Where We Be
The Milford Track is the Holy Grail of New
Zealand hiking. We had to book it six months
in advance in order to get our dates in
January. After having hiked the Milford, we
can enthusiastically recommend it as being
worth all the effort. The incredible variety of
scenery (and weather) turn the Milford into
something more than a hike; it's more like a
one-on-one encounter with Mother Nature.
We had two days of idyllic sunshine and two
days of nonstop rain. Our smartest decision
was hiking two extra miles up and two extra
miles down on the second day in order to see
the summit of Mackinnon Pass while it was
still sunny. The views were tremendous from
here -- views that were completely obscured
the next morning by mist and rain. It would
have been a sad thing to miss those views!
But the torrential downpours brought to life a
new kind of beauty -- thundering waterfalls
that were entirely missing the day before.
Witnessing both moods of the Milford was
perfect -- although Robin tells me she could
have done without that second full day of
boot-sopping rain. Our tramp ended with a
scenic cruise on Milford Sound itself, which
was pure pleasure.
|Milford Track, New Zealand
|Happy to be here! Mackinnon Pass, highest point on the Milford Track.
|Sunset at the end of Day 1, a very easy day
|Mitre Peak in Milford Sound at the end of the tramp
|These unusual plants grew trailside near the summit
|The trek starts with a boat ride across Lake Te Anau
|This forbidding image shows how much the Milford can change from one day to the next (Day 3)
|A look at the rugged scenery ahead, near the end of Day 2
|Bob at the summit on a clear blue day -- a rarity on the Milford Track (Day 2)
|We all hung our wet clothes over the woodburning stove and toasted our toes (Day 3)
|A picture-perfect day in the mountains!
|Loo With a View -- a famous landmark at the summit (Day 2)
|Day 3 on the far side of the summit -- waterfalls everywhere!
|Looking down from the summit of MacKinnon Pass -- our hut is situated in the valley far below
|Same photo as above but one day later, on the morning of Day 3. What a difference a day can make! Now the scene has the feel of a misty Japanese print.
|What a variety of scenery! The forests are magical here.
|Small islet in Lake Te Anau
|A gentle climb through subalpine scenery
|Avalanche damage -- the result of all the rain over the past two days -- blocks the trail (Day 4)
|Wet boots gathered around the stove (Day 3)
|View from the loo -- looking out from the picture window! (Day 2)
|Cheeky kia on the Milford Road biting the rubber seal on our car window!
|Photo from our Milford Cruise (Day 4)