/ Milford Track in a day.

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ablackett - on 24 Sep 2012

I am looking into the possibility of running the Milford Track in NZ around christmas this year - To give me a bit of a break from time with the Mother-in-law.

I have had an email from the permit office who say I don't need to have a permit so long as I don't sleep in the shelters. It's 54km so I reckon I could do it in 6 hours.

I could get the boat from Te Anau at 1030 and be finished by 5pm, having missed the last boat from Sandfly Point to Milford Sound.

Does anyone know how I can get to Milford Sound from Sandfly point, and how much it might cost?

Thanks for any info or suggestions.
minimike - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:

These guys:

do kayaking and walking trips in the area, so may be able to advise/help/provide a kayak.. AFAIK (2003 - but i don't think its changed) there is no commercial water taxi on Milford, only the tourist boats and you'll have trouble convincing one of them to divert!

derryclimbs - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:

Whatever you do, don't get caught out on sandfly point without shelter for the night. It's name says it all!
jonfun21 on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to minimike:

We went on a kayaking trip with Roscos earlier this and they were excellent.

Am sure if you talk to them they will be able to help you out, maybe they can leave a canoe for you to head back in.
ablackett - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to derryclimbs:
> (In reply to ablackett)
> Whatever you do, don't get caught out on sandfly point without shelter for the night. It's name says it all!

Thanks, hadn't thought of that. My backup plan was to miss the boat and sleep in the shelter. Perhaps better look into more reliable options!

Steph-in-the-West on 24 Sep 2012 -
In reply to ablackett:
> Sandfly Point to Milford Sound.

Sandfly bites are far more itchy than any mosquito bite I've ever had (and the bites take about 2 days to come up so you'll think you've got away with it!!!) The little blighters are very difficult to see, but they'll spot you from miles off!!!! take plenty of anthisan!!!

Milford Sound is unbelievably beautiful so if you could take more time to do it and take in the views, as well as a trip out to the lighthouse in one of the boats (they don't all go out there so worth checking their itinerary) it'd be well worth it.
stonemaster - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett: You must have some mother-in-law to make you want to put up with the blackflies from hell that time of the year. Milford in a day will be an excellent effort. Good luck.
KiwiPrincess - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:
There is a climbers Hut in the Gertrude valley called Homer Hut ( see to book), and a backpackers lodge in Milford to stay overnight. There is a helicopter company in Milford also as a pick up option Though it wouldn't be cheap.
I believe there is a challenging alternate start ( near dore and Birely passNot far past Knobs flat) to get an earlier start. It's not on the Trail map I have at hand But I'm sure A wee google and you'll find it.
mountainmadness on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:

Although I like the idea of running the MT, if I were given a one chance option I'd take a leisurely trek/tramp. It's a stunningly beautiful place, one that I would want to take my time around.

Just my 2pworth

enjoy, and as someone else said, stock up on sandfly repelent... really does work (and no, I'm not a share holder)
KiwiPrincess - on 25 Sep 2012
parkovski - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:

I also headed to NZ with this objective a couple of years ago, however the logistics seemed too much of a P in the A to justify it with so many other cool jogging opportunities around. I would suggest just bombarding every MS tour opperator and hostels etc. with a plea for help. Maybe the alpine club of NZ - or there was a guy who ran all 7 "great walks" in 7 days for charity a couple of years back - maybe he could help? They like a crazy plan down there though - i mean they run a naked race down the homer tunnel. Roscos kayaks are a good tip as they are sound guys - but I doubt you'd want to have to kayak back after a biggish day out like that even if they were prepared to abandon a kayak for you!! Maybe you're a machine though - but you're running away from your mother in law so you're probably mortal (unless she's a westlander of course).

In that area i ran a 2 dayer of caples track out and routeburn return from around glenorchy (queenstown side of mountains) which was really cool. If you can sort out the 1 way trip the routeburn was especially good. I ran part of the keplar track in winter (deep snow) and the whole of this would make a great circuit with no access issues. I'd also highly recomend a 1 day run of the tongariro northern cicuit, including an ascent of Ngaruhoe (mount doom!) if you're on North island.

Anyway - good luck. The major NZ walking trails are great running terrain, and the DOC red tape is mostly bluff. If you figure out a sensible transport solution for sandfly point let me know as I'd still love to do this!
Helen R on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett:

If you come across it, DOC's "you're all going to die" attitude is usual. Don't worry about it. (not sure if you're current in the zealand or not, sorry if this is all well known to you)

Milford is a pass in the middle of some nice flat valleys. I did it a few years ago in the proscribed 4 days with a big bag (including things like fresh eggs and beer - really embracing the kiwi tramping attitude), and I doubt i walked for more than about 4 hours a day. I did a lot of lounging in huts (also the kiwi way).

The boat doesn't go from Te Anau - it goes from Te Anau Downs, which is about 30 mins drive north. I worked at the hotel there at TAD for a few months a few years ago. It might have changed, but I probably wouldn't choose to stay there and there are bus transfers from TA. The boat takes an hour and a half, so it would get you to the track about midday. And if you're looking at going over christmas, I'd check out with Real Journeys how far in advance you need to book and if you can change it. I reckon it will get booked up early, which isn't so good for you if you're waiting for a nice day.

You'll have to overtake a LOT of slow groups, not just the people staying in the DOC huts (who are a range of ability), but there are guided walks going at the same time. so there's probably 200 independed walkers on the track, plus another 200 in the guided groups. Might slow you down a bit (about 90% have at least two walking poles - super trip hazard!).

Of course it's up to you, but if you're based in Te Anau and you haven't done it yet, have you considered running the Kepler Track? You might be a bit late for this:
Its a lovely ridge path and would be a fantastic (and round trip!) run on a clear day and there's a 4hr37min record to beat. I enjoyed it more than the milford and nothing would need to be booked, so you could do it on a nice day.

Good luck with whatever you decide - have a great time and I hope the weather smiles on you. I'd like to be down south for christmas too.

ablackett - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to parkovski:
> (In reply to ablackett)
> If you figure out a sensible transport solution for sandfly point let me know as I'd still love to do this!

I am looking at following this chaps advice,
and doing the track backwards. Starting at SAndfly Point and getting Roscoes Kayacks to drop me off at the "end" of the track then gettin gthe boat back to Te Anau Downs at the end of the day.

Just waiting from answers from DOC and Roscoe's to see if the timings work.

Moley on 26 Sep 2012
In reply to ablackett: I didn't do the Milford, but there are plenty of great alternatives other than the "classic" trails - these don't take much organising - worth a thought.

2 bits of advice:
Never underestimate a sandfly, they are bastards.

If needing a compass at all, their map grid north was silly degrees out from magnetic North, something like 20% (about 4 years ago, I was there) and I forget which way, so check it out?
parkovski - on 26 Sep 2012
In reply to Moley:

w.r. compass get a southern hemisphere compass. Your NH one will be much less reliable due to the needle scraping the baseplate. Compass needles are balanced for the part of the globe you're in due to the orientation of the land surface compared to that of magnetic field lines. If you're really skint you can borrow mine, but you'll be able to buy one out there.

I think Milford-Dore circuit is the best thing to do if you're set on it, but (as has been said before) perhaps go run the Kepler track first. So much more convenient, and seriously good terrain.
cat22 - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to ablackett: Hi Andy, I did the Kepler Track when I was in NZ in 2002, which is circular from Te Anau. Thought it was gorgeous, and thinking back it'd provide some awesome ridge running (big path) on the walkers' 2nd day. Let me know if you'd like to see some photos.
ablackett - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to ablackett: Thanks for all the advice - thought I would post on here to say what I have found so if anyone else reads this with the same idea they can take a short cut.

Wife drives me from Te Anau to Milford Sound early morning and drops me at Roscoe's Milford Kayaks for 0845.

Roscoe's Milford Kayaks take me from Milford Sound to Sandfly point at the north end of the track.

Start running at about 0900.

Get to the south end of the track, Glade Wharf by 1630.

Boat booked with Real Journeys on 00643 249 7416, for $77 back to Te Anau Downs, where the wife picks me up after a lovely day at Milford Sound.

If I can't make it by 1630 I will go over the Dore Pass Route which is about 10km back to the Milford Road and hitch a lift back to Te Anau.

No need for permits as not staying in the huts, DOC won't say it is a good idea but can't forbid it.

Very excited to finally have this sorted.

Then if I am fit I will do the Kepler track the next day!

Woot Woot!

Jim Gayler - on 17 Dec 2012
Another vote for the Kepler Track. It's steady as a run in 7 hours, and has none of the logistical issues.

I thought it was great!
Helen R on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to ablackett:

Good luck - hope it goes well for you and you have a clear day!

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