The Classic Itinerary
The Milford Track guided walk briefing is held on the day prior to your Classic walk departure date in the Ultimate Hikes Centre in Queenstown at 2.45pm. The briefing will explain the next few days of your walk, run through the packing checklist and show you the equipment you can borrow.
Day 4 - Quintin Lodge to Mitre Peak Lodge
21km (13.5 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Track Terrain: Mainly flat well-graded track, however it is uneven ground with some rocky sections.
The track is well graded but it has some uneven and rocky patches. It’s the day of more waterfalls though, even if it’s not raining! Mackay Falls is first, followed by Giants Gate where you stop for lunch. From here it’s a wide track to Sandfly Point and the boat across to Milford Sound and Mitre Peak Lodge. Enjoy the views of Mitre Peak and join your friends in the bar for a well-earned celebration.
Day 5 Milford Sound - Te Anau
Cruise on Milford Sound
This morning after breakfast the guides will ensure your belongings are labelled to go in the bus. The bus will drop you at the wharf to board the Cruise on the famous Milford Sound. Enjoy waterfalls and wildlife and glimpse the Tasman Sea before returning to dry land and hopping back on the bus for the ride back to Te Anau.
Te Anau Accommodation
In Te Anau, you will be directed to your accommodation for the night. The rest of your day and night is free to explore or relax ready for the next section of your hike - The Routeburn Track.
Please note: Dinner, and breakfast the following morning are not included in the package.
Day 6 - Te Anau to Mackenzie Lodge
12km (7.5 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate.
Track Terrain: The track is reasonably smooth, with some steep rocky sections.
The bus will collect you from your accommodation and take you to meet your group at the Alpine Cafe, e Anau for morning tea. From Te Anau you will drive to the start of the track at the Divide on the Milford Road. The wide and well formed track climbs steadily from the Divide to Key Summit. Take the optional walk to the summit to see wetlands and gaze down three valleys from which water flows to three different coasts.
Following lunch at Lake Howden the track gradually climbs through silver beech forest to Earland Falls. You'll hear them before you see them! Take a break here before beginning the descent into Mackenzie lodge which is steep and rocky, so take your time. Refreshments, a hot shower, three course meal and comfortable beds are waiting at Mackenzie Lodge.
Day 7 - Mackenzie Lodge to Routeburn Falls
11 km (6.9 miles)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Track Terrain: Uneven and steep in places, with a series of zig zags, then mostly flat, before heading downhill with some boardwalks and steps
The track from lake Mackenzie starts with an ascent through ancient forest on to alpine zig zags to Ocean Peak Corner, where you have a full vista of the Darran Mountains. The track then crosses the Hollyford Face to the Harris Saddle, where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, weather permitting take the optional walk up Conical Hill for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. Rounding Lake Harris after lunch you reach the track's highest point. From there the descent into the upper basin of the Routeburn Valley is a mixture of gravel track and boardwalk until you reach the Routeburn Falls. Spend your final night at the beautifully located Routeburn Falls Lodge.
Day 8 - Routeburn Falls to Queenstown
9Km (5.7 miles)
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Track Terrain: Mostly wide and smooth with some rocky patches.
The track descends from the lodge to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats, crossing a tree slip allowing views to the mountains beyond. At the bottom take a short detour to the DOC hut and walk out on to the flats to see the full expanse of the valley. The track widens from here and follows alongside the Routeburn River as it roars through a magnificent gorge. Gorge Flat is a great place to stop for lunch. The last section is a gentle walk through the beech forest and across the last swingbridge to the Routeburn Shelter. A coach will take you back to Queenstown, stopping at the small town of Glenorchy on the way.