South Island | “Milford Track” (1/4/15)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? I’d argue that even if it’s not the most important, it’s certainly the most delicious! Even when we’re camping, I have eggs. Yum yum!

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After breakfast, we packed up our campsite and drove up the road in search of the Milford Track. Now the Milford Track has been described as “the finest walk in the world”, so you can imagine how excited we were to be in the vicinity, our running gear on, hydration packs full and ready for the day, and were actually able to find a parking spot at the trailhead. We wanted to get on the trail before the guided tour began and we’d have to awkwardly pass everyone.

But it suddenly became clear – we weren’t at the trailhead at all. The Milford Track was out of reach – we. couldn’t. get. there.

All those (prepared) people who got off their big bus were loaded onto a boat and left us scratching our heads in the parking lot. So we decided to drive into Te Anau to see how to get on a boat to the Milford Track. We were told it would be about $130/person. Just to get there! “Well, we’ll drive to the Sound and do it from the other end, then”. But wait! Can’t do that either, they don’t allow it unless you book a guided tour. And even then it’s only accessible by water taxi. I was furious! We hadn’t read this anywhere or heard this at all throughout all of our research. I began rejecting the idea of the Milford Track on principle and quickly gave up wanting to get there. They can keep their “finest track in the world”. (Can you tell I’m bitter!?)

We found a fabulous track elsewhere, as I knew we would! Beautiful views, stunning single track, and no guided tours to navigate. At the end of our hike, we jumped in the river (it was quite a shock to the system, that cold NZ mountain runoff!), shivered our way through dinner, and found a lovely campsite for the night. We were asleep before dark because in the morning we had a 2 hour drive before catching our 8 AM cruise boat. Milford Sound waits for no one.

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