Lush, rugged and impossibly scenic, the Milford Track is the gold standard of all of New Zealand’s hiking trails. In a country already known for its hiking, this famous track through the heart of Fiordland has been known to trump all others. Tramp your way through alpine scenery where mountains thrust upwards from the lakeshore, and walk beneath the famous Sutherland Falls that spill 1,900 feet down the mountainside. Delve through forests that are brilliantly painted in nearly every shade of green, and then finally emerge at the placid waters of famous Milford Sound.
As one of New Zealand’s famous “Great Walks,” the trail on the Milford Track is well defined and accessible to most levels of hikers. The trail is 31 miles long, takes four days to complete and has shelter provided in pre-booked huts along the way. The trail begins at Glade Wharf along the shores of Lake Te Anau and reaches a dramatic terminus when it finishes at Milford Sound. It can only be walked in one direction (it’s easy to arrange transport back to Te Anau), and the hiking season is only open from late October until late April. Reservations are essential for hiking, and space can regularly be fully booked up to six months in advance.