Walking the Milford Track
I had wanted to walk the Milford Track for 10 years, and finally decided that this year, the year I turned 40, would be the year! Here is just a brief insight into what it was like for me, enjoy the pictures , compare them to your own or use them as inspiration for your own adventure!
The first day was us making our way to the start of the Milford track. A bus ride to Te Anu Downs, some lunch, another short bus ride to the launch and finally a boat cruise to the start of the track. From here it was an easy walk to our first night’s accommodation at Glade House.
Today saw a relatively easy walk of 16kms to Pompolona Lodge. The scenery was spectacular, the wetlands, the river, the forest, everywhere you turned looked like it was straight from a postcard. I had asked one of the guides for some inside knowledge on the best locations for photos, I didn’t want to miss anything. “Wherever you stop” was his reply, which turned out to be completely true. Wherever you stopped and looked was worthy of a picture, it got the point where I stopped taking pictures for fear of missing a shot, as you just knew around the corner was another breathtaking scene to take in and enjoy, and another round the next corner, and the next and the next…you get the idea.
The pass!! Crossing over McKinnon’s pass was always going to be a highlight, although it did have us all a tad nervous. What would the weather be like? Would we make it? Are we wearing the right gear? Thermals or no thermals? Would there be snow?
As it worked out we were well prepared, and while it was hard work, we all reached the pass excited at the achievement and slightly relieved to have made it! Little did we know we had the emergency track ahead of us, going up was the easy part!
Coming back down the emergency track was tough. Tough on your knees, tough on your legs and tough on your feet. Lots of big steps, slippery and uneven surfaces and the need for constant concentration to keep your footings. We all made it out, a little wet, a little tired, a little banged up, but very pleased to have made it. We were told just that week there had been people airlifted out, not able to cope with the demands of the walk and another suffering hypothermia, we were grateful to have made it, even in our tired and sore state.
A leisurely 21km walk from Quintin Lodge to Sand-fly point (we won’t mention the sore feet, the sore calves, the war wounds from yesterday’s emergency track adventure..) It was a bit of a push to get through after yesterday, but we all did happily knowing we had made it. Right up until the very end, the Milford Track did not disappoint. The waterfalls, the outlooks, the track, the company, all of it was spectacular.
If you haven’t already read my previous blog about what happened at Quintin Lodge before we set off on our walk check it out here Lady of the Snow – A Bridal Gown Portait on the Milford Track . You won’t be disappointed!
A day of relaxation, waking up to the beautiful scenery of the Milford sound, then boarding a boat for a scenic cruise, before jumping on the bus and heading back to Queenstown to conclude our adventure.
I can’t believe I waited so long to do this. The experience was amazing, the lodgings, the staff and the support second to none. We walked with Ultimate hikes and I can not recommend them highly enough. You can check out their website here Ultimate Hikes NZ .
P.S. I’m available for hire if you’d love pics like this of your own…. wink wink…..contact me for quote :).