Peak(s):  Milford Track, NZ - 5,000 feet
Post Date:  06/02/2011
Date Climbed:   02/05/2011
Posted By:  slaggbottom


 Soaking up the glory of "life-lister" Milford Track, NZ's premier "Great Walk&qu  

The Milford Track is without a doubt the crown jewel “Great Walk” of New Zealand. During my research, I got the impression that the Milford was WAY over hyped, and that many people preferred the scenery on the Routeburn, and other Tracks. So with tempered expectations, and having just finished 3 other tramps, I set out on the prestigious Milford, with a 4 day forecast of heavy rain.

Boy was I completely blown away! In fact, to truly experience the Milford, a good rain storm is appropriate to witness the endless gallery of waterfalls streaming down the sheer walls of mountain in the narrow valleys. We got lucky to catch a break in the weather during the majestic Mackinnon Pass too. Even more lucky was that we were even able to make this tramp at all! The 40 bunks per hut are booked 6+ months in advance during peak season, and it was pure luck that 2 spots opened for us during my daily online availability check a couple months before our trip. We also had great company on the 4 day trek, bonding with fellow trampers over card games each day to pass the time and stay dry in the huts.

The Milford Track (4 days, 53.5km) boasts dreamy forests, monstrous glacier carved valleys, and the most manicured trail I’ve ever seen. A scenic boat ride is required at the beginning and end of the Track. Along the way you can make a side trip to 1700’ Sutherland Falls.

Full reports here:
DAY 1: Boat ride from Te Anau Downs, and a short hike to Clinton Hut...
DAY 2: A glorious hike through a gallery of waterfalls on a rainy day on the Milford, to Mintaro Hut…
DAY 3: Catching a break in the weather reveals the glory of the Milford Track, from Mackinnon Pass to Dumpling Hut...
DAY 4: More beautiful forest and waterfalls as we hike out to Sandfly Point, and take the boat back to Milford Sound...
BONUS: A lunch cruise on the ultra-mind-blowingly scenic Milford Sound

Summary pics:

Day 1 is a short 5km walk to Clinton Hut


Day 2 was wet and enjoyable with waterfalls lining the mountain sides.






Couldn’t avoid the water today… Plenty of cards (with a reminder of home) were played, keeping dry in the huts…


Day 3 is the big climb up MacKinnon Pass. We waited at the Pass Shelter, hoping for clouds to clear, and lo and behold, they did!






The trail descended an elevated boardwalk through the treetops, like Swiss Family Robinson. Sutherland Falls was so powerful, we couldn’t get near it due to the strong winds/mist it produced…




Day 4 had more rain, but pretty forest and waterfalls…






We killed some time writing our names in the sand at a scenic spot…


The return boat ride from Sandfly Point to Milford Sound offered fittingly sublime scenes to cap off an amazing “walk” of the famed Milford Track.


Full reports here:
Boat ride from Te Anau Downs, and a short hike to Clinton Hut...
A glorious hike through a gallery of waterfalls on a rainy day on the Milford, to Mintaro Hut…
Catching a break in the weather reveals the glory of the Milford Track, from Mackinnon Pass to Dumpling Hut...
More beautiful forest and waterfalls as we hike out to Sandfly Point, and take the boat back to Milford Sound...
BONUS: A lunch cruise on the ultra-mind-blowingly scenic Milford Sound

 


  • Comments or Questions
BobbyFinn


Nice
06/02/2011 13:17
We were in the Te Anau area around 2/7 - 2/14 this year. It's such a beautiful place. We did the Kepler Track and a couple of other hikes. Thanks for sharing.


Zambo


Excellent
06/02/2011 13:29
Even the best pics just don't do Fiordland justice, do they? Nice report.

Here's an idea: what about a possible NZ alum 14er trip this summer? We'll just have to find a peak that is 3000+ feet straight up, has huts to sleep in, and we can only do it in a torrential downpour!


slaggbottom


Te Anau
06/02/2011 14:07
BobbyFinn, we overlapped with you in Te Anau this year. I loved that town. In particular, we loved the fish n' chips takeaway on the edge of town (heading to Milford Sound). Stopped many times, and ate along the lake.

Zambo, We'd have to import some keas to sprinkle around the mountains too!


lordhelmut


I've spent
06/02/2011 21:20
the better part of the day at work reading yet another mind bending TR of your adventure over there. Its amazing, cause ever since I left that place back in January of 2006, I've been envisioning a trip back there on a weekly basis and this TR is everything I've envisioned and then some. You guys really know how to travel. When I get $5k saved up, a month to take off, I don't even need anyone to go with, I'm out of here. I realize there are many places in the world to see, but I'm convinced none more worth it than New Zealand. Hell of a report. This has been a rare treat to read, I can't thank you enough to putting this thing up there in such detail. Something to vividly remember for the rest of your life. Forget Fromer's, this TR will be used as my guidebook, every last page of it.

Way to get the most out of your vacation and your life.


slaggbottom


thanks lordhelmut
06/02/2011 21:33
Your comments are well appreciated. It was certainly an epic adventure, and I worked hard to preserve the memory, so I could share it everyone, in hopes of enabling all to experience this amazing adventure in an enchanted land.

I've been working on this 41 day NZ trip report for quite awhile, and am on my final days now... Still one more memorable tramp to wite up (Hump Ridge Track).


hikerdoc

Absolute pleasure to read
06/03/2011 18:44
I don't post often here as I'm from Michigan and don't get to Colorado nearly as often as I would like (most of our hiking is done east of the Mississippi unfortunately), but I enjoy reading the trip reports. Your reports have been an absolute pleasure to read. I read your Norway trip report last year and have been a fan since. Thanks for the beta on the NZ trip as my wife and I are planning to go in Jan 2013. As lordhelmet said, I'll be using your TR as a guide. Excellent and safe adventures to you and Wendy in the future.


AmanSnowMan

Whoops!
06/06/2011 16:31
Sorry not sure how that got posted twice, but awesome thank you! I'll check them out online since I'm going to college in Washington, a little far away from my Colorado home. But excellent work! What a cool idea!


slaggbottom


ranking the tramps, and 14ercards
06/06/2011 16:27
Yeah, all the tramps are great, an things like the weather, and commaradarie on the trail can make them stand out from another. I'll rank the 5 I did, after my last TR (Hump Ridge).

Regarding the 14er cards, check out www.14ercards.com. You can buy online, or find a local store. I designed them (took all the pics), and can let you know if any stores near you have them.


AmanSnowMan

Ahhh NZ.
06/06/2011 16:27
Ahhh NZ.
I enjoyed this reminiscence of my trip to the Milford (also in a flood.. no surprise there) and New Zealand last year. Thank you for posting! I will say to anyone going to New Zealand, that the Routeburn and Kepler and most other Great Walks (the ones I did anyway) are just too hard to compare or asses value or superiority to, as each is so uniquely wonderful! (Though you need a clear day when you top out the ridge on the Routeburn to witness its full beauty) I wouldn't quite put the Milford in a class of its own... But for pure awe-factor (waterfalls, balloon peak, etc) the Milford sure is unlike anything else I've ever experienced. One last thing: Where can I get those 14er cards?!? Awesome! Cheers!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2016 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.