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Part B - Milford Track

Milford Track
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February 2017



New Zealand



0 - 1140m ASL


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THE MILFORD TRACK has long been known as the world's finest walk, and has been so since it first opened in the late 1880s by Quinton McKinnon, who discovered the route over the saddle which bears his name. Credit also has to be given to the hermit Donald Sutherland, who with his wife established a small farm in Milford Sound and guided groups up the Arthur Valley to Sutherland Falls. Now an extremely popular track booking out very quickly each year, the Milford Track is considered to be the pinnacle of New Zealand's great walks. This is the most regulated track in New Zealand, with all hikers going one way, one hut at a time, and accessible only by boat at either end (although the start of the track can be accessed along a difficult steep pass over the Eglinton Mountains). It is also the most difficult track to book, with bookings filling up very fast when they open before the start of the walking season. The track follows what had once been the main route the traditional Maori people took from the northern end of Lake Te Anau across to the highly prized greenstone at Piopiotahi (Milford Sound). It was a rich reward for those brave enough to venture through such rugged country.

The trek begins at the northernmost point of Lake Te Anau, following the Clinton River along its western branch through a deep glacial valley to its source at Lake Mintaro. From the lake, the track ascends to the top of Mackinnon Saddle, then heads down the other side into the headwaters of the Arthur River. It then follows the Arthur River through rainforest until eventually reaching the well named Sandfly Point in Milford Sound. There is a milestone marker every mile over its 33.5 miles, or 53.5 kilometres. I do one side trip adding an extra kilometre to make this a 54.5 kilometre long trek.


Day 1 - Te Anau to Clinton


Day 2 - Clinton to Mintaro


Day 3 - Mintaro to Dumpling


Day 4 - Dumpling to Milford Sound


Official information and bookings


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