The Track to Milford Sound…


As this post goes to press I’ll be on my way to the airport for a flight to Queenstown. I have the weekend in this fabulous city and then on Monday we tackle the Milford Track.

I’ve been to Milford Sound a couple of times before – I’ve even spent a night on a boat on the Sound…an experience I’ll never forget. The photos on this page were taken on that trip in April 2011. It’s always been on my bucket list to complete this walk. It seems fitting that it will be part of the flipping fabulous things associated with the festival of fifty. #FFF.

Having said that, I feel under-prepared, and more than a little over-whelmed. I’ve been walking a lot, but nothing I’ve done has prepared me for day 3 and Mackinnon Pass. That’s it in the middle of the pic.


I guess though, it’s not a race, I don’t care if I’m last back to the lodge – at least that means I’ll be getting my moneys worth on track! Be prepared, when I get back to Queenstown, for lots of photos of bushes and views as I stop at the end of each switch-back for a breather photo.

As scared as I am, I can’t wait. Not just for the challenge or the amazing beauty that is the landscape in this part of New Zealand, but I’m most looking forward to the quiet. For the five days that we’re on track, I’ll have no cell-phone reception, and no access to news. The track and the people I’ll be sharing it with will be my world for those few days. It’s a bit like a digital detox with an alpine pass in the middle.

I’m looking forward to the times I’ll be walking alone, listening to the wind, the trees, the birds, possibly the rain (after all, it rains a lot in Fjordland). Even when it’s uncomfortable, it’s also mindful and grounding. Most importantly it’s an opportunity for the white noise in my head to be silenced – and oh how I need for that to happen. For five whole days I’ll be letting go, and even though I’ll be carrying everything I need on my back, I’ll also be lightening up- and oh how I need for that to happen too!

I’ve booked the walk with Ultimate Hikes, so it’s what the hard-core trampers call soft-core tramping. We carry only our clothes, lunch and water. Each night we sleep in a comfortable lodge and enjoy a proper dinner that hasn’t been previously dehydrated. For five whole days all I have to do is concentrate on the track. No decisions, no questions. Sure, I can continue to worry about all the things I agonise over now, but there’ll be absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. For five whole days. If you want to know more about guided tramping with Ultimate Hikes, check out this post from when I did Routeburn a couple of years ago: 5 Reasons I chose a guided walk.

My husband will join me in Queenstown on the Friday we get back, so it will be fun showing him more of this town that I love so much. I’ll also be taking lots of notes for a future series that will be set here…but that’s still in very early stages, so no spoiler alerts.

I do have a few post scheduled on the author site and will probably duck in over the weekend from Queenstown, but there won’t be any link-ups this week.

Have you ever done a long distance walk? What about Milford? If so, imagine you’re a 49 year old woman carrying an extra 20kgs- how hard is it really? On 2nd thoughts, no, don’t tell me!


If you want to know more about Routeburn Track:

Day 1 Routeburn Track

Day 2 Routeburn Track

Day 3 Routeburn Track

Things I learnt on Routeburn 

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

2 thoughts

  1. I might have mentioned in the past that I had a failed trip to Milford Sound back in 1999 or so. A friend and I had gone to Queenstown (flown into Christchurch, then drove to Queenstown). We booked a bus trip to MS and it rained the entire way and the weather was so bad our boat trip (or whatever) was cancelled and we just got out of the bus, stretched and turned around and headed home. The thing I most remember though was that it started to snow on the way back to Queenstown and that was the first time I’d seen snow.

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