“The finest walk in the world” – Milford Track
Known as “the finest walk in the world”, people come from far and wide to embark on the Milford Track so much so it’s just about impossible to book a spot at one of the huts during the summer season with all spots selling out within the first day of bookings opening. Popularity for this walk is ever on the increase, and with good reason, the scenery is simply sublime whilst the trail, a 53km 3-4 day walk is steady, easy-going and tremendously well- graded.
Glacial carved valleys, ancient forests and cascading waterfalls wherever you look, the Milford Track is the real deal if you’re looking for a track to tick off your bucket list. The weather in Fiordland is ever-changing and most likely offers some of the most unpredictable conditions New Zealand has. However, even the wettest and most overcast wont disappoint your journey along this famous trail, for the waterfalls grow more powerful and multiply in numbers on the sheer mountain faces; a sight to behold.
My journey began in Te Anau downs, where the Milford boat shuttle will take you on an 1hr 15 min boat journey along Lake Te Anau until you reach Glade Wharfl the beginning of the trail. An important factor to know about the Milford track is that it can only be walked one way, starting at Glade Wharf and finishing at Sandfly Point in Milford Sound.
From here we set out and immediately I realised how well the trail was graded, no doubt due to the hardworking DOC rangers who maintain the track. Walking through the ancient Beech forest which seemed an age old, moss covering every tree in sight yet ,an eerie quietness set about the place. Walking along the Clinton river, I can only imagine this is what New Zealand would have been like before man set foot here. A short 5 km stroll will bring you to Clinton hut, the first of 3 Department of Conservation huts you’ll find along the track. We stopped here briefly for a snack before we pressed on, our aim to get to Mintaro hut before nightfall.