The Milford Track really comes alive after a little fall of rain – the rainforest becomes noticeably greener and smells wonderfully fresh, whilst the rivers and waterfalls become more spectacular. Throughout all of our four days on the Track, we were fortunate enough to have had clear (and often sunny) weather, but it was only on this last day that we were able to see another side of the rainforest after a little bit of rain overnight.
The fourth day of the Track is jam-packed with beautiful scenery – there are many rivers, creeks, lakes, waterfalls, and even a rock to enjoy! Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy the last day of the Track as much as the other three days and I suspect this was because we had a lot of ground to cover in quite a short period of time. Our agent had unfortunately booked us on the 2pm ferry back to Milford Wharf in order to catch a 2:30pm bus back to Te Anau, which meant we had to make the 18 km journey from Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point before then to avoid holding up other hikers and/or being stranded! (For future reference, there is also a later ferry that can be booked at 3pm if you want to spend more time on the Track). So, we rushed through to leave as much time as possible for photo stops. Thankfully, most of the 18 km was fairly flat and not too challenging. We arrived with 15-20 minutes to spare, and found many of the other independent walkers hiding from the plague of sandflies that reside at Sandfly Point inside a nearby shelter whilst waiting for the ferry. Not the best place to end a four-day tramp, but we did it! I’m so proud of F for completing her first multi-day backpacking trip (even if it was “glamping”) without too much trauma aside from a few sandfly bites and a couple of falls.
As the ferry made its way to Milford Wharf, we were rewarded by a glimpse of the famous Milford Sound and Mitre Peak. We then piled ourselves onto our bus absolutely ravenous and exhausted from the morning’s hike. We felt a little sorry for the day trippers from Queenstown who were travelling on the bus with us, as they had to put up with us devouring our lunch, falling asleep, and smelling bad… But I hope they took comfort that we were only going as far as Te Anau with them.