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“Walk of a lifetime”
Review of Milford Track

Milford Track
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US$ 135.61*
and up
Full-Day Routeburn Track Key Summit Guided Walk...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Great Walks season is October - April. Outside this period facilities are greatly reduced and there are additional safety hazards to consider. Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip. See website for the price of accommodation on this track.
Reviewed 25 April 2010

Paradox: you want rain to fill the waterfalls and justify carrying a big pack with waterproofs: ...but you want it sunny to see the spectacular views along the way. We had sunshine. The lodges are comfortable (we had an ensuite). The guides were charming and made it a great trip. Unforgettable

2  Thank SXDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (318)
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Reviewed 21 March 2010

I walked Milford Track in March 2010 with Ultimate Hikes. All was perfect: sunny weather, amazing scenery. I like to go hiking in the Alps, where I live, and I think Milford Track is not hard but not so easy.
We were a group of 50 people, most from Australia and New Zealand. The guides were fantastic and very helpful. Lodges and food were beyond expectation. First day I met 50 people, last day I left 50 friends.
Now I hope to come back and do Routeburn Track next year.
Thank you Greta, Toshi, Lizzy, Raenee. Thank you to my new 50 friends.

2  Thank pizote67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2010

We walked the Milford Track over the new year period as a group of 6, including my 68 year old father, an 11 year old and 13 year old. Four of the group had little tramping experience and we did it the independent way - no "soft" option required!

If you have some tramping experience, or someone in your party does then there is no need to worry about the guided option. The Department of Conservation Huts are great and the hut rangers are a credit to the department. Knowledgeable and entertaining, they provided a briefing each night, outlining the features of the area, what we could expect on the following day's walk and the weather outlook.

The weather was as expected - 1 day of solid rain and 3 days of fine weather. Expect at least one day of rain and enjoy the resultant water displays that come with it. Besides your standard tramping gear don't forget your camera, tropical strength insect repellant and walking poles. There are so many stunning views all along the way your camera will be out every few minutes. The sandflies are ferocious. Every time you stop you'll be found by the little flying insects on the hunt for fresh blood. Finally, coming off Mackinnon Pass will make you very thankful you brought walking poles.

Only 40 independent walkers are allowed to start the track each day and all must walk in the same direction. This means that it is easy to feel like you have the track to yourself but it also means that you have to be prepared to book early. Bookings for the 09/10 season opened in July 09 and the week over Christmas/New Year was fully booked within 24 hours of opening.

On the days either side of the track we stayed in Te Anau, at the Red Tussock Motel. A fabulous place to base ourselves and we were able to keep our cars there while we were on the track. The motel is directly opposite the Department of Conservation Offices in Te Anau which is where the bus departs to take you to the boat at Te Anau Downs. It was therefore just a walk across the road to the bus and we got dropped back at the motel on our return off the track.

The biggest surprise for me was that of the 40 that started the track the day we did, we were the only New Zealanders. What a fantastic experience for the tourists, who are getting to see one of the most beautiful parts of the country. I'd highly recommend it to everyone and for Kiwi's especially - it should be on all of your bucket lists!

5  Thank z3girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2010

Hiked MIlford Track Jan 2010 with Ultimate Hikes (www.ultimatehikes.co.nz). Very well organized enterprise from pre-departure briefing to collection of borrowed backpacks at trip's end. Track is 33.5 miles over 3 days of hiking. We had great weather, but it rains 360" annually on the track, so be prepared and don't be afraid to get wet.

Each day up to 50 guided hikers (supported by Ultimate Hikes guides and facilities) and 40 independent hikers (carrying their food, sleeping bags and using separate huts) start the Track. It takes a full day to reach trailhead from Queenstown (bus, lunch, bus, boat, short walk). Lodges for guided hikers on the track are clean, with ample hot water, flush toilets, well-prepared meals, beer and wine available for separate fee, and electricity until 10p. At track's end, a short boat ride to the Milford Sound transportation center and shuttle to lodge with beautiful views of the Sound. On day 5, cruise Milford Sound & bus back to Queenstown.

Hikers leave at different times and spread out along the track, so those seeking solitude can easily find it. Hikers were international, friendly and generally experienced. Unbelievable scenery, diverse ecoclimates, variety of funny terrestrial birds, temperate rainforest flora reminiscent of Jurassic Park. Swimming opportunities for the hardy. No giardia in New Zealand, so can drink the water without treating it.

Bring as little as possible, as you have to carry everything. Recommend Gortex boots (lots of streams to ford), paclite rain gear. Rather than using the free loaner cotton sleepsheet, spring for the $7 silk sheetliner, it's lighter. Also, rent 2 hiking poles from Ultimate Hikes for the long downhill from MacKinnon pass. I brought my own pack, but reportedly the free loaner packs were fine.

Stayed at Scenic Suites in Queenstown before & afterward; no problem leaving a bag there while on the track. Washer & dryer in the suite very welcome at trail's end. Can take Connectabus to/from airport to Millennium Hotel and walk 1/2 block to Scenic Suites, thereby saving taxi fare.

8  Thank hay5419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 August 2009

Unless you really are a marathon runner AND an experienced camper I would strongly recommend the guided walk, which is costly but worth every cent. Being a 45-year-old woman with dodgy knees this was the only way I could achieve my ambition.
The guided walk provides accommodation, meals, morning and afternoon tea, and fosters fabulous friendship and support within the group.
Even with this support structure, the walk itself is no easy-going, especially when it rains (there is no IF). The pack weighs a tonne, your boots and socks are soaked and every step is tough but the stunning views and feeling of achievement at the end of each day is euphoric.
The guides are wonderfully supportive, funny and full of information and work their butts off to keep the walkers happy. I had zero complaints, I enjoyed every day (although there were very definitely difficult stretches) and maybe - just maybe - will do it again one day. My best holiday ever!

3  Thank PippinCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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