New Zealand

Milford Track Great Walk

Quick Info

Milford Track Map
  • 53.5 kilometre, 4 day tramp
  • 3 large huts with good facilities
  • non-circuit, but plenty of transport available
  • 700 metre climb and 1000 metre drop
  • possibly the most popular track in New Zealand
  • stunning alpine scenery
  • classic tramping track over alpine terrain

Huts and Times

StartDistance (kms)Time (hrs)EndBunksHut amenities
Glade Wharf 5 1 to 1.5 Clinton Hut 40 Cooking, heating, lighting
Clinton Hut 16.5 6 Mintaro Hut 40 Cooking, heating, lighting
Mintaro Hut 14 6 to 7 Dumpling Hut 40 Tank water, gas heater
Dumpling Hut 18 5.5 to 6 Sandfly Point    

Walk Description

The Milford Track is possibly the most popular track in New Zealand, one of the 'must do' tourist attractions in the country. Consequently it is possibly the busiest track in New Zealand as well, with both independent trampers and guided walkers enjoying the scenery. Hardly a good recipe for a 'wilderness' experience. However the track passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and should really be completed at least once in a hiker's lifetime.

Access to start of the track is by boat from Te Anau Downs, the trip across the lake taking about 1.25 hours. From the start of the track at Glade Wharf it is a mere 1.5 hours through beech forest to Clinton Hut. The hut, as all huts on the track, has cooking facilities, heating and lighting, veritable luxuries for a tramper.

The second day starts out with a gentle climb from Clinton Hut, following the Clinton River to Lake Mintaro. At Hirere Falls there are views of the MacKinnon Pass, the highest point on the track. There are also views of the Pompolona ice field.

The third day starts with the final ascent to Mackinnon Pass. At the MacKinnon Memorial there are fine views back down the Clinton Canyon of Lake Mintaro. The last 8 kilometres of the day's tramp to Dumpling Hut drops a staggering 970 metres and will truly test the knees of any tramper.

About an hour before the track reaches Dumpling Hut, there is a 1.5 hour side trip to Sutherland Falls. The Falls can also be spotted on the final stretch of track leading to the hut.

From Dumpling Hut on the final day, the track passes a number of points of interest including MacKay Falls, Bell Rock and Giant Gate Falls. The end of the track is at an aptly named Sandfly Point from where a boat takes the weary tramper on a 20 minute trip across Milford Sound to complete the track.

More information on the Fiordland National Park.

How to get there

The nearest centre to the Milford Track is the lakeside town of Te Anau. There are a number of transport providers based in Te Anau who can get trampers from the town to Glade Wharf and then back again from Milford Sound. The DOC information centre in Te Anau is able to make all necessary transport arrangements on behalf of track users.

Te Anau has a full range of accommodation for weary trampers to stay in and there is a lodge at Milford Sound.

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