"Milford Track Nov 29-Dec 3 2006" Top 5 Page for this destination Milford Sound by Josilver
Milford Sound Travel Guide: 209 reviews and 714 photos
As there is no VT page for milford track, my milford track expereinces are listed here.
I stepped over the edge of the ferry and made the ominous discovery that the jetty was covered in 3 inches of water. As the remaining passengers tentatively made their way off the ferry other walkers and I stood expectantly in the rain waiting for our Milford track adventure to begin. 55km or 33.5 miles long it is dubbed the finest walk in the world. I was about to find out why.
Our guides seemed unperturbed and oblivious to the water and rain and gave the signal to move off in the direction of Glade house. Once assigned our bunk rooms we were given the option of a short nature walk. As I was already damp and with naïve faith in my rain jacket I enthusiastically plodded out into the rain. We departed into the ever-increasing rain that was soon running off the edges of my jacket and splashing onto my hiking pants, soaking them. Equally wet, the other walkers and I crossed the swirling Clinton River via a precarious swing bridge onto beginning of the Milford Trail. Instead of a hiking trail it resembled a mud bath. We were given stern instructions not to walk around the puddles so as not to damage the trail, “just accept the fact your boots will get wet, it’s just a matter of when.” Yelling over the roar of the pouring rain our guide discussed the ecology of the New Zealand beech forest. We couldn’t help but note the river rising inch by inch toward the top of the bank. Eventually deciding it was too wet to continue we splashed back through the rising puddles over the now raging river to the lodge. I headed for a hot shower and I removed my sodden layers.
Morning was greeted by the whirring of generators as the bright lights flickering on woke us. Outside a misty rain was falling and to our surprise a sprinkling of snow had settled on the surrounding hills. The river had also calmed and dropped, the danger of it breaking its banks averted. This was our first full day of hiking with full packs and after a large breakfast I set out nervously, this time with a full length rain jacket and water proof pants. We returned over the swing bridge and entered the beech forest, and as the group spread out and an idyllic peace descended. Completely shrouded by the lush forest, the only sounds were the gently falling rain and trickling water – interrupted by the rhythmic squelching of my boots on the muddy path and occasional bird song as small robins flittered across the path.
Following lunch the path opened up into the Clinton valley and the beech trees gave way to grass lands. The heavy overnight rain caused upwards of 20 waterfalls to cascade down the towering walls of the glacial valley. Attempts to photograph the awesome panorama failed miserably as around each corner another spectacular scene came into view. We settled for immersing ourselves in the show nature had put on, as we wandered blissfully through the valley, stopping to rest and fill our water bottles at the small lakes and streams created by the falls.
At the end of the valley nestled on the side of the hill amongst the beech forest we reached pomlpoma lodge. We settled into comfort with hot coffee and scones, gazing though the windows at yet another waterfall, seemingly put there for our benefit. Then came into sight a helicopter with a large crate of supplies hanging beneath it. The pilot deftly manoevoured it between the trees onto a tiny timber deck and the lodge staff rushed out to retrieve the goods before waving him away to deliver another. We watched in fascination as this was repeated four more times and acquired an appreciation of the mammoth feat of organization involved in running the guided walks. Up to forty walkers are catered for at each lodge each day and all food and fuel is choppered in and all waste is choppered out. With this in mind I tucked into the giant bowl of spaghetti bolognaise that night, also remembering that I was going to need all the energy I could get was the walk over MacKinnon pass the next day.
I was going to write more here, but if you want to know more you will have to go and experience it for yourself.
- Pros:It really is the finest walk in the world
- In a nutshell:Makes you want to quit your job and do it for a living
OK so not technically a thing to do tip, but I though he rated a mention. Rossco is one of the guides on the track and... more travel advice
Mackinnon pass is the highest point of the milford track. located here is the cairne - a stone memorial to Quinten... more travel advice
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