1 / 4
The Milford Track was discovered in 1888 and since then thousands of feet have hiked this trail. Given the title “The Finest Walk in the World” in 1908, its’ history and spectacular scenery means it ideserves a place on your must see-and-do list when planning a New Zealand holiday.
Though maybe due to constraints (e.g. time, fitness, lack of equipment, travel companion dynamics or actual know how) it all seems a bit too hard? Well look no further Trips & Tramps has the perfect solution; a morning guided walk on the Milford Track, suitable for everyone!
Starting from Milford Sound, the track’s end point, we begin with a short water taxi to access Sandfly Point – adeptly named as you will see! Legend has it that the underworld Maori goddess Hine-nui-te-po was worried visitors would never want to leave. To prevent this happening she liberated a large number of sandflies right here at this point!
Our easy 11 km return walk begins alongside the cascading Arthur River. Water surges over massive boulders as we pass under ancient temperate rainforest. Large rimu trees tower above, with an array of ferns, mosses and lichen in vibrant shades of green capturing your attention below. The high rainfall keeps the area lush and there is much to capture your attention. Weka, robins, tomtits and fantails, unafraid of humans come to investigate too; in hope of us exposing insects on which they may feed. Passing Lake Ada a brief detour is made. Created by a large landslide damming the river, it is full of petrified logs from trees submerged long ago.
Traveling in a small group, with a maximum of 12 people and a knowledgeable Trips & Tramps guide there is plenty of opportunity to learn about the fascinating human heritage of the track and natural environment. Our half way point, and most scenic spot is the Giant Gate Waterfall. Best viewed from the expansive swing bridge, this waterfall is a sight to behold. Here we also take time for a wilderness cuppa, reflect on our surrounds and learn about the track beyond.
At this point we begin our return, setting your own pace enjoy the scenery on your own terms. Arriving back at Sandfly Point, take a photo at the historic sign marking the end of the 54 km (33 mile) track festooned with boots. Then regroup for the boat transfer back to Milford Sound.
Concluding around 1.00 pm there is plenty of opportunity to join a boat cruise on Milford Sound to see the fiord, including the magnificent Mitre Peak. After exploring the bush intimately by foot, the boat offers expansive scenery on a grand scale, ensuring a most glorious day.
Remember, Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in the world, so be prepared for rain. Being ready for the conditions, means you can embrace Fiordland on its’ wild terms! Bring spare clothes and shoes to change into after the walk and pack a good rain jacket (but don’t expect it to keep you completely dry) there is nothing quite like a good Fiordland down pour.
Written: 7 articles
Experience a morning guided walk on the 'finest walk in the world'. Departing from Milford Sound water taxi to Sandfly Point then walk to Giant Gate waterfall, an iconic and most photographed waterfall. Suitable for all abilities and ages!