Essentially a difficult tramp it should be tackled with a reasonably high level of fitness and enthusiasm.
The track is 53 km opne way. Allow four days.
With up to 20,000 trampers a year you need to book at least two months in advance.
Please note the walk is fully booked over these dates:
Dates between 23 Oct & 30 Apr 2020
Day 2: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut (5 km / 1 hr 15 mins)
Your first day starts with a stunning boat cruise from Te Anau Downs (1 hr 15 mins approx). After the cruise it is a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Clinton River through beautiful beech forest to Clinton hut. Just before the hut is a short wetland walk and there are excellent swimming holes located near the hut.
Day 3: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut (16.5 km / 6 hrs)
As you walk beneath the sheer rock valley walls, towering up to 1700m above you on either side, you will pass through changing forest and bush types and gain height as you move into higher rainfall areas. Just past Heirere Falls you will get your first glimpse of MacKinnon Pass. Continue up the valley before a final short steady climb to reach Mintaro hut.
Day 4: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut (14 km / 6-7 hrs)
A zig zag climb leads up Mackinnon Pass to the Quintin Mackinnon memorial. The track continues to climb to its highest point 1154m before dropping a short distance to the MacKinnon Pass shelter, a lunch stop with one of the best views you will ever find. From here the track drops steadily to the Arthur valley through alpine herb fields and beside mountain streams and waterfalls till you reach the turn off to the Quintin Shelter. Continue downhill for approximately another hour to Dumpling Hut. On the way look back and admire the Sutherland Falls from a distance.
Day 5: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point (18 km / 5-6 hrs)
The track follows the Arthur River to the historical boatshed before crossing the river by a swing bridge. A little further on you will reach the impressive Mackay Falls and intriguing Bell Rock. As you pass round the edge of Lake Ada admire the rock cuttings which were blasted and hand cut. Giant Gates Falls and Shelter are an ideal place for lunch before the last hour's walk to Sandfly Point. From here a short boat ride will take you to your journey's end, with world famous views of Milford Sound.
Note: You should leave Dumpling Hut by 8 am to make sure you connect with the boats.