The Milford Trail.

Te Anau Travel Blog

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I woke to nearly clear skies with low cloud which hung below the distant mountain peaks as rays of the rising sun escaped over the contrastingly dark tips. It was early and quiet and beautiful. The only place open to grab a bite was the local bakery so i had to settle for yet more hot large meat pies and sausage rolls. Once the bus departed to Te Anau, i was quickly eased into sleep through the motion. I woke up to darkening skies and light rain with heavy low cloud which obscured the said to be beautiful scenery on this route. All i saw was road, green farmland and many sheep. The bus arrived to the adminstration department and i suddenly felt quite unequipped as i spotted hikers with lycre skin tight body suits, gators, trekking belts and hiking poles. Not to worry. To reach the start of the trail required a 30minute boat ride through fiords. I made a friend. A 75ish year old women called Judi who was hiking this trail for the third time. Props to her. Off the boat and into the sandflys. I had heard of them being quite a bother but DAMN. Within seconds i was being bitten by the buggers. The trail was through cool mossy forest, over grassland and wooden bridges that hung over the clearest water imaginable. The river was deep and bluey green from a distance, and you could see right through it to each individual pebble on the river bed. The clouds opened and the sun soaked the earth in light. Later we crossed wetlands which were incredible. Soft spongey moss, the colors of yellow, green, orange and red. The huts were a nice suprise. Camping is prohibited due to the constant danger of rock falls, avalanches, floodings and its mark on the environment. Dorms bunk bed style, with a kitchen area and toilets. The clearing skies revealed our spot to be surrounded by grey mountains, covered in patches of green and partions of dark rock stained by the waterfalls which could be seen and magically heard falling down the mountainside from the eternal white snow above and eventually reaching the rivers or wetland. With not a huge amount to do but immerse yourself in the nature, i chilled by the river which was extrodinary in terms of aesthetic appeal. It was wide and quite still, winding through green forest at the base of the mountains. The water was cold. Unbelievably cold. I could happily drink straight from the river which was awesome, especially considering it tasted amazing and was so cold you clearly felt it spill down your throat. I sat on a large rock in the rivers middle, bathing in the sun and cooling my feet & legs in the cool flowing water. I had to go for swim. Especially when another middle aged dude jumped in. To be honest it was much of a swim. More dip like. I stripped off, waddled in, my muscles already clenched and thought, none of this tip-top shit and dove it. I literally gasped with shock, managing not to intake any water. It was invigorating but that was enough for me. I didnĀ“t feel too manly coming out of the water. Ice cold water does strange things to your body, especially specific parts. The ranger spilled some knowledge of the place. Such things like the mountains are actually still growing, but weathering erodes the rock at roughly the same rate. Otherwise it would be over 7km high. A smashing dinner of 2minute noodles before going on a walk through the forest. It was 11pm but still light hung in the sky. But deep in the forest, there was little light, which made it quite special when we came across a group of glowworms which hung on the banks of earth like little stars in the night sky.
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Te Anau
photo by: Besandri