Come See the Fiordland Rain (Part Four). The Milford Track 2013

“On a Mish” #300 Come See the Fiordland Rain (Part Four). The Milford Track – Quintin Lodge to Piopiotahi / Milford Sound. Fiordland National Park. 26.2.2013. Early-ish the next day we were off into the chill of a fresh new day, and along with yet another day of clear skies and sunshine, we were treated to a morning view of the three leaps of once just Donald Sutherland’s and now Aotearoa / New Zealand’s largest waterfall. The Milford Track was initially built back in 1888 to show people Sutherland Falls and fiord on foot, and ever since Fiordland has tried to force the track into the two rivers that run through the two valleys that are followed while you taste your little slice of paradise while hiking the track…

The gentle downhill travel was a welcome change from the many steps of the MacKinnon Pass(1069m) descent, and by this point in the adventure we were all hiking like seasoned professionals. Once on a Ferocious Fiordland rainy day while guiding I discovered my wasp allergy the hard way. I know from first hand experience that Fiordland helicopter pilots are up there with the best in the world. There was of course far less drama on our Fiordland wander, but just like with my close call with the wasp there was a surprise or two coming for the members of the Wilson whanau.

As we walked alongside the calm meander of the Arthur River the peace and quiet was briefly interrupted with the cursing of a man who had discovered rocks in his pack. Rocks that had been very carefully placed there more than 30 kilometres before! It had taken more than five years of planning but getting revenge on my father was sweet!!

We passed the track’s last two permanent waterfalls before hitting the 33 mile marker and the home straight to Sandfly Point. I was still the only one spewing about the lack of rain, but at least I had another big surprise up my sleeve. Not long after my parents and their friends had confirmed their booking I went to work and put a plan in place where my Mother’s mother would surprise everyone at the end of the track. Of course at her age and ability she couldn’t join us on our hike, but I knew for sure she could be there with us in Piopiotahi / Milford Sound at the conclusion. After a quick swim at Giants Gate Falls I ran on ahead to get the plan in motion.

Watching the faces of my folks as they firstly saw me at the end of the 33 and a bit mile masterpiece that is the Milford Track was one thing, and then their complete confusion as ‘Nanny’ popped out and said “what took you so long?!”. Erupting in laughter and happiness is common when finishing the famous Milford Track, but I do believe this was one of the more interesting takes on ‘The finest walk on planet earth’.

After the crowd had settled down we all boarded the ‘Anita Bay’ and it was time for the short sail to the harbour in Piopiotahi / Milford Sound. I like to think of myself as a rather stoic fellow, but I say with pride that I felt my eyes begin to water when seeing the fiord for the first time. I like my folks and their friends having their own special moments while Nanny and I both celebrated our long term plan going perfectly.

In the end the trip couldn’t have gone any better even if I had been wanting to show my whanau the Fiordland rain and all we got was torrential sunshine!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter