Tranquil waters of Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand. Photo: www.fiordland.org.nz
Fiordland’s Milford Track was the first of New Zealand’s established Great Walks and still today it remains an absolute tour of wonder.
Even the most eloquent of tourists have been left in stunned silence by the awesome beauty of this experience and virtually every Kiwi outdoor enthusiaste dreams of doing it.
It’s no wonder that this has been called the finest walk in the world because, in spite of the many beautiful places you can walk in the world, the Milford Track somehow touches the heart like nothing else every can.
The Milford Track guided walk covers 54km over four days on a well-graded moderate track. This iconic New Zealand hike offers an experience of Fiordland’s World Heritage Area at its most spectacular; luxuriant rainforest, sheer glacial canyons, deep lakes, silent fiords and cascading waterfalls.
The journey begins with a boat trip to the head of Lake Te Anau and an easy stroll to Glade House. Next morning there’s a quiet walk skirting the crystal-clear Clinton River in virgin bush to reach Hirere Falls for lunch. Then it’s on to Pomplona Lodge, enjoying great views of dramatic ice-carved Clinton Canyon.
Next day you commence a slow climb on a well-graded zigzag path to cross the jaw-dropping heights of Mackinnon Pass before plunging down into Arthur Valley to Quinton Lodge. A 90-minute side trip leads to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest in the world.
The final day is a long tramp over varied terrain, tracing the Arthur River to the trailhead at Sandfly Point.
A cruise across Milford Sound takes you to Mitre Peak Lodge where you will sleep soundly and dream of your conquest of the wildest, most isolated part of New Zealand.
Milford Sound played a starring role in Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
It was the spectacular sights of mountains, waterfalls, lush forests and wildlife that drew Jackson to the area. Fiordland was used as a location for Fangorn Forest, south of Rivendell and Arwen’s flight to the ford.
McKay Falls on the Milford Track, Fiordland. Photo: Destination Fiordland.