Milford Track Help

Old Nov 14th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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Milford Track Help

I am traveilng(2 people total) to New Zealand in January hoping to hike the Milford Track. The DOC Milford Track has been booked for months. I'd prefer not to do a guided walk to avoid the extar costs and crowds. Anyone have any suggestions or know of waiting lists for DOC?

TLW2010 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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DOC limits the number of walkers on the Milford Track, therefore the booking system. The booking is actually for a spot in a hut because camping isn't permitted on the track.

As you've learned, the track books out months in advance. You'll need to check with DOC to see if they have any sort of waiting list.

Your only option at this point may be to go with Ultimate Hikes, who hold the only concession for overnight guided walks on Milford. They might be booked too.

Or, you could opt for a day walk from the Te Anau side, or a walk/kayak from the Milford Sound side.

Or, there's always the Routeburn, or the Kepler or the Greenstone...

Here's a list of tracks in that area:

Good luck!
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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you are likely out of luck, try checking with DOC in Queenstown but don't count on it.

I don't recommend the expensive guided day walks at either end, really the best part is in the middle over the pass and you can't access that. Any of the walks near Lake Te Anau will give you a similar scenery to the first leg

Maybe you can get the Routeburn instead, give it a try..
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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There aren't any "crowds" on the guided trek but there certainly are extra costs. You are on a slightly different schedule than the independent hikers so you won't see them. You go at your own pace, no requirement to walk in a pack or leave all together. In fact it isn't really guided, I call it a "catered" trek because you don't have to do food.
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Old Nov 16th, 2010, 06:33 AM
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Mlgb gave a good description of the "guided walks". We did the Hollyford Track (a really gorgeous hike) as a guided walk a few years ago and it really was more of a 'catered' walk than a "guided" walk. We were given a map and were free to walk at our own pace for most of the time. (We traveled as a group on the boat across the lake and did a few short segments as a group.) It was SO great to have a hot shower, comfy bed and hot meal waiting for us at the end of the day. I'm not generally fond of group activities, but there was a real mix of people on our walk and I enjoyed visiting with them over dinner each evening. Plus, the guides are really knowledgeable about everything New Zealand and they were great to talk to as well.
I recommend you look at the list provided in Melnq8's link and find a great track in New Zealand to do either on your own or on a guided hike.
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Old Nov 16th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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We did the Milford through Ultimate Hikes last year and I second (or third) the comments. It is expensive but quite nice to have the lodges and hot meals waiting. My husband and I rarely walked with anyone else, as you set your own pace and have a 1/2 hour time during which to leave in the AM, so it spreads out rather quickly. Click on my screen name for more details on the hike, if you'd like. We were really glad we did it.
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