fjordland national park

Milford Track and Beyond

Talk to anyone who has had the opportunity to hike/bushwalk/tramp in New Zealand and they are likely to elucidate praise. Having just hiked the Milford Track (late November 2018), I now understand why Rudyard Kipling coined the Milford Sound “the 8th wonder of the world”. It is truly breathtaking.

Before embarking on this 4 day walk, I had seen many images of what to expect during (almost) summer and the enormous vistas of fjord after fjord from the top of the McKinnon Pass. However, we were graced with a different experience….magical snow in the rainforest and virtually no visibility at the top. The hike started with cool temperatures and a bit of rain, nothing too challenging. Throughout the day, the skies darkened and the guide suggested that there was a “little bit” of snow forecast…not to worry…alas, you can’t tame Mother Nature and the snow just kept coming. By the time we got to the top of McKinnon Pass, it was a white out with strong winds. The hut had no running water because the pipes had frozen but the melted snow made for a welcome cup of tea. Because of the weather and the lack of visibility, we ended up taking the emergency exit down to the next lodge. Steep and beautiful.

On the last day, we had 22 kilometres of beautiful walking weather, ending up at a cloudless Milford Sound.