FATMAP difficulty grade
The 'finest walk in the world'.
It's a bold claim, but those who are fortunate enough to have completed the Milford Track attest that it lives up to its lofty reputation.
Over the course of this 55km / 4-day trail, hikers witness a dizzying array of scenery, including everything from ancient rainforests to awe-inspiring glacial valleys, from crystal clear rivers to the world-famous lookout over Milford Sound. It's no surprise, then, that the Milford Track is popular.
Some 14,000 hikers tackle the trail every year, meaning reserving hut space in advance is essential - especially during peak season.
The trail is accessible outside of the 'Great Walks Season' (October - May), but conditions through the winter months are very challenging, and only very experienced hikers with alpine skills should attempt the track. We have broken the Track into its individual stages in this Guidebook to help assist with navigation. Stage One: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut After catching the boat to Glade Wharf from Te Anau Downs, this is a relatively easy hike onto the trail.
The track follows the Clinton River though stunning beech forests for some 5km, until you reach Clinton Hut.
Stage Two: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut Be prepared for a long, spectacular day of hiking.
The track follows the Clinton River to its source at Lake Mintaro, at the beginning of the Mackinnon Pass.
As you climb steadily towards the Mintaro Hut, you'll pass the Pompolona Ice Field as you head into the Clinton Valley and its towering rock walls. Stage Three: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut The steep climb up to Mackinnon Pass offers up stunning views of Lake Mintaro and the Clinton Canyon.
The Mackinnon Pass Shelter marks the highest point on the trail (1154m), from where you'll drop steadily past the cascading waterfalls of the Roaring Burn River as you make your way towards Dumpling Hut.
Stage Four: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point Following the Arthur River, the Track passes the historic Boatshed towards Mackay Falls and Bell Rock.
Towards the end of the trail the track widens out as it heads towards Sandfly Point - and the end of the trail.
From here, a short boat ride across Milford Sound (with its world-class views) is a stunning end to an incredible hike.