How to craft the ultimate Milford Track experience

One of New Zealand’s most beautiful tracks, you’ll want to really make the most of this bucket list hike. Below, we show you how.

Soaring cliffs, crystal-clear lakes and thundering waterfalls have made the Milford Track famous the world-over. Hiking the trail independently is straightforward and many enjoy the walk on their own terms without a guide. 

But the time-consuming logistics of independent hiking can be overwhelming.

Below, our tips show you how to bring the ultimate Milford Track experience to life – focus on the hike, not the logistics!

Have all of your food and gear taken care of

Organizing all of your food and gear for the four-day Milford Track, and then transporting it to the start of the track in Te Anau downs, can be very time consuming. Why not have somebody else take care of it? Local providers can supply lightweight, quality gear and specially selected hiking food, delivering it to either Te Anau or Queenstown.

Enjoy the freedom of vehicle relocation

Finishing the 52-kilometre track at Sandfly Point and having your vehicle waiting for you in Milford Sound is a great feeling. You’ll really value fresh clothes, snacks and supplies after four days of hiking! But having your car in Milford Sound means the ultimate in post-hike freedom. Instead of having to use the communal track transport, you’ll be able to take your time – enjoy a boat cruise, snap the perfect Mitre Peak photo or even stay the night at beautiful Milford Sound Lodge. With your own wheels, you’re able to experience Milford Sound exactly on your terms. 

Depart for the start of the track at a time that suits you

The Milford Track begins at Glade Wharf, reached by water taxi from Te Anau Downs. You can either take the communal track water taxi, which has fixed departures, or a private water taxi – where you can depart at a time of your choice. Wanting to set off first thing in the morning? That’s absolutely fine. Or, if you would prefer to leave in the early afternoon, then that’s fine too. Setting off on the track at a time that suits you means you begin your hiking adventure on your terms, not on anybody else’s.

Have somebody else book your hut tickets

The hut booking system can be confusing to navigate, especially if you’re not from New Zealand. It’s more straightforward to let a local expert book your hut tickets on your behalf – then you don’t need to worry about it.

Don’t rush away from Milford Sound

Arriving in Milford Sound after your hike, the last thing you’ll want to do is rush away to keep to a tight itinerary. This place was once named the eighth natural wonder of the world – and you’ve just hiked for four days to get here! A great option is staying at Milford Sound Lodge for the night. A hot bath, a luxury chalet and a hearty dinner is just what the doctor ordered. The next morning, head out on a boat cruise of Milford Sound; exploring the fiord’s beautiful cliffs and seeing the misty breath of the Bowen falls. You’ll be glad you stayed.

The Ultimate Milford Track Experience
A fantastic option instead of a fully guided walk, our Milford Track Premium Package takes care of all of the logistics of independent hiking – allowing you to make the most of this bucket list track. 
Focus on the hike, not the planning. The Milford Track Premium Package includes:

  • Luxurious, chalet-style accommodation, meals & boat cruise at Milford Sound Lodge at the end of your hike
  • Supply of quality hiking gear and specially selected hiking food, delivered to either Queenstown or Te Anau
  • Vehicle location from Queenstown to Te Anau Downs
  • Water taxi at a time that suits you from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf, the start of the Milford Track
  • Department of Conservation hut tickets & organisation, 3 nights
  • Water taxi transfer to Milford Sound at the end of the hike

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