I recently went to New Zealand to visit some friends and do some walking. Some friends from Sydney were keen to go over around the same time so it all worked out into a great holiday.
Pete and Inger live in Arrowtown which is just outside Queenstown; perfect for a look around that beautiful part of New Zealand and to launch into lots of different walks. This time the Milford Track…
Arrowtown is an early gold mining town, it is mostly preserved and is pretty interesting,.
Some of the original Chinese cabins are still around, Queenstown gets really cold in winter it would not have been fun staying there!
The Queenstown area is a beautiful place to look around.
We also happened to be in town when the Queenstown Jazz Festival was on, most definitely worth a look. We eventually a found a great bar, Code, music and a few cocktails made for a very fun night.
After a few days cycling, eating, relaxing it was down to meet with Deb and Annette in Te Anu to start on the walk. They had been down paddling for a couple of days in the Doubtful Sounds, and had lots of stories of meetings with Penguins, Dolphins, not enough time for all the trips to be done!
The Milford Track is known as ‘walking in the presence of water’ , this is partially due to lots of views of waterfalls, but largely because of 8m a year or so of rain! This makes it incredibly lush. The walk, is 4 days staying in huts – very luxurious, no tent, no stove, no thermarest – perfect way to travel … The track is mostly fairly low with only one mountain pass. It is a really good walk to do with limited time as you get a taste of lots of what NZ has to offer.
As for the time of year, 24/Oct, even with it being opening day in the season, the avalanche risk was pretty low and there wasn’t much snow around at all – great walking conditions. We even managed to only get one day of rain! An absolutely stunning walk that I would happily do again tomorrow.