Dumpling Hut - Milford Sound
Milford Sound Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
The final day arrived, and our little hiking party lounged around a little bit in the morning, hoping that the flat walk ahead of us that day wouldn't be too bad. Basically you have to make it to Sandfly point about 18 km on and there are boats leaving at 2 pm or 3:15 pm, so if you miss the first one you have to wait around a bit. My brother and I had originally booked on the latter one, but my brother batted his eyelids at the ranger and got us in on the earlier one :)
So the last day was reasonably non-eventful, owing largely to a lovely friend called Advil that made my knee tolerable. It is a reasonably flat day of hiking, mostly alongside lakes and through some fairly damp ground. We hiked past many people who looked quite happy for the day to end, but we were all still in fairly good spirits, the sun even popped it's head out for longer patches today. There was a brief lunch stop at Great Gate falls, where we devoured a large portion of our scroggin (nuts, chocolates and things in a bag, I'd never heard the word before then)
Well we survived, passing the final 53 kilometre marker was fantastic, and then to have the pack off the shoulders and the jandals on was even better. Once you reach Sandfly point, you want to escape those flies in to the indies waiting room as soon as possible. It's quite a good feeling in there staring around at your fellow walkers spread around the walls of the room knowing you've all accomplished that. There's not a lot of chat, just a lot of content people I think.
We only had to wait about half an hour for the boat, so we'd timed our run pretty well. The boat departed, the driver asking the large group on the bow "Have you ever driven with a blindfold ?" :) A slow 20 minute chug back to Milford sound and it was all over.
Most of the group jumped straight on other buses to Te Anau or Queenstown, but my brother and I were quite happy with our choice to stay that night in Milford sound. After farewelling the other walkers we jumped on a shuttle bus, and I don't know what it is about us that begs the question, or if it is asked of all backpackers but the driver just said "To the pub ?". Reflexes kicked in and I said "Yep" and sat down. As we jumped off the bus, it dawned on me that there's a chance the pub isn't our accommodation, but...well we're here now so may as well have a beer :)
It turns out that our backpackers was about a kilometre and a bit away, and while a few days earlier we probably would have waited for the next shuttle we just walked. When you've walked a 50 km track one more km doesn't seem too bad, it's all relative I guess.
So the journey ended, I managed to make it back to Auckland, my brother crossed the ditch back home to Canberra, and our blisters lived on. I'd do the track again in a second though, two thumbs way up :)
Milford Sound Lodge
Postal: Private Bag, Milford Sound
Fax : 03-249-7193
Not a bad backpackers, staff were friendly, hot showers were realllly good. Rooms were mid-sized, two single beds and not much more but enough space to lay out packs easy. Had a pretty good common area with lots of couches, internet connection was extremely slow (though not too surprising considering remoteness)