We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Milford track in a day

VAncouver
Level Contributor
48 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Milford track in a day

I heard about a day trip of milford track tour but can we do this alone without joining a tour group? As the tour is $195/person?

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
1,406 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Milford track in a day

The Milford track is closed for the winter, but you can still walk it off season. There is however a lot of damage to bridges caused by recent heavy rains. To start the Milford track requires a boat ride to the top of Lake Te Anau which partly explains the tour price. Contact Tracknet direct and they may give you a price for just the boat trip.

If you are only doing a day walk its better to do part of the Routeburn or Kepler tracks. The scenery is just as spectacular and the access is far easier.

VAncouver
Level Contributor
48 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Milford track in a day

we're actually travelling during the Christmas holidays 2010. Would Kepler still be better? Can we do a day tour on our own?

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
1,406 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Milford track in a day

All the tracks will be very busy at Xmas and it is likely the Milford Track will be fully booked out. If you want to do a day tour on your own I would suggest part of the Routeburn track (from the divide) or the Kepler track from Te Anau.

Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
3,271 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Milford track in a day

All national parks in NZ are free for anyone to access, and this includes all the "Great walks". HOWEVER, because of pressure on the huts at peak times, including Xmas, you have to pre book your bunk, and this sometimed means booking months in advance. Also, because the bunks are pre booked, you have to keep to the schedule, of, generally, one hut per night, so for the Milford Track, which is a three day walk, you can't just skip a hut and stay at the next one. There are also restrictions on camping near the track.

You could still walk the Milford track in one day, but difficulties of access, as outlined by Bill, make this very impractical.

Access to the Kepler track is much easier, you just walk to the start of the track fromTe Anau, however you still have to reserve your space in the hut. During the 'Kepler Challenge:" endurance race the fastest competitors run the track under 5 hours, but most people take 2 or 3 days.

You can do a day walk to the Kepler hut and return, or you can walk the other way, to the Shallow bay hut, or further, but once again, you can't stay in the huts without booking.

You can do one day walks on the Milford Track, THere are a number of companies offering this including Trips n Tramps (Real Journeys subsiduary). These go as far as the first nights stop for freedom walkers (Clinton Forks Hut) and retirn to Te Anau the same day. If one day is all you have this is a good option.

There are many good one day walks in Fiordland and elsewhere in NZ. The Department of Conservation web site has detailed information on all these.

www.doc.govt.nz

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,392 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Milford track in a day

Hi Ensueno :)

Yes you can enjoy an independent day walk on the Milford Track. However, as has been mentioned, it will still cost you over NZ$100 per person, return, for the launch trip up Lake Te Anau.

You first drive 20 minutes or so to Te Anau Downs to catch the launch up the lake. The boat ride takes over 1 hour. Then you walk about 1km to Glade House before joining the track proper as you cross the first swing bridge over the Clinton River. If reasonably fit you can comfortably walk the track as far as the first huts before returning to the wharf for your return trip to Te Anau Downs. It's a great day out, I have done it several times.

I do know launch numbers are limited as it is often booked out due to group bookings. Check with the Te Anau i-SITE for bookings and costs. The advantage to the group tour is that they drive you to Te Anau Downs, they arrange the launch, provide a tasty lunch and ensure you are safely back on the launch for the return boat ride. So while $195 may seem initially expensive, it actually isn't.

However if looking for a great day hiking with minimal costs consider the Kepler... you will have no transportation costs. You can walk to the beginning of the track from your Te Anau accommodation.

Or for excellent views do the walk up to Key Summit on the Routeburn Track. You will need to drive (or catch a bus) to the trail head off the Milford Road, but it is a fabulous day walk. …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

Hope this helps, happy planning :)

VAncouver
Level Contributor
48 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Milford track in a day

Thank you so much...

Are all the tracks pretty much the same view? If so, I wouldn't mind doing the ones without the costs such as the Routeburn or Kepler you suggest..

I considered the Miford Track first since it's so well know as the finest walk but if i'm only doing a portion, it may not be worth it.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,392 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Milford track in a day

I've only walked about the first 10 minutes of the Kepler, so can't comment on views there. You can read the track description here …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

The Milford one day walk is alongside the Clinton River with heavy tree cover. It's a great walk for a hot day as it is so shady. Views are limited.

The views from Key Summit are glorious. Plus the walk is through open alpine terrain so you have views all the time.

If considering one of these three tracks, I would opt for the Routeburn and Key Summit.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
34,191 posts
340 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Milford track in a day

All three day walks discussed are very different view & terrain-wise. The Kepler usually begins from The Doc HQ in Te Anau township but can include a short boat trip across Brod Bay. Then there is a steep climb of an hour or two through beech forest until you arrive above the tree-line. The views from there to Luxmore Hut are stunning. If you are not carrying a 4 day pack it is possible to do this in 3-4 hr one way from Brod Bay & quite a bit quicker going downhill (I haven't done it downhill).

The Routeburn to Key Summit from the Divide has very little "grunt" as the car/bus has done most of the walk. The alpine views are lovely and if you want to make a day of it you can carry on to Hawden Hut. Trips and Tramps offer this on their Milford "Big Day Out" tour.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
3,463 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Milford track in a day

We enjoyed our day on the Milford Track immensely. We freedom walked, taking the boat as mentioned above, and then walking about an hour past Clinton Hut. We managed to fit in 18.5 km (round trip) in the 4.5 hours we were on the track. The guided day walk only goes as far as Clinton Hut.

As much as we enjoyed the Milford Track, the walk to Key Summit was by far more breathtaking (and more difficult IMO). In addition to the summit, we walked to Lake Howden Hut and on to the campground before turning back - 13 km.

We've also walked the Kepler Track to Rainbow Reach and then on towards Swallow Bay Hut. We enjoyed the great views over the Waiau River. It was an easy walk.

Between the three, I'd have to say that the walk to Key Summit was the winner...they're all different and unique in their own way, but those views from Key Summit will last a lifetime.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
3,463 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Milford track in a day

I forgot to mention that we walked to Key Summit (and on to Howden Hut and campground) and return, and then drove to Milford Sound and took the last Red Boat tour of the day before returning to our accommodation near Te Anau. You can fit a lot in if you plan well.