Walking the Milford Track

Published: February 14, 2015

The Milford Track is the most well-known of New Zealand’s great walks. Consequently, it can be almost impossible to find places for the summer hiking season (which runs from the end of October through to the end of April) if you try and book after August.

We recommend booking early but if you do miss out, don’t despair - a Routeburn-Kepler Track combo is equally as beautiful if not more so.

I really enjoyed walking the Milford Track. The scenery along the first stage from Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut and the last one from Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point is a bit limited however the second day from Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut was incredible and brought back scenes from Lord of The Rings. Endless green moss drapes over the trees then bit by bit the mountains appear as you leave the forest behind. It really is magnificent.  

The jewel in the crown of Milford Track is undoubtedly Day 3 from Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut over the Mackinnon Pass. If you get fine weather, it’s here that you will understand why this hike is touted to be one of the best in the world.

The view from the top of the pass will take your breath away. Knowing you’re one of the lucky ones to have been able to secure your places on the walk, you’ll want to savour the moment even more.

Lastly, you’ll tackle the descent. I personally loved the next portion alongside Roaring Burn River with its spectacular waterfalls set in thick alpine vegetation.

On the last day you’ll end up at Milford Sound and if you would like to add on a day cruise on the Sound we can also book this for you. You’ll need to allow for a 4th night in the Milford Sound village.

One thing that I quickly realised upon doing the walk, and which has been reinforced by our clients, is that you should not underestimate the level of fitness needed. Day 3 in particular, is a very challenging section where you take on 14km, climbing 700m before descending 970m.

If you’re looking into the Milford Track be certain that you’ll be capable of tackling this hike. You’ll want to be fit enough to comfortably carry a pack with your food, sleeping bag & cooking gear so you can focus on the wonderful scenery around you.  

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What our customers say

The organisation by OUAT was excellent, communication was brilliant, facilities on the Milford Track were of a high standard and Hippo Lodge in Queenstown was very good value. W... - John Dalli, Australia

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