Conclusion: For those short on time, this two and a half hour return walk certainly gives you some of the tracks highlights and may just entice you to come back to New Zealand to experience the full five-day trek. Being only a two and a half hour walk allows ample time to also join an afternoon cruise that explores the length of Milford Sound.
Some Advice: It was early ‘really early when we had to leave Te Anau to get to Milford - 05:30 am (some holiday huh). Perhaps we should have considered staying in Milford and I certainly recommend that you do, the more time here the better – but you need to book well in advance as there is very limited accommodation. Oh and for goodness sake, unless you absolutely have to, don’t do a day trip from Queenstown, it’s an 8 Hour return Drive!
A couple of wee pearls...
One - If you are driving, make sure you fill up with gas as it is a four-hour return trip from Te Anau and as I mentioned no gas stations.
Two - Regardless of what you are doing bring wet weather gear! Milford gets between 9 Meters (29 Ft) and 12 Meters (40 Ft) of rain a year.
Three - Winter driving, there is a good chance the road could close as a lot of that rain end up as snow and regardless if you caught without snow chains the authorities will turn you back snowing or not. The weather can be very volatile and change from one minute to the next.
Quick History: Quintin MacKinnon pioneered this as a hiking route in 1888 and was the first Milford Track guide. It wasn’t until 1964 that non-guided folk got onto the track. The title “the finest walk in the world” first published in an article by poet Blanche Baughan that was published in the London Spectator in 1908.
Advice: If you are interested in advice or booking any of New Zealand's great walks, feel free to drop us a line - it's fair to say that between us we have done them all and would love to help. If you are interested in hiking one of New Zealand's greatest walks yourself - just have a chat with us to explore your options.
For Further Reading & Information
Great Walks in New Zealand
Best Day Hikes in the South Island
Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island
New Zealand National Parks – South Island
New Zealand National Parks – North Island
Tours You May Be Interested In
6 Days - 50 Shades of Green - Fiordlands Great Walks
9 Days - The South Islands Ultimate Day Hikes
12 Days - Milford Track & World Heritage Westland