. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: March 28, 2000

Tuesday, March 28, 2000
Te Anau to Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand
New Zealand's Flag

Map
Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand:
Latitude: 44° 48' 32" South
Longitude: 167° 46' 53" East
Altitude: 1950 feet
From Seattle: 8693 miles
Lodging: Hostel - Mintaro Hut

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: New Zealand
Region: South Island
Route: Bus: Te Anau - Te Anau Downs; Ferry: Te Anau Downs - Glade Warf (North end of Lake Te Anau and the Trail Head); Hike: Glade Warf - Mintaro Hut
Start: Te Anau
Stop 1. Te Anau Downs
Stop 2. Trail Head, Glade Warf, Lake Te Anau
Stop 3. ~4.5 miles, Milford Track
Stop 4. 11 miles, Milford Track
End:Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand
Linear:52 miles
Weather: Partial Sun

Available Photos:

Towards head of lake Ferry, Lake Te Anau, New Zealand

Mountains Ferry, Lake Te Anau, New Zealand

Clinton River bridge Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand

North Branch Clinton River Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand

River and dead trees Milford Track, Fiordlands National Park, New Zealand

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1083
Linear Dist: 210539
Countries Visited: 68
Regions Visited: 257
More stats...
Hotels: 344
Friends / Family: 288
Camping: 121
Hostels: 246
Transit: 70
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 3834
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Journal Entry:
Got up early and finished packing. I'm carrying the lightest possible pack. I put all the stuff I was leaving behind in a box and wrapped several layers of tape around it for security. After I finished I realized that I only left one pair of underwear out! Uh oh. I put the excess in storage then hiked to the park office. I still had a half hour until the shuttle left so I left my pack and quickly ran into town. Bought some way overpriced underwear (expensive hiking stuff) and grabbed a quick breakfast. Barely made it back to the bus in time. The ride was short, just 20 km to the ferry terminal. The hour ferry ride was to the north end of Lake Te Anau and very beautiful.

I started up the track as soon as the boat landed - at 11:35. Because I was starting a day late I had to do the fist two days of the trail. The ranger at the office had told me it would start getting to dark to hike at around five. That meant I had less than five and a half hours to walk over 13.5 miles (21.7 km) - the estimated time is seven hours spread over two days. I set a fast pace - I made it a bit of mission.

Since I'm deviating from the accepted way there was a Ranger waiting for me on the trail at the first hut to check me off (I am so special). About four miles in I stopped for five minutes to wolf down the leftover pizza. I stopped a couple times to take some photos, but never took off my pack or sat down. Got to the Lake Mintaro hut at about 4:55 - mission accomplished! Of course it was still plenty light enough to hike until after seven - I could have taken my time.

The really great thing about doing the hike this way is that I hardly saw anyone. I passed a few right off the boat, the ranger at the first hut, and a few more hikers near the guided walk (big $$) hut - but except for that (a total of five minutes) I went the entire day without seeing another person - my ideal hiking conditions.

The dynamics in the hut were a little awkward - every one else had met and sort of gathered into groups last night and on the trail today. I felt a little like an outcast. I talked to a few people, but I was too tired and my feet were really starting to hurt so I headed to bed early.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: New Zealand
CIA World Fact Book: New Zealand

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