Milford Track info

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Milford Track info

Postby AUTO » Wed 14 Oct, 2015 7:14 pm

Hi guys,

Brand new to the forum.

I am planning on hiking the Milford Track by myself early next year. I've had a look at the main website etc and know a fair chunk about it.
My main questions are as follows:

1. As I will be travelling from Brisbane, what is the best way to get to the start of the Milford Track without having to hire a car etc. Plane into Christchurch and bus to Queenstown? Are there shuttles that I can book specifically for Milford etc? Totally lost on this one as I've never been out of Australia.

2. Do I have to stay in the huts or can I just camp wherever?

3. At the end of the track is there a bus to take me back to Queenstown and then back to the airport at Christchurch?


Once I am on the track I think I will be fine. I'm more concerned about getting there and getting back haha.

Any information is appreciated.

TIA

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Re: Milford Track info

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Mon 19 Oct, 2015 6:27 pm

When you book the walk on the DoC website you also book the ferry rides to the start/from the end of the walk. When booking you also have the option to select bus transfers from Queenstown to the start ferry and from milford sound back to Queenstown at the end. These are through the main transport operators and (I don't think) the charges are over and above the normal rates. So all of your transfers ex Qtown are sorted with one website.

As for Brisbane to Qtown, I thought there were direct flights? Even if there aren't, IMO it would be easier going Brisbane -Sydney -Qtown... Christchurch to Qtown is a pretty long bus ride.

On camping, the short answer is no. Milford track is hut only and DoC are pretty strict about it (should have been clear on their website? )

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Re: Milford Track info

Postby PedroArvy » Mon 19 Oct, 2015 6:56 pm

For full details on this walk and how to get there and back call http://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/ on +64 3 441 0700.
Your hand will be held on the Milford Track.
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby Kainas » Mon 19 Oct, 2015 7:44 pm

It is my understanding that you can fly direct to Queenstown only during the ski season.

We visited the Fiordland area during Summer and had to fly to Christchurch first. We got in at about midnight, slept on the airport floor (with about 30 other people), and caught a 6am flight to Queenstown.

From there we used a shuttle service called tracknet. They are very obliging and will run services just for you if needed. Very helpful people to contact.

Don't rule out the other walks in the area, especially the Routeburn which is amazing. We did three of them back-to-back a few years ago and had a blast, they all had something different to offer. We never did the Milford as it was booked out, but the tour bus operators seemed to think that the Milford was no better than the others in the region (I would love to go back for a month and compare them all).
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 4:45 am

no camping within 500m of the great walks, the bush is extremely dense and the places you could camp within 500m of the track are extremely few and far between, as the ground goes vertical in most places around the track. and if the angers see you on the track carrying a tent they'll grill you on where you camped. ranger on the kepler read some guys the riot act, they were camped well off the track but nowhere near 500m and they were hanging around the hut , you can't stop at the huts if you are camping. they are harsher on campers than on day walkers in other places to stop abuse of the cheaper camping permits doesnt help that a lot of camping sites are near huts, mainly for the rangers to maintain easier and collect fees easier.
that queenstown site is pointing you to the guided walks, you wont get much change out of $1500, theres a lot of info sites around queenstown that are run by a few businesses to direct you to their business only. theres only one info site uses a blue i as the logo. tracknet are the main company running buses too and from the ferry boats.
book early, the milford fills up months in advance, last i checked the bookings open a few months in advance of the season around june.
you have to book for all the huts in a specific sequence, booking the first doc hut automatically books you for the next two on subsequent nights, you can only walk it in one direction, unlike other walks where you can grab whatever huts you can get if some huts are full.
the milford track looks like milford sound, its not like you have to walk the track to see that scenery, theres no shortage of other tracks in with bush just as good.
theres no shortage of other tracks, everyone wants makes a bline for the great walks and they get oversubscribed and then the surrounding tracks and huts end up over filled. masses of tourists from queenstown just pour onto tracks around the southern south island, the routeburn is getting over run , the track got upgraded, large groups of runners are on the track on top of thousands of day walkers. guided running groups are up for approval to run on the routeburn now DOC arent rulling out letting them onto the track as well. the routeburn is going the way of the tongariro crossing, which is absolutely swamped with people. and the marketing of these tracks by people making a buck is to blame. air NZ are actively marketing the great walks and the no's booking the tracks in advance has increased massively in recent years,
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby Strider » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 6:26 am

wayno wrote: if the rangers see you on the track carrying a tent they'll grill you on where you camped.

How would they know?

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Re: Milford Track info

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 6:41 am

Strider wrote:
wayno wrote: if the rangers see you on the track carrying a tent they'll grill you on where you camped.

How would they know?

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on the milford, you dont see people carrying tents, no one camps there, if they can see a tent strapped to your pack, they'll want an explanation.
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby LachlanB » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 11:09 am

Virgin does direct flights from Brisbane to Queenstown, even in summer, but not every day. So if you're restricted to certain dates, it's no good.
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby north-north-west » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 1:02 pm

wayno wrote:
Strider wrote:
wayno wrote: if the rangers see you on the track carrying a tent they'll grill you on where you camped.

How would they know?

on the milford, you dont see people carrying tents, no one camps there, if they can see a tent strapped to your pack, they'll want an explanation.

Who straps a tent to the pack? Mine is inside, where it belongs. So if everyone did that how would they know if you had a tent or not?
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby wayno » Tue 20 Oct, 2015 5:49 pm

foreigners who have small packs and strap up to half their gear on the outside, sleeping bags is another classic item..
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby Chris-a » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 8:49 pm

Having walked the Milford recently the distinction between those glamping and those staying at the DoC huts is obvious. Independent walkers may blend in with those using the DoC huts but be warned that there were plenty of DoC staff working along the track.


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Re: Milford Track info

Postby wayno » Wed 28 Oct, 2015 8:00 am

hte forest is like a jungle there, it takes a lot of work to stop it reclaiming the track, especially a wide footpath that they maintain on the great walks for a lot of their length
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Re: Milford Track info

Postby Chris-a » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 8:15 am

Have to agree that the undergrowth is so thick along the track that finding a suitable campsite would be a real challenge other than around the DoC huts.


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