The Milford Track had been on my wish list for awhile and in early November last year I headed south to walk this amazing track.
Day 1. - Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut
The walking started after a short ferry ride to the start of the track. It was a pretty pleasant bush walk to the first hut, with only a little drizzle. Many photos were taken in this short first day... The Fiordland bush is such a vivid green but my photos just never do it justice.
The area around Clinton hut was beautiful. Surrounded by misty mountains in every direction.
Day 2 – Clinton Hut to Mintaro hut
We had to hang back at the hut until the ranger had made sure the track wasn’t flooded. Day two was a good day weather wise - sunshine and blue skies for the most part. We quickly found the flooded sections of the track and had to wade through carrying our shoes. The rocky track and icy water quickly killed our feet and made me regret everything but it was that or have wet shoes.
Walking through the valley was one of my favourite spots on the track. We were surrounded by towering mountains and so many waterfalls. It was absolutely stunning.
The rain set in about an hour or so before we reached Mintaro hut, and then the hail came. Luckily we weren't in it for long and quickly warmed up by the fire. It rained heavily over night and was it was freezing. We spent the night fantasising about the track being closed and being helicoptered to the next hut (something that does happen on occasion). Not this time though.
Day 3 – Mintaro hut to Dumping Hut
The day started with a few hours of switchbacks up to McKinnon pass in the rain. We set out early knowing we're slow trampers, and were overtaken by most people over the morning. It was slow going but we made it to the top only to find the amazing views shrouded in cloud and rain. We didn't spend too long at the monument before heading to the shelter for lunch and a reprieve from the rain.
The descent to the valley began and there was a slight break in the weather where we could marvel at just how big the mountains were that surrounded us. We both fell at times coming down. We had to take the emergency track down as the main track wasn't open yet due to avalanche risk.
We made it at last to Dumpling hut and made use of the fire to dry our gear. Ate hot food and rested our very sore legs.
Day 4 – Dumping Hut to Sandfly point
The last day of hiking was a long one but one of the best for us weather-wise and view-wise. Still waters and moody light made for some beautiful scenes.
By the time Sandfly point came into view we were both tired and dragging our feet, but so happy with our four days spent in NZ's beautiful backcountry. It was challenging and hard at times but so incredibly pretty and inspiring. I loved being immersed in the wild and remote scenery with other nature-lovers exploring this nook of NZ.