Friday, February 17, 2012

Te Anau & Milford Track Walk

Got up around 7am, organized ourselves for the trip which was to leave at 9.30am from the information center at the waterfront, which was only a 5 minute walk.

  We were a group of 6 including our guide Will & 3 Americans, who arrived 10 minutes late by bus from Queenstown. That was OK, but one of them went “A” wall for about 15 minutes as soon as they got of the bus. By the time he showed up we were about a half hour late leaving. We caught a bus to Te Anau Downs about 28km away, then got on a boat which took us over to where we started our walk.

The boat trip took about 1hr.15mins & the skipper/captain gave a commentary along the way pointing out things of interest. One of the things the captain mentioned was about Moose…he said ten Moose were introduced in Fiordland in 1910 but they were thought to have died off. There have been reported sightings that were thought to be false until moose hair samples were found by a New Zealand scientist in 2002. Moose have had patchy sightings since the last was shot in 1956. There is still ongoing debate over their existence and likely will be until legitimate footage is taken, or an animal is shot……Just a bit of trivia

View from the boat looking toward one of the arms of Lake Te Anau

 On board were people who were doing the four day three nights walk, who would be staying in huts along the way. There is a restriction on the number of walkers on the track each day who do the big trip, it’s a one way trip for them, apparently the last part of that walk is quite strenuous.


At our destination

When we docked we started off on the first part of our walk which wasn’t part of the actual Milford Track we walked till we got to Glades House.This is where we were provided with lunch,consisting of soup,sandwiches,tea & coffee ,before starting on the Milford Track.

Glade House, the official start of the Milford Track which crosses the Clinton River on a large swing bridge. 

 Clinton river with the swing bridge in the distance

Different stages of  vegetation on the rocks,first orange lichen ,it apparently eats away the rock,then moss starts to grow.

Our guide Will was very knowledgeable & gave us a history lesson on the area & how this part of New Zealand came to be, pointed out plants & trees of special interest along the way as well as giving us a taste of a couple of bush plants, one of them was rather hot.

600 year old beech tree & a couple of 50+  humans

 Will telling us about this tree that the Moari used for their canoes 

The leaves on this tree..we were told, were used for shoe laces


The walk itself was very easy, I could have walked faster as we really only strolled along, the vegetation wasn’t as lush as I expected it to be. Part of the walk took you to a Wetlands area with a boardwalk for us to walk on…although you could see where people have stepped on the actual vegetation as you could see their foot prints.

 Board walk to the Wetlands

 We arrived back in Te Anau around 6pm,had another drink at The Moose Hotel before going back to the Park to make tea…. mussels from Monkey Island & beef risotto 

We were walking back to the Park when we saw the "Bike" with some people on very weird  watching them

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