Milford Track Day 2

April 1, 2015 New Zealand Write a Comment 8,838 Views

Milford Track Day 2: Pompolona Lodge To Quintin Lodge via Mackinnon Pass

Day 2 is actually the most demanding trekking day, especially with harsh weather. Our day started with sunshine, yet the minute we saw Mackinnon Pass from afar, clouds started covering up the area and it began raining cats and dogs.

Key Facts, Milford Track Day 2.

  • Length: 15 km
  • Time: 6-8 hours (add 60-90 minutes for Sutherland Falls)
  • Highlight: Hot shower, comfy bed and naturally, Mackinnon Pass was kinda cool even with crappy weather.

Starting from Pompolona Lodge, the track first lead to Lake Mintaro, before we started climbing Mackinnon Pass in a series of zig-zags. At the top you’d normally be rewarded with spectacular panorama – in case the weather allows it. Unfortunately we weren’t that lucky and Mackinnon Memorial greeted us with thick fog, pouring rain and temperatures just above the freezing point. We couldn’t wait getting away from the plateau fast enough and continued to Pass Hut, where we stopped for a short lunch break.

The way down was a complete change of scenery again: from wide openness to thick rain forest. After the rocky 1.000 metre descent into the Arthur Valley, I reached Quintin Lodge as the first one, so I decided to continue to the Sutherland Falls, the world’s fifth highest waterfall. It would have been an amazing experience, yet sandflies and rain were enough for me to immediately turn around. The though of a hot shower, drying room and warm bed gave me wings and I was back at Quintin Lodge in no time. I’m really not a sissy, but I wouldn’t have wanted to slip back into my wet shoes the next day, so thanks again for the luxury Ultimate Hikes!

Milford Track, Day By Day Itinerary.

At the beginning od Day 2, you’ll come across excellent views of Lake Mintaro and the Clinton Valley.
Before arriving at the top of Mackinnen Pass, the walk begins to follow a series of switchbacks out of the bush and into the alpine sections of the route.
The track then reaches the large memorial cairn that honours the discovery of this scenic spot by Quintin Mackinnon and Ernest Mitchell, in 1888.
If the weather is fair, there are impressive views all around of the Clinton and Arthur valleys and several nearby peaks. In this case, trampers like to spend some extra time at the pass; if it isn’t, they can’t get off it fast enough – which was exactly what we did.
The track crosses beneath Mount Balloon and the Jervois Glacier to the Moraine Creek Bridge.
After the Moraine Creek Bridge, it then follows a boardwalk and staircase beside the Roaring Burn River, with its numerous waterfalls.
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