometer track can only be walked in one direction. It starts from the Glade Wharf and leads to the Lake Te Anau’s northern shores and Sandfly Point. Both spots are near the incredible Milford Sound, sitting on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It takes about four to five memorable days to complete this track, which will lead you to Clinton Valley as well as through beech-tree forests. It may also include an ascent to the Mackinnon Pass, which will let you plunge into the arms of tussock and alpine herbs. Finally, you will also explore the Arthur Valley, home to ferns, lichens and mosses.

Mackinnon Pass

Hiking Milford Track is truly a once in a lifetime adventure that every hiking enthusiasts must experience. And a lot of people have already realized this track’s magnificent as about 14000 souls make their way to Milford Track on an annual basis. The walking season for this track starts in late October and goes to late April. To avoid overcrowding and environmental damage; the governing body over Milford Track allows only a maximum of 40 independent walkers to walk the track each day.

The lovely lakeside town of Te Anau is the gateway to the Milford Track. You can begin and end your hiking journey here before returning home. Day one of hiking the track involves getting on a boat from Te Anau Downs. This boat ride across the lake proves to be very scenic. Upon landing, you will need to cover the first section of the track, which involves crossing a suspension bridge and going through a lovely beech forest.

Aside from tackling board walks, mountain passes and suspension bridges, some of the highlights you will encounter while doing the Milford Track include gorgeous valleys, mountain peaks, pristine rivers and glacier fiords. You should not miss the opportunity of dropping by the tallest waterfall in the country named Sutherland Falls.

Milford Track in New Zealand

The Milford Track is not very easy but it is not too difficult either. It still poses a challenge to most people. To ensure an enjoyable walking experience; it is highly recommended that you be in good physical condition. Expect to be walking for about 6-8 hours, covering 15-21 kilometers per day. For your convenience, consider having a walking tour company arrange a guided tour for you through the Milford Track. Fortunately, there are several tour companies to choose from. Booking a guided walk relieves you from the burden of carrying heavy packs and doing chores like cooking.

As for accommodation options, take note that camping is not permitted on the track. However, there are three public lodges along the track, which are all managed by the Department of Conservation. In addition, there are three other private lodges operated by walking tour companies. You will need to book your accommodation way in advance, if you are planning to walk independently. Hiking the track independently also means that you will need to acquire a Great Walks Pass.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!