Milford Track in the off season

June 12, 2007

Because we live in Wanaka with easy access to New Zealand’s South Island national parks, we were able to take advantage of a weather window to hike this wonderful world class track through the mountains of Fiordland.

The four day trip starts with a boat trip up Lake Te Anau, follows a moss laden path beside a green river, through bush-carpeted valleys to wind steeply up to Mackinnon Pass where alpine tops stretch forever on a good day. From there the track descends down towards Milford Sound past the Sutherland Falls the 6th highest waterfall in the world.

With Fiordland’s extraordinarily high rainfall it can be a very damp trip. On our winter trip however we had clear blue skies but the cold temperatures meant the tarns on the pass were frozen. With the help of our four companions who gathered snow for us we were able to quickly create a snow circle on the ice with still time to descend down the other side of the pass to the safety of the hut before dark.