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The Milford Road, Part 2

Published
October 28, 2022
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In this final instalment, which follows on from The Milford Road, Part 1, I describe day walks along the Milford Road and at the locality of Milford, at the head of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Read on past the pitch for my book The Sensational South Island!

The Amazon Kindle and Kobo versions of my book The Sensational South Island, which has just been updated, are on special at US $2.99 and NZ $3.99, respectively, for the rest of October 2022, perhaps with an extension into November. Click here for a universal shop link to the eBook versions. Or, you may wish to buy the paperback, which you can purchase on Amazon with white paper and Lulu with cream paper.

Here, my final instalment commences:

Day Walks along the Milford Road and at Milford

Day walks along the Milford Road include the whole or part of the following tracks and routes, some more difficult than others:

·       Lake Mistletoe Track

·       Boyd Creek Track and Walk, famous for an abundance of moss. Gets difficult if you go far.

·       East Eglinton Track (“challenging”)

·       Dore Pass Route (“challenging”)

·       Hut Creek Track (“difficult”)

·       Mistake Creek Track (“difficult”)

·       Lake Gunn Nature Walk

·       Key Summit (via a section of the Routeburn Track)

·       Lake Marian Track (from a couple of km up the Hollyford Road)

·       Falls Creek Route

·       Gertrude Valley Track, which is followed by a more difficult route to the GertrudeSaddle

·       The Chasm

·       Grave-Talbot Track, which can be shortened to a stroll on the Gulliver River

·       Tutoko Valley Track

·       Milford Foreshore Walk

·       Milford Sound Lookout Track

Some of the most beautiful day walks in New Zealand are in this area, notably Lake Marian, the Gertrude Valley and Key Summit

Lake Gunn

The Lake Gunn Nature Walk

Lake Marian

Marian Creek

At Lake Marian

Here's a short video of Lake Marian and of Mount Christina, behind the lake:

And last but not least, the Routeburn Track:

Routeburn Track sign

Accommodation

At Te Anau Downs. the Lone MooseBackpackers caters for those who like fixed accommodation or want some R & R.

Along the Milford Road itself, there are nine campsites.

Heading out from Te Anau Downs, the campsites are:

·       Walker Creek

·       Totara

·       Mackay Creek

·       Deer Flat

·       The Eglinton Valley Camp (formerly known as Knobs Flat)

·       Kiosk Creek

·       Smithy Creek

·       Upper Eglinton

·       Cascade Creek (at the south end of Lake Gunn)

The last campsite on the Milford Road as you head west toward the Divide, i.e., the local position of the main divide of the Southern Alps, from which it is mostly downhill to Milford but with no campsites on the western side.

All are publicly owned apart from the Eglinton Valley Camp, a commercial venture where you can have showers on a casual basis for $5. A tenth campsite called the Lake Gunn Campsite is marked on maps at the north end of Lake Gunn. But as of the time of writing it has been closed for the last few years, and the Cascade Creek campsite has been enlarged instead.

The campsites range from ultra-basic fishing spots to highly serviced, though none have powered sites for caravans as far as I am aware. I parked my caravan at Upper Eglinton. Cascade Creek is the best-serviced campground in my view, with two outdoor cooking facilities, outdoor fires, and several toilets and water tanks with water from the roof. It’s only a 45-minute walk from Lake Gunn as well. But all nine campsites are close to the Eglinton River and some of them also have magnificent views as well. Some have outdoor fireplaces and there is usually a toilet: simply have a look at the links above!

All nine campsites are also on the eastern or Te Anau side of the Divide. At the Divide, there is the Divide Shelter, and the Homer Hut also stands near the eastern end of the Homer Tunnel. But there are no campsites between the Divide and Milford.

At the Sound, you can stay at a powered campsite outside the Milford Lodge for NZ $30 per night. The self-catering lounge, kitchen and bathroom facilities are excellent. There is not much of a fridge though. There are other more upmarket options in units. Dorms will be built in a few years, apparently.

The dinner options are quite steep, NZ $40 for a main. However, the local café has more reasonably priced and healthy options. Breakfast and lunch have cheaper options as well.  

Finally, there are also many choices of accommodation in the main township of Te Anau!

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