Milford Track - Day 1

Saturday, 15 April 2017

I think the hardest part of the first day of the Milford Track was getting to the start line. We had to leave Queenstown with enough time to pick up a special lock in Te Anau, so that the car could be magically moved for us from the start of the walk to the end of the walk (a 2 hour drive away). We also had to pick up our track passes, fill the car with petrol in preparation for the car shuffle, and get to the boat in time for the 1pm departure.
And we made it, just.   It was very exciting to finally board the boat as it’s been a long time coming.

We booked this trip the moment bookings were open, which was getting up to a year ago now.  The Milford and Routeburn Tracks both get sold out instantaneously - so we were lucky we all (ten of us) made it!    Each day during the walking season 40 ‘freedom’ walkers like us start - and 60 ‘guided’ walkers start. The guided walkers have their own fancy huts with actual beds and all their food supplied.  The difference in price is huge ($150 vs $2050), however if you haven’t been able to get a booking then the guided walk might be your only option.   Back in the olden days the only way to do the Milford Track was on one of the guided walks, so us freedom walkers are really benefitting from the many years of track building that went on before the park was opened up to non-guided walkers.

The forecast for the duration of our walk looked miserable - basically each day was a combination of showers, heavy showers and rain -but since the forecasts had been wildly wrong on our days on the west coast, we held out hope that it wouldn’t be too bad on the hike.

The boat trip up the lake took about an hour.  The scenery was pretty nice.

 

 

 

After disembarking we set off up a wide flat track through ferny beech forest with some open grassland patches and past the first of the guided walkers huts. We couldn't help but notice the lovely looking beds made up inside the hut (against the windows), complete with pillows and sheets.  

 

About a kilometre further up the path we crossed our first of many swingbridges..

 

 

and about 45 minutes later we rolled into our first hut, thankfully just before some heavy rain.  

 

 

The first day’s walk was only 4.5km - so short enough to not feel exhausted, but long enough to remind ourselves of the feeling of walking with big packs.  I went to sleep with a smile on my face as I dreamt of what we had to look forward to on the rest of the walk (and possibly also because Clare gave me a sleeping pill so that I could fall asleep before the snorers all started shaking the walls).

2017List
Cool things Wednesday, 3 May 2017
NZ Day 30 - Long Distance Final Sunday, 30 April 2017
NZ Day 28 - Rest Day 3 (HA!) Friday, 28 April 2017
NZ Day 27 - Long Qualifying 2 Friday, 28 April 2017
NZ Day 26 - Long Qualifying 1 Wednesday, 26 April 2017
NZ Day 25 - Rangitoto Island Tuesday, 25 April 2017
NZ Day 24 - Unexpected Outcomes Tuesday, 25 April 2017
NZ Day 23 - Sprint Qualifying Sunday, 23 April 2017
NZ Day 22 - Goodbye Rotorua, Hello Auckland Sunday, 23 April 2017
NZ Day 21 - Rest Day 2 (HA!) Saturday, 22 April 2017
NZ Day 20 - Rotorua Orienteering & Adrenaline Forest Thursday, 20 April 2017
NZ Day 19 - Rotorua Orienteering Thursday, 20 April 2017
NZ Day 18 - Rest Day (HA!) Tuesday, 18 April 2017
NZ Day 17 - Oceania Middle & Rotorua Tuesday, 18 April 2017
NZ Day 16 - Goodbye South Island Tuesday, 18 April 2017
NZ Day 15 - Milford Sound Saturday, 15 April 2017
Milford Track - Day 4 Saturday, 15 April 2017
Milford Track - Day 3 Saturday, 15 April 2017
Milford Track - Day 2 Saturday, 15 April 2017
Milford Track - Day 1 Saturday, 15 April 2017
NZ Day 9 - Pastries and Packing Saturday, 15 April 2017
NZ Day 8 - Pools and Puzzles Sunday, 9 April 2017
NZ Day 7 - More Glaciers & Amazing Views Sunday, 9 April 2017
NZ Day 6 - Gorges and Glaciers Friday, 7 April 2017
NZ Day 5 - Seals & Rocks Friday, 7 April 2017
NZ Day 4 - Old Ghost Road Wednesday, 5 April 2017
NZ Day 2 - Hot Springs and Long Drives Monday, 3 April 2017
NZ Day 0 & NZ Day 1 Sunday, 2 April 2017
NZ (Planned) Wednesday, 29 March 2017