Milford Track, New Zealand
114 images Created 25 Apr 2016
The Milford Track…Awesome, Amazing, Incredible, Beautiful, Brutal. A trek of 67km over 4 days (forget the 54km in the glossy brochure)… Day 1: After a 1hr Boat cruise...prepared, we set off with our packs on the first, easy sunny 8km walking through primordial forest, beside the crystal blue streams and enormous mountains that are the signature of this place for just 2 hrs…welcome to Milford. Day 2: dawns grey and with late heavy rain forecast, we start early on the 20km journey of steady trekking with a total vertical climb of 500m, 400m of which comes over the last 6km with a steep and relentless climb over rough rocky terrain to the second hut…which never seems to come...it is a release after trekking for 5.5 hours when it does…glad the rain never did…we sleep well snuggled in our down cocoons. Day 3: Overnight heavy rain (part of the 7m they get here annually)…another 20km day with a total of 8.25 hours on the trail, the most incredible, and brutal…600m of vertical ascent in the first 4km clambering up narrow rocky tracks, where in the wrong place a slip will have you in serious trouble…reaching the summit of Mackinnon Pass after 2 hours in the fog, only to have it lift to the most beautiful views in the world…breathtaking…then follows a 1,000m vertical descent over the next 4 hours and 7km with more difficult rocky terrain around ledges and down waterfalls…intense…our heavy pack making sure knees and quads are seriously strained…reaching Sutherland Falls (the largest in NZ) by way of a side trip…the power of millions of litres of water crashing 600m to the valley floor in a constant roar like a 747 taking off…super relieved to finally reach the hut, again no rain, a phenomenal day, some soup, noodles and a restless sleep in a bunkhouse. Day 4: 19km in 5.5 hours. Second “easy day”…a flat blue-sky walk, we push ourselves and a boat awaits us…sore, tired, elated at the achievement...at Sandfly Point then our final destination: Milford Sound.