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Milford Track
Posted by pdittman on December 2nd, 2019 in '19 - New Zealand, Hiking/Trekking, Vacations

It was the Milford track, and the connection with Jeanne’s hometown of Milford Connecticut, that really sparked this whole trip. No, we’re not going to create a list of all the “Milford” locations in the world, but this was really peaked our interest – Milford, trekking, vacation – a trifecta of enjoyment!

The Milford Track is one of the premier great walks of New Zealand. It is a 4 day, 53km journey through the Fiordland National Park on the south island’s west coast. It is a point-to-point hike, with limited access to the trailheads.

Multi-day trekking is a different kind of experience – carrying all of one’s gear to cover many different weather conditions, brings in additional planning. Doing all that when you’re halfway across the world creates some pretty substantial logistical barriers.

It was because of all that and the limited access to the Milford Track trailhead (required a boat!) we’d opted for a group hike on a section of the Milford track.

The day broke with near cloudless skies. We’d been blessed because we’d heard reports of many days of torrential rains in the days leading up to our stay in Milford Sound.

View from our bungalow of the Cleddau River

Meeting up with our group, we gathered at the boat launch for the 5 minute ride across the deepwater basic to the Milford Track trailhead.

Of course, we got the usual selfie at the trailhead.

As with the Routeburn track, it was a bit surprising to see so much vegetation, as if we were in a rainforest. As we’d learned while were there, Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in New Zealand, and even the world! On average, it receives a little over 22′ (yes, feet!) of rain annually, raining 182 days per year. That’s a lot of rain!

The track itself, at least in this section was relatively flat – with little elevation change. Lush vegetation all around. Soon enough, we reached our midway point – Giants Gate falls.

After some food, and even some hot tea offered by our group guide, we geared up and headed back on the same route. In all, an enjoyable day out with yet more unusual experiences in New Zealand.

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