Introduction

Find out about the Milford Track between 27 October 2020 and 29 November 2020.

Milford Track is partially open

From 27 October 2020 to 29 November 2020, the section between Dumpling Hut and Sandfly Point is closed due to signficant storm damage.

While the track is repaired, you can only do a return walk from Glade Wharf. You can stay in Clinton and/or Mintaro Huts, in any order, for a maximum of 2 nights in each hut.

Bookings are required and will open on Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 9:30 am. The booking system for this period (huts/campsites booking system) will be different to the booking system for the period when the track is fully open (Great Walks booking system). You’ll need to create an account on the huts/campsites system, even if you already have an account on the Great Walks system. It's best to do this before making a booking.

  • Track is well marked and signposted, but some sections are steep and rough
  • Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur anytime
  • DOC manages avalanche risk to a low level and walkers may be flown (at their cost) over dangerous sections
  • Track is not recommended for children under the age of 10, due to the exposed  mountainous environment and often adverse weather conditions.

On this page:

Highlights

  • Take your camera and capture the stunning panoramas from Mackinnon Pass across ancient valleys carved by glaciers.
  • Enjoy the emerald waters of the Clinton River.

Explore with Google Street ViewWatch videos

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Mackinnon Pass
Image: John Strother ©

Walking options

From 27 October 2020 to 29 November 2020, you can only do a return walk from Glade Wharf, staying in Clinton and/or Mintaro Huts.

Guided options

Consider guided walks on the Miford Track (Destination Fiordland website)

Places to stay

Only 2 huts (Clinton and Mintaro) are open from 27 October 2020 to 29 November 2020. These must be booked well in advance; they can be booked in any order. Camping is not permitted on the Milford Track.

Hut facilities

Huts have bunks, mattresses, heating, toilets, basic cooking facilities, solar-powered lighting and cold running water. A DOC ranger is in residence. The huts do not provide cooking utensils or showers.

Fees and bookings

New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand*:

  • Adult (18+ years): $70 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): free but booking still required

International visitors:

  • Adult (18+ years): $70 per person, per night
  • Child (17 years and under): $35 per person, per night

* New Zealand rates:

  • "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" means those:
    • who hold a residence class, student or work visa; and
    • who have lived in New Zealand for six of the previous 12 months; and
    • for whom New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.
  • Proof of eligibility will be required for the New Zealand rate - see acceptable eligibility proof.
Discounts

A 10% discount is available to members, staff and instructors of the following organisations, who also hold a valid 12 month Backcountry Hut Pass: NZ Mountain Safety Council; NZ Federated Mountain Clubs; NZ Deer Stalkers Association; NZ Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR); Scouts New Zealand; GirlGuiding NZ.

Backcountry Hut Passes can be used. To pay with your Backcountry Hut Pass, create/update your account on our huts/campsite booking system. Under 'Apply for a discount', select 'Backcountry Hut Pass Holder' and upload a scan of your pass. Once we've verified your pass, it will automatically be applied when you make a booking.

Bookings

Huts must be booked in advance. Bookings will open on Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 9:30 am. Book online

Getting there

Milford Track starts on Lake Te Anau. From Te Anau, take a bus or private transport to Te Anau Downs (30 minutes), then a boat trip to Glade Wharf at the head of Lake Te Anau (1 hour 15 minutes).

From 27 October 2020 to 29 November 2020, the track also finishes at Glade Wharf.

Transport must be booked in advance. There is no vehicle or private access to the start/end of the track.

Durng the Great Walks season, full transport packages are available from one of these independent operators. Contact the operator for further information.

What to take

To have a safe and enjoyable trip, it's essential you have appropriate clothing and equipment. Find out what to take.

Know before you go

The track will not be suitable for all walkers. Parts of the Milford Track are exposed, steep, slippery, rough and muddy. If you choose to climb Mackinnon Pass, you will go up 500 m, and down 500 m again. 

Weather conditions can change quickly in any season. Fiordland National Park experiences very high rainfall (up to 9000 mm per year) and weather conditions can change quickly in any season. Cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. Be prepared for all conditions. Check the Fiordland National Park weather forecast (MetService website). View current conditions on the MacKinnon Pass webcam.

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Milford Track in November - cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur anytime.

The risk of avalanche can extend into December. During the Great Walks season DOC manages this risk to a low level and walkers may be flown (at their cost) over dangerous sections.

There is no cellphone coverage. 

Your safety is your responsibility. Know the Outdoor Safety Code - 5 simple rules to ensure you have a great trip and make it home.

Track description

Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut

Time: 1–1 hr 30 min
Distance: 5 km

After a boat cruise fromTe Anau Downs (1 hour 15 minutes), take a leisurely walk through beautiful beech forest along the banks of the Clinton River to Clinton Hut, where all walkers spend the firstnight. Once you arrive, take some time to checkout the great swimming holes near the hut, or take a short walk around the wetland boardwalk.

Side trip: Wetland Walkway

Time: 15 min return

A short side track is signposted 10 min before Clinton Hut. Guided walks with the DOC ranger maybe available during the late afternoon.

Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut

Time: 6 hr
Distance: 16.5 km

A gradual climb follows the Clinton River to its source, Lake Mintaro, at the base of the renowned Mackinnon Pass. Past Hirere Falls you will get your first view of Mackinnon Pass and the impressive Pompolona icefield. You’ll be dwarfed by the sheer scale of the rock walls towering above on either side as you walk up the Clinton Valley, and will pass through changing vegetation as you climb higher towards Mintaro Hut.

Note, Mintaro Hut could pose a risk in the event of a severe earthquake. For full details, see Know before you go on the Mintaro Hut page.

Side trip - Minatro Hut to Mackinnon Pass and return

Time: 3 hr return

Climb to Mackinnon Pass and the memorial to explorer Quintin McKinnon, with exceptional views of Lake Mintaro and the Clinton Canyon along the way. The memorial is a great place to take in the awe-inspiring panoramas, before reaching the highest point on the track and Mackinnon Pass Shelter (1154 m).

Return to Mintaro Hut via the same track.

Mintaro Hut to Glade Wharf

Time: 7 hr
Distance: 21 km

Return to Glade Wharf via the same track.


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