Milford Track Day 1

March 13, 2015 New Zealand 2 Comments 11,885 Views

Milford Track Day 1: Glade House To Pompolona Lodge.

The first real hiking day unfortunately started with a bit of fog and clouds and I was a bit disappointed at first. A couple of minutes into the walk, it actually made the atmosphere more mystical.

Key Facts, Milford Track Day 1.

  • Length: 16 km
  • Time: 5-7 hours
  • Highlight: Wetlands

After crossing the emerald green Clinton River over the first of about 400 bridges (I unfortunately forgot the exact number Kelly mentioned), we walked up the valley of beech forest, passing Quintin Mackinnon’s first shelter hut built back in 1889.

A bit further was a little side track to the wetland area, which is definitely worth checking out! Wetland made me think of an area near a rivers or lake, however, this one was in the middle of a valley with no water in sight! Shrub brush and moss is all that grows here, due to a iron pan below the soil. But the beech trees are slowly taking over and will eventually convert the area to a dry land.

From here the walk continued pretty flat, before it climbed as it entered the Clinton Valley. Walking through the lush beech forest, you’ll cross a huge landslide from the 80’s which blocked the river and created a Dead Lake.

After approx. 11 kilometres, we reached the Hirere Falls. If you’re lucky and the weather allows it, you can get a sneak preview of Mackinnon Pass in the distance. After re-entering the forest, the surrounding opened up again. Since it was raining a lot in the last couple of days, countless waterfalls embellished the steep rock walls, which was really impressive. From here, it’s was just a short climb to Pompolona Lodge, where we were greeted with a nice warm cup of tea.

Milford Track, Day By Day Itinerary.

View of the emerald green Clinton River while passing the suspension bridge on Milford Track.
The walk along Clinton river makes you feel like you’re so far away from civilisation (which is the case anyway).
A short side track to the wetland area. The lack of nutrients in the soil have stunted the growth of these Beech trees . The result is a Bonsai forest.
Although you continue on a flat walk, the area is not any less interesting…
Clinton Valley looks like out of Jurassic Park.
It had rained for many days before we started the track, which was perfect for all the waterfalls in the Clinton Valley.
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“Milford Track Day 1: Glade House To Pompolona Lodge.”

  1. Paula

    I really wanted to read Days 2 – 4 of the Milford Track blog but can’t find those days anywhere.

  2. Nisa

    Hey Paula! These articles are not online, because they haven’t been written yet. I’ll post Milford Track Day 2 in the first week of April. Be sure to check it out :)

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