Kia ora - Greetings from Aotearoa The Land of the Long White Cloud
There is a total of 4 pages here, all linked together, representing the 4 days on the Milford Track. I was first in New Zealand with the US Navy as a part of "Operation Deepfreeze" in 1966. I have visited friends in Christchurch a number of times since. I had first heard of the Milford way back in the late 60's and had wanted to tramp it ever since. Finally, at age 59, I thought, "If not now, when?" So, I began my Milford experience by planning a 5-week visit to beautiful New Zealand. I did all the reservations and planning using resources on the World Wide Web.
Please take your time, sign the guestbook, see all four pages and ENJOY!

 

On The Milford Track

(Near the bottom of the page is a link to my "guestbook". PLEASE sign in. I would appreciate your comments. Thanks, Tom)

 

(Move your mouse cursor around the page and watch the sandflies follow it)
(See the bottom of my 4th page for more about sandflies, including the
Maori story of their origin)

New Zealand's Milford Track is in the Fiordland National Park situated on the SW coast of South Island.

(See Dec., '00 National Geographic, page 68 - "Fiordland, A Special Place")

Access to the track is through the town of Te Anau, located on the shore of Lake Te Anau. The track begins at Glade Wharf and ends at Sandfly Point on the Milford Sound, 35 1/2 miles from your starting point.
Access is very carefully controlled by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) in order to preserve the wilderness state of the area.
There are two ways to walk the track: guided walks and independent tramping.

On a guided walk, all your meals are cooked for you and you will sleep in relative comfort in huts apart from the independent trampers. You do not carry a pack except possibly a day pack with a snack, camera gear and any other personal gear you might want throughout the day. You will be with a group of about 20 others and before and after each day's walk your guides will give a lecture pertaining to the local flora and fauna and other things of interest on the track. The cost for this service is, of course, greater than the independent walk, but not prohibitively so.

Whether you go on the guided walk or the independent tramping will depend on your own needs and personal preferences.

On an independent walk, you will be in a group of about 30 others, but you will not necessarilly have to walk with the group. You may proceed at your own pace, so long as you make it to the evening's destination. You will, of course, meet a lot of very nice folks that you probably will want to get to know, and, therefore, you might want to walk along with someone in your group. The independent tramping is the way I chose to go. You have to carry a backpack containing everything you will be eating and using on the track. Everything that is carried in must be brought out, every scrap of paper, every empty container, etc. At the DOC huts where you will be spending the nights, there are limited disposal facilities. Any rubbish generated along the track must be carried to the next hut or on to Sandfly Point.

Trampers may travel from Te Anau to the track beginning point by bus to Te Anau Downs and by launch from there to Glade Wharf.
An alternative means of travel, the one I chose, is to go with Skipper Murray Cardno on The Little Ship Manuska. The cost is a few dollars more, but far from prohibitive and WELL WORTH it. Skipper Murray is very knowledgable of Lake Te Anau and the Manuska is clean and comfortable. In fact, the ride from Te Anau to Glade on the Manuska was one of the most memorable parts of my Milford experience and I very highly recommend it. The following pictures are from this "leg" of the trip.

 

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"Little Ship Manuska" anchored at Te Anau
               

Te Anau to Glade Wharf
 
Skipper Murray stopped a couple of times for "swim call". The water was COLD but invigorating, refreshing and delightful.

 

We stopped at a beach and did a little "beachcombing" and exploring
 
Jennifer Kopp from                  Me on the beach
Philo, CA takes
a walk on the beach

 
 

 

On the Track
Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut

 


Milford 
Track 
Map (left) 
and
topographic 
chart 
(right)
      
  
    

Milford 
Track 
Map (left) 

      

 

The track 
begins at 
Glade Wharf 
and winds  
along the 
Clinton River 
about 4 miles 
to the 
first 
night's stop 
at Clinton 
Hut.

The walk from Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut is a short one, about 4 miles. The two of us on "Manuska" walked it in about an hour. It was rather uneventful, though we walked through some lovely woods alongside the Clinton River. The only disadvantage that I could tell from taking the "Manuska" to Glade Wharf was that we were the last to arrive and all the best sleeping accomodations were taken and we had to settle for upper bunks. A small price to pay.

Please sign the "guestbook"
(Click on underlined link below to sign and/or view my guestbook)
Thank You,
Tom

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