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Top Ten Treks in The World - #9 - Milford Trek, New Zealand

Milford Trek -New ZealandMuch to the chagrin of the locals, people lump Australia and New Zealand together. However, those who have hiked the Milford Trek will tell you there is no comparison between the geographically close countries of the South Pacific. Frankly, there may be no comparison to any other place in the world. Where else can you walk through a lush, green forest denser than you can ever imagine and gaze at multitudes of waterfalls covering sheer granite cliffs peeking above the canopy. Strange birds, great facilities and humorous hut masters round out your experience trekking through one of the world’s most amazing old growth forests.

The place of course is the Milford Trek and under reasonable weather conditions it is a paradise. However, the weather is indeed the biggest challenge on Milford Trek. We experieced gale force winds and completely submereged trails during our brief stay. Sadly this isn't unusual, it's the norm. Before you take my comments lightly, be aware rain is measured in meters per month and when it rains it pours. Trails flood as deep as your waist and you must be prepared. If conditions get too bad, fear not, the DOC will helicopter you from peril at no additional cost. Others have claimed hikes like the Routeburn Trek are equal to or surpass Milford Trek, but I believe that could be due to less serve and more predictable weather along the Routeburn Trek. Routeburn is amazing in it's own right, but it lacks the sense of uniqueness that Milford offers. Also, I like to immerse myself in a trek. This often takes days just to shed the stentch of internal combustion. For the reason short treks like Routeburn or Milford don't rate as high in my book as the longer more epic treks.

Once used as a trail to collect pounamu (greenstone/jade) by the indigenous Polynesian tribe Maori, it’s been a trekking destination since the late 1800’s when Donald Sutherland and Quintin Mackinnon cut trails to allow tourists access to a remote wonderland. Back then it was a treacherous journey, but now Milford Trek is the easiest of the ten Great Treks, with wide level trails and an infrastructure second to none. Supervised by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, they meticulously oversee every aspect of your experience.

the end of the trek creates an umatched experience for the adventerous traveller.

You can read a more complete story of our hike at our sister site www.greattreks.com or purchase our book A Journey Along the World's Great Treks.

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