Milford Track

6 Days & 5 Nights
  • Walk the Milford Track, New Zealand’s most famous Great Walk
  • Cross the Mackinnon Pass and view the surrounding peaks
  • Cascading waterfalls, deep glaciated valleys and mystical beech forests
  • Cruise on sublime Milford Sound, the icon of the South Island
  • Te Anau, a peaceful picturesque lakeside town and the gateway to Fiordland

Retrace the footsteps of early explorers on the world-famous Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

Follow this historic route through the Fiordland National Park in the South Island, which is part of Te Waipounamu, South West New Zealand’s UNESCO World Heritage Area. Walking on the Milford Track encompasses a mix of spectacular landscapes including valleys carved out by glaciers, mystical beech forests and tumbling waterfalls.

Stay in a variety of accommodations which enhance your overall experience including, a luxury B&B, DOC huts set in the wilderness and Milford Lodge, where towering peaks rise up outside your window. Enjoy a remarkable finale with a cruise on Milford Sound, which Rudyard Kipling described as, “The Eighth Wonder of the World”.

What To Expect

Expect to be stunned by the scenery on this self-guided walking tour of the Milford Track, on New Zealand’s South Island. This walk is fairly tough and whilst on the track you will stay in dormitory huts and be carrying your own light-weight food and supplies. However if you want to experience some of the best walking that New Zealand has to offer this tour is for you and carrying your own supplies will be very worthwhile.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

This trip is suitable for:

Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Alpine & Mountains

Featured in our collections:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

Some sections of this walk are steep and rough, which is why it has been rated moderate to strenuous. However other parts (Day 2 and 5) are quite straightforward with not much elevation gain or loss.

The tracks are usually quite wide depending on the terrain – some fit two people walking side by side in flat areas.

The surface is usually gravel, rock or dirt, and like any track can get muddy and slippery in wet weather. Poor weather conditions can make this walk more challenging than usual, even in the Great Walks season.

Most rivers and waterways on these tracks have sturdy bridges. Occasionally there are also small streams that cross the track but are usually easy enough to step across safely. Be aware that in wet weather rivers can rise very quickly and flood the tracks.

Navigation

The Milford Track can only be walked in one direction during the Great Walks season. The track is well-marked and signposted so you should not have a problem finding your way. GPX tracks are also accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone if you wish.

Accommodations

1 Night in a B&B, 3 Nights in DOC Huts, 1 Night in Milford Sound Lodge. This tour has varied accommodation, both basic, in the huts, contrasting with comfortable on the first and last nights. You will need to be flexible so that you can enjoy both of these experiences.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers as the areas that are walked through are very remote and there is no mobile phone service. Single rooms are available on request on the first and last night and a supplement is payable.

Meals

Breakfast will be provided by your accommodation in Te Anau and Milford Sound Lodge. Dinner is also included at the Milford Sound Lodge and a picnic lunch on the Milford Sound Cruise.

Whilst hiking on the Milford Track a delicious and easy to prepare food package is included just for you with local foods which are full of great taste and satisfaction, nutrition, and minimal waste. The food items chosen are lightweight, as you will be carrying this food yourself.

Your food package will be delivered to your accommodation in Te Anau the day before you start walking the track. Also included in your  are cooking utensils, plates, etc in order for you to prepare the food in the huts, where there are gas cookers.

Included
  • 1 Night in a B&B, 3 Nights in DOC (Department of Conservation) Huts, 1 Night in Milford Sound Lodge
  • Personalised food package (for the 3 walking days)
  • Breakfast and dinner in Milford Sound, picnic lunch on the Milford Cruise
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise (and a visit to the underwater observatory)
  • A transfer to and from start and finish points (by water taxi and bus) from Te Anau or car drop off service and relocation if you are renting a car
  • Gear and Food drop off in Te Anau
  • Information pack, Track information, Track Care Package
  • Quality equipment (i.e. sleeping bag and liner, rucksack, etc)
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App with GPS Tracks
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Te Anau
  • Dinner on Day 1
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal necessities
  • ETA & IVL requests (mandatory as per 1 Oct 2019)
Extras
  • Rental Car

When To Go

The Milford Track is one of the most popular walks in the world and there are limited places in the DOC huts. Therefore you will have to book quite far in advance in order to be successful for the dates you require. The Great Walks season runs from October to April. Please plan your trip well in advance. You must be certain about your preferred dates when you book as no changes can be made later. 

We recommend that you try to book far in advance if you want to avoid disappointment. For example if you want to go anytime between October and April, it's advisable to begin your booking process before June of the previous year, because this is when the booking season for the huts opens.  The majority of spaces for this track are sold the moment the booking season opens.

Please be aware that we will not be able to fully confirm your trip until the New Zealand Department of Conservation opens up the bookings for the DOC Huts, which generally happens in June every year for the following season.  Our local partners will make sure to book your space as soon as they are able.

This walk is not available outside of the Great Walks season to our customers for a variety of reasons, but mainly because outside of these dates the huts are not bookable (they are first-come first-served), do not have DOC rangers present and facilities are also greatly reduced.

Since the Milford Track sells out almost as soon as it is for sale, to avoid disappointment and if you are booking with not so much advance notice, why not try one of our alternate walks in New Zealand, such as the Routeburn, Kepler, Abel Tasman, Queen Charlotte or Kaikoura Coastal Track.

Time of Year

The best time of year to walk the Milford Track is in the Great Walks season, which is from October to April in New Zealand's spring, summer and autumn months. The weather will be more settled during these times of year, although it can be unpredictable at any time of year. Also when staying at the DOC Huts there will be a warden here during this time and also more facilities available.

Getting to the Start

You can fly into and out of Queenstown Airport in order to reach Te Anau. Some international airlines fly into Queenstown, including Qantas and Air New Zealand. However you can also take a domestic flight from any of the larger airports such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. From Queenstown you can either pick up a rental car and drive to Te Anau (2H) or you can take a bus. You can take a bus direct from the airport (2H15) but they only leave twice day. Check the timetable on the Intercity website.

* Please be aware that when booking flights from the UK to New Zealand you will arrive 2 days after you set off and on return you will arrive 1 day after you set off. So, for example, if you leave on a Tuesday you will arrive on a Thursday and on return if you leave on a Saturday you will arrive home on the Sunday. This is obviously because of the time it takes to get there but also because you are travelling back and forth across the International Date Line.  Similar principles apply when travelling from other places in Europe and from the USA and Canada. Please make sure that when you book you take this into consideration so that you are arriving on the correct day that the tour begins.

Luggage Transfer

On this tour you will have to carry your own gear for the 3-day walk on the track, including your sleeping bag and liner, included food and cooking utensils.  Given that most customers are likely to be taking part in this walk as part of other travels in New Zealand, we provide everyone with a good quality lightweight Osprey rucksack and cover for the walk as part of the package. You can choose to bring your own rucksack should you wish, but if you do so, it must be of a minimum 50 litres capacity. Since you will have to carry your own pack we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to pack light! Please note that we can arrange to have your remaining luggage stored for you during the trip for a small fee should this be required.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack. On this tour we can provide you with the essential equipment for this tour locally.

Equipment

We can provide you with the following good-quality equipment locally if you do not wish to bring your own.

Adjustable Osprey pack and pack cover, Sea to Summit sleeping bag and liner, rain jacket and pants, cooking/eating utensils, first aid kit, inflatable pillow, hot drink thermos.

These items can be lent to you for your convenience and therefore you will not need to take these things to New Zealand with you. Please see your information pack which has more details on what to take with you on the track.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Te Anau and overnight Day 2 Water Taxi from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf. Walk to Clinton Hut 3 miles / 5 km Day 3 Walk to Mintaro Hut 10.5 miles / 16.5 km Day 4 Walk to Dumpling Hut 9 miles / 14 km Day 5 Day 5: Walk to Sandfly Point. Transfer to Milford Sound 11 miles / 18 km Day 6 Milford Sound Boat Cruise. Departure

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