Milford track - tips
When I told my friends that I was going to New Zealand, the most common question was “are you going to walk the Milford track?”.
Thus, I found out that this is not just “another track” but rather the “finest walk in the world”!
Now I hope to help other people not to miss this amazing track.
There is a good reason why the track is so popular. You can find out some of the best landscapes and diverse scenery New Zealand has to offer: fifth-highest waterfall in the world, crystal-clear creeks, beautiful mirror lakes and amazing fiords.
I have decided to give you a brief with some tips about the Milford track so that you can prepare for it.
The start point: The 53 km journey begins at Glade Wharf (at the head of lake Te Anau). You need to catch a boat from Te Anau Downs that will take you there.
The end point: The Milford Track finishes at Sandfly Point. A boat (15 min trip) from Sandfly Point will take you to Milford Sound village.
From that point, you have several options: catch a bus to Te Anau (2.5 hours), catch a bus to Queenstown (5 hours) or you can book a place in Milford Lodge and enjoy another day of the beauty of the Milford Sound.
The track may only be walked in one direction for 4 days (3 nights) with max of 40 travelers in each day. You need to pre-book the boats and a hut for each night.
Note, there is are no accommodation in camping sites in the Milford track.
Here are some useful tips to remember before the track:
- Milford sound huts include: Clinton Hut, Mintaro Hut, Dumpling Hut. The track must be walked in this direction.
This is the only option. Booking milford track can be done only via the DOC (Department of Conservation) website.
- Milford track availability is very low. Huts are booked a year in advance. Luckily, sometimes there are cancelations.
In order make sure you see them, you can constantly check the DOC website or use NZtracker service that will notify you once someone cancels so that you can immediately book.
- Be prepared to get wet - the weather in Fiorland is crazy and changes rapidly. Don’t forget to take enough extra clothes and spare dry socks.
Take a waterproof cover for your bag,
your phone and your camera. Make sure you have good hiking waterproof boots. In addition, take a swimming suit. There are nice spots to swim.
- Mosquito spray is a must! There are too many sandflies that want to taste every exposed spot of your body.
If you react badly to bites and swell up (like I do), it’s better to be prepared in advance.
- Food - you can’t purchase any food on the track and have to take food for the whole period with you. It’s better to take lightweight, high energy value and fast cooking food. For example:
Breakfast: sandwich, porridge, cereals.
Lunch: sandwich, cracker biscuits, snacks, fruits, dried fruits.
Dinner: pasta, rice, instant soup or meal.
You will need a bottle of 1.5-2 liters of water, tea/coffee and snacks.
- Book in advance a hostel/hotel for the night after you finish the track.
After 4 days of walking you will be tired and won’t want to start looking for a place to sleep.
Arrange your place for 4th night, before you go to the track.
- The first day of the track is an easy day of one hour.
Therefore, you don’t need to rush. You can easily start the day in the late afternoon and but if you have started early, just relax and enjoy the scenery.
- On the last day, it is better to book the late boat trip (usually at 3-4pm).
Thus, you won’t have to rush on your last day and will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Trust me, you don’t want to run all the way and miss this wonderful views.
- And the most important thing - come with good moods! Meet new people and enjoy the most beautiful track in the world!