Milford Track Guided Walk Itinerary
If you live in New Zealand or your primary reason for travelling to Fiordland is to do the Milford Track then we recommend you contact the operators directly with information and booking enquiries. Free Phone in NZ is 0800 659 255
If you are thinking of combining this with one of our other HikeSouth walks then we would be happy to help with your enquiries.
As part of your itinerary in the deep south take the time to tackle the iconic Milford Track with a Guided Walk. Here is how this works…
Pre Departure Briefing
At Queenstown the afternoon before departure at 4.00pm
DAY 1: Queenstown, Te Anau, Glade House
Walk 20 minutes / 1.6km ( 1 m )
Coach from Queenstown at 9.00am to Te Anau. Drive to Te Anau Downs boat harbour, and catch a launch to the northern end of Lake Te Anau. From the wharf it is a short walk to historic Glade House, our first lodge, for a hot shower, filling meal and comfortable bed.
DAY 2: Glade House, Pompolona Lodge
Walk 5 – 7 hours, 16km (10 m )
Cross the emerald green Clinton River by swingbridge then up the Clinton Valley, and on to the Hirere Falls lunch shelter. Check out Mackinnon’s original hut site, a detour known as the wetland walk and ‘the big tree’.
After lunch the Beech forest gets more luxuriant the further you go and the valley walls climb steeper and higher. On sunny days the swimming hole is a cool but refreshing haven!
From here it’s onto the Prairie, an open meadow where you can capture the true nature of the ice carved Clinton Canyon. Named the Valley of the Perpendicular by the early pioneers. It is easy to see why as the rock walls tower up to 4000 feet above you. It is a short climb to Pompolona Lodge from here for your second night on the Milford Track.
DAY 3: Pompolona Lodge, Quintin Lodge
Walk 6 – 8 hours, 15 km ( 9m )
The most challenging day, but also the most rewarding. After an early start the track leads toward the head of the Clinton Valley.
As you begin your climb the 3 leaps of St Quintin Falls can be seen and Mt Balloon rears into view, onto the Practice Hill and Lake Mintaro. From here you climb a series of zig zags as the valley floor drops away beneath your feet.
At the top is Mackinnon’s memorial cairn. Look out from 12 second drop to the Arthur Valley beneath you. After lunch in Pass Hut the track takes you down a long downhill section to Quintin Lodge. On the rocky descent you will pass towering rock cliffs, glacial streams, moss covered forest, a cascading waterfall section and have your first view of Sutherland Falls.
Take the 1.5 hour round trip to the mighty Sutherland Falls , fifth highest on the planet at 1904 feet / 540 metres. Take your jacket and dare to walk right in behind the falls, a once in a lifetime experience!
DAY 4: Quintin Lodge, Mitre Peak Lodge
Walk 6 to 8 hours, 21 km ( 13 m )
Follow the Arthur River as it makes it’s way to Milford Sound. Walk through deep luxuriant beech forest, a final view of Sutherland Falls, glimpses of Diamond Creek and Danger Mountain can be seen before arriving at Boatshed for morning tea.
From here cross the river by swingbridge and carry on to MacKay Falls and Bell Rock. As you near the 30 mile peg you may hear the steady roar of Giant’s Gate Falls, your lunch spot.
The final stretch of the track follows tranquil Lake Ada to Sandfly Point where the Maori goddess Te Hine-nui-te-po released the sandfly to stop men lingering too long in the beauty of Fiordland. From here you catch the launch to Milford Sound and Mitre Peak Lodge, where you will enjoy a celebratory dinner.
DAY 5: Milford Sound cruise, Te Anau, Queenstown
After breakfast embark on your Milford Sound cruise. Out on the Fiord, you realise the grandeur of the surrounding mountains, the centrepiece being Mitre Peak, rising vertically over one mile from the water line. The Fiord is a marine reserve and a haven for many marine animals including Southern Fur Seals, Bottlenose and Dusky Dolphins and sometimes Fiordland Crested Penguin, which come into the fiord to mate and raise their young.
Milford’s reputation as being one of the wettest places on earth is not unfounded. But don’t be fooled into thinking you have to see it in fine weather, as Rudyard Kipling described it as the eighth wonder of the world, in rain!
On returning to the wharf, board your coach and climb your way out from Milford Sound and on to Queenstown via Te Anau (arriving at approx 4.15pm), completing your journey of the “finest walk in the world.”
Accommodation in Queenstown is not included in this package and we are happy to make bookings on your behalf.
Lodges on the track are modern back country lodges with drying rooms, flush toilets and hot showers complete with soap, shampoo and conditioner. The lodge kitchen treats you with a three course dinner and cooked breakfast, we are fully self sufficient and environmentally friendly with our energy needs being supplied by gas.
Accommodation is in bedrooms with bunk beds sleeping 4 to 6 people per room or private bedrooms with one queen or 2 single beds and private bathrooms. All linen is provided.
From 1 November to 30 April there are daily departures. Bookings are essential and as this track is very popular it pays to book well in advance.
Queenstown has regular flights from Christchurch. The Ultimate Hikes office is on the second floor of the Station Building on the corner of Shotover and Camp St.
A moderate to high level of fitness is required. To enjoy your walk you need to be able to walk for 4– 8 hours over 10– 21 km ( 7 – 13 miles ) each day. The track is a mixture of natural bush and mountain tracks. You do need carry your own pack from lodge to lodge which is likely to be 5 to 7 kg.
Your Guided Walk package includes 4 nights accommodation all meals, track transport, concession and guiding fees, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets.
Prices available on request.
Milford Track Guided Walks is operated by Ultimate Hikes Ltd. Please be aware of their following cancellation policy.
Bookings cancelled outside 90 days prior to departure – $100 per person.
Bookings cancelled outside 89-60 days prior to departure – $200 per person.
Bookings cancelled outside 59-21 days prior to departure – 50% of full fare.
Bookings cancelled outside within 21 days prior to departure – 100% of full fare.
Cancellation fees are non negotiable – we strongly recommend travel insurance.