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Often described as the "finest walk in the word", the Milford Track is one of the Department of Conservations Great Walks. The track is constructed to a high standard and attracts people from all around the world. This track proceeds from an inland lake, through a deep river valley and over an alpine pass to merge in a fiord, spanning 54km of some of the most breathtaking scenery you are likely to see anywhere.
Maori frequently travelled this route during journeys to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi to collect pounamu (greenstone). In 1888 a track was cut up the Arthur Valley to the Sutherland Falls, with the first known European crossing the pass later that year.
Today approximately 12,000 people walk the Milford Track each year making it one of the most popular walks in New Zealand.
The hugh valleys that are observed throughout this walk are the result of glaciation over the last two million years, these glaciers carved there way through the landscape leaving behind these u shaped valleys , ice-gouged ledges and the hanging valleys of tributary streams.
Beech dominated the forest of the lower clinton, beyond Mintaro the track climbs above the forest through sub-alpine scrub and into the tussocks and alpine herb communities of the pass. The higher rainfall and milder temperatures in the lower Arthur Valley produce a more diverse forest, which includes silver beech, kamahi, miro, totara, fuchsia, mahoe and pate. Ferns, mosses and lichens are abundant around the track.
There is also a wide diversity of birdlife in the park, in the forests bellbirds, tomtits, grey warblers, and rifleman are common, yellowheads may also be spotted in the valleys, kea are common on the pass. Brown kiwi and morepork can often be heard at night.
The Milford Track can only be walked in one direction (Glade Wharf to Milford Sound) during the booked walking season and only forty independent trampers are permitted to start the track each day. A similar number of guided trampers may be encountered on the track. Booking is essential to guarantee your hut accommodation.
Getting to the start of the track requires either bus or private transport to Te Anau Downs 20km from Te Anau, then boat to Glade Wharf. Boat transport is also required from Sandfly Point (the end of the track) to Milford Sound.
Â· Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut 1 - 1.5 hours, 3.5 km
Â· Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut 5.5 hours, 16.5 km
Â· Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut 6 hours, 14 km
Â· Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point 5.5 - 6 hours , 18 km
Milford Track Transport
Â· Ultimate Hikes
Other Milford Track Sites
Â· http://www.swim.otago.ac.nz/MilfordTrackWeb/index.html (Photos)
Â· Kiwifootpaths - a laminated guide book which includes a map, track guide, photos and lots more.
Sorry but due to a spammer I have had to turn of comments, will try and get them back when I figure a way to block the low life.