Milford Track: Quintin Lodge to Sandfly Point
ElevationAscent: 1,657' 505 m
Descent: -2,478' -755 m
High: 825' 251 m
Low: 0' 0 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)
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“The fourth and final day of the Milford Track leading through beech forest along waterfalls to Milford Sound.”— Tilman Giese
At mile marker 26 (i.e. after 6 miles), you reach the Boatshed Shelter. In the early days of the Milford walks, this was where the men went on a fishing trip on the Arthur River. After some rest, continue on and cross the impressive bridge across the Arthur River. Half a mile further, you get to the first highlight of the day: Mackay Falls. A couple wooden stairs lead up to an observation platform that is very much worth it. To your right is Bell Rock, a gigantic rock with a bell-shaped cavern inside.
Back on the track, the area opens up a bit under the shadow of Steep Hill (5351 feet) before it re-enters the rainforest. After mile marker 28, you cross two bridges over Poseidon Creek, which can be a roaring torrent after rain. Just half a mile further, you reach Telegraph Point where the track was cut into the rock in 1898 using a large amount of dynamite. This is also a great spot to get a few glimpses of the Arthur Valley and Lake Ada.
After 11 miles, you reach the Giants Gate Shelter—a good place for lunch. Just a few yards further is Giants Gate, a very impressive waterfall that you see from a bridge. The rocks in front of the falls are a great alternative lunch spot—weather permitting. The track skirts Lake Ada and is pretty flat for the rest of the way. The track gets wider as you get closer to Sandfly Point. It was built by convicts in 1890.
Sandfly Point has its name for a very good reason. There are typically myriads of sandflies that leave very itchy bite marks for a few days. Insect repellent is highly recommended. Relax at the Sandfly Point Shelter and enjoy the view of Barren Peak across the Milford Sound before you hop on a boat that will bring you to the Milford Sound harbor. This is the end of the Milford Track.
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Land Manager: Department of Conservation - Fiordland National Park