The magnificent Milford and Kepler tracks
This month I was incredibly lucky to experience two of New Zealand’s iconic great walks - the Milford and Kepler tracks. My mind is still blown by the majesty and beauty of these special places. Flick through the slideshows below to see some of my favourite memories of the trip.
The first thing that struck me on the Milford track was the crystal-clear aquamarine water in the mountain streams, lakes and waterfalls. Freezing cold but so invigorating to swim in and soothe tired muscles after a long day on the track.
On the second day of the Milford track walk the steep mountains dominate the landscape. We travelled up the Clinton valley following the beautiful Clinton river that flows between Milford’s towering peaks, before climbing up and over the McKinnon pass on the third day. My toes were in agony after the brutal 1000m drop down to Dumpling Hut. But I didn’t really care because all I could think about was the raw beauty of the landscape surrounding me.
The sections of the track that sent through the cool shaded beech forest featured a lot of moss and I absolutely love a mossy log or rock, so it was heaven. The walk was filled with a thousand shades of green to soothe the soul.
No photo album of Milford is complete without some waterfalls. We had amazing weather, which meant great views but sadly no cascading cliffs of water, except for 30 minutes after a thunderstorm on our third day. We were thrilled it rained because the mountains and forest didn't feel right without water dripping from every surface. It was still breathtakingly beautiful though and there were plenty of waterfalls to feast the eyes on.
After resting our legs and feet for a day we tackled the Kepler track. Once again we had amazing weather, which gave us stunning views from the tops.
The Kepler also features beautiful beech forest, which is a delight to walk in on a hot day, with lots of mossy logs and knolls as well as areas dominated by crown ferns. It was difficult to capture the expansive crown fern undergrowth on camera but it created a fabulous contrast with the tall trunks of the beech trees.
Kea rule the alpine environment and it was a delight to see them at the huts and following us as we walked, even if they were just waiting for an unsuspecting person to leave their pack unattended so they could rip it apart. Here they can be seen trying to destroy Luxmore Hut by pulling out the nails that hold it together.