weather looked good. No rain and clear skies. We had
breakfast, packed a lunch, put on our backpacks and set out on our
adventure. We were encouraged to go at our own pace. The
guides would be spaced between us. One in the front, one in the
middle and the last one would come with the slowest walkers. The
motto here was "No worries, No hurries." Our kind of trek.
Just beyond Glade House we crossed our first suspension bridge which crossed the Clinton River.
Our track lead us into the Beech forest. Here we saw a beech tree that was 800 years old.
After a mile of tracking we came to the site of Quintin Mackinnon's first hut built in 1889.
there we took a detour to an area known as the Wetland Walk. Here
we had to walk on a wooden path because everything in site was under a
thin layer of water and very different looking shrubs and plants were
walked for a few more miles where the trail was flat and wide and then
we began to climb as we entered the west branch of the Clinton
Valley. It was called "The Valley of the Perpendicular" because
of the rock walls which towered above us up to 4000 feet high.
This is the valley that we walked through - notice how U shaped it is -
typical of valleys created by glaciers...
continued through lush beech forest until we could see a huge landslide
which fell in the early 80's, so large that it blocked the Clinton
River and formed the lake around which the track now passes. Here
we found the 7 mile marker. We loved finding those markers every
We saw these beautiful fuschia trees which had peeling
bark on them. We were told that the peeling bark kept the moss
from growing on it. Look how wonderful they appeared...
Here's a typical beautiful site that we passed along the way...
In this movie, we wanted to capture for you a sense of the peaceful
quiet that was the experience of much of the walk. This is a
composite of many different moments. Be sure to turn your volume
up so you can hear the Silence (and the bird calls)...
The Kea Birds were amazingly 'aggressive' - they had almost no fear of
people. You could never leave a pack unattended in a place where
Kea's were, because they were known to rip apart zippers and get right
into your pack. Even at the lodges, you couldn't leave your boots
outside your door at night, but had to bring them into your room,
because Keas were known to rip apart a leather boot even!
next bird was called the "shoe-lace bird" because if you scuff the path, he
comes right over and looks for grubs and worms right at your feet.
Sometimes he even comes and sits on your shoe, mistaking your shoelace for a worm.
walking brought us to a clearing in the trees where we caught our first
glimpse of the pass which Mackinnon and Mitchell crossed in 1888
opening up the Milford Track.
were told that it was safe to drink the stream water as long as it was
moving water. It tasted so good. Here I am filling our
We continued past Hidden Lake where E-Pod bravely shed her clothes and went in for an icy dip.
From here we made it to the Prairie, an open meadow where we could see the majesty of the ice carved Clinton Canyon. We walked and walked - past incredible vistas of permanent
ice fields on the mountain tops and lovely views of waterfalls
cascading down the mountains.
Much of our walk today looked like this...
spent our 2nd night at the Pompolona Lodge very appreciative of the two
hot water bottles that came with our room. It was freezing that