The Milford Track has often been called one of the finest walks in the world. One of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, it consists of 53.3km of waterfalls, swing bridges, and some of the most beautiful views I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Being a four-day, three-night hike in which you stay at Department of Conservation huts and have to pack in and out most of your necessities (although the huts do have some amenities like gas cookers and even flush toilets), it’s a pretty big undertaking and therefore it’s good to have some guidance if you’re planning on doing the walk. Here are my dos and don’ts for a successful tramp along the Milford Track:
What do you do when two of your favourite people fly to the other side of the world to see you? Go to some of the north island’s most amazing sites of course! My bestie Erin and her husband Jason came to visit Steve and me last week, breaking up their Australian holiday with a few whirlwind days in New Zealand. Because they only had two weeks total, their time in NZ was brief—only four full days—but I think we managed to squeeze a whole lot into that quick trip.
They arrived in Wellington late Sunday night and we immediately got down to business with a long-overdue catch-up (and some of our favourite local wine and beer). I hadn’t seen Erin and Jason since the end of last summer, and the four of us hadn’t been in the same place since their gorgeous wedding last May.
Despite staying up until nearly 3am (an especially impressive feat for me since I’d run a half-marathon earlier on), we got up early the next morning—so much to do, so little time! Because Wellington weather is unpredictable, we took advantage of the decent if a bit overcast day and as soon as we picked up the rental car we drove up to the Mount Vic lookout for a view over the harbour.
I recently read a list of tips for travel bloggers and some of them really stood out to me. I don’t mean tips like “take a lot of photos” (duh); I mean concepts like “don’t romanticize or idealize the culture you are visiting” and “remember that the city is not there for you.” I think it’s something a lot of us forget, that our vacation spots aren’t putting on a show for our benefit. We’re on vacation, but for most of the people we’re visiting, this is their daily life. At the same time, just because we’re viewing someone’s daily life doesn’t mean we are going to come back experts on whatever country we’ve visited. It’s definitely something I thought a lot about when I was writing my post on history in Germany and Prague, and it’s something I thought about more this past weekend, which I spent on a trip to Morocco.