× MAY - OCTOBER: Our Tracknet office is open daily from 8.00am until 4.00pm. Our Te Anau to Queenstown connection has resumed weekday services.

Milford Track Winter - Out Of Season

** Full package unavailable in 2020 due to track damage **
This Milford Track Winter Transport Package is for experienced hikers who want to explore the Milford Track at its most wild. In the winter the huts are not serviced and all equipment required for completing the track will need to be carried by your group. You are responsible for your own safety and ensuring you have the correct equipment, knowledge and experience to complete the Milford Track. Please note, during the winter season; walking times/distances may be increased due to danger from natural hazards such as river crossings, avalanches, snowfall and flooding.

Departure Details:

Out of Season Milford Track Transport package departs daily from 2nd October to 20th October 2019, and again in May 2020 (weather permitting). Bookings are essential as all departures operate on demand, however, all departures are weather/track/lake/road dependent as conditions can change quickly. Tracknet will not transport passengers if weather and conditions are deemed dangerous or unsuitable.

  • Minimum numbers of 6 passengers is required to confirm a departure. Bookings are essential, as services operate on demand.
  • There is a maximum of 13 people per bus and boat.
  • 10:30am departure will only be available once the 8:30am departure is full. Minimum of 6 passengers also required.
  • Limited services (once daily during May and October) from Queenstown to Te Anau & Te Anau to Queenstown available.
  • If the track is closed after walking has begun, Tracknet and their partners reserve the right to use any remaining portion of ticketed fare towards the cost of transport to safety, in extreme cases clients will be liable for extra transport expenses.

Bookings: To book Milford Sound Track Out of Season transport, please complete our Enquiry Form with your requirements. Note that the departure of our Winter Milford Track transport is heavily dependent on weather and track conditions. Each departure can only be confirmed 24-48 hours in advance once forecasts and latest track conditions are at hand. Please allow up to 1 working day for your booking form to be processed. Alternatively, contact us to make your booking or for further details.

Milford Track Shuttle Departure Times Cost Travel Time
Bus from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs 8:30am 10:30am Included below 30mins
Boat from Te Anau Downs to Glade Wharf 9:00am 11:00am $110.00 1hr
Boat from Sandfly Point to Milford Sound 2:00pm $40.00 30mins
Bus from Milford Sound to Te Anau 3:00pm $40.00 2hrs & 15mins
Transport from and to Queenstown Departure Times Cost Travel Time
Queenstown to Te Anau 1:30pm $49.00 2hrs & 45mins
Te Anau to Queenstown 8:30am $49.00 2hrs & 45mins

Important Information

Please read the following information which outlines important aspects for you to consider when walking the Milford Track during the Winter.

  • The Huts are not serviced, you need to be totally self-sufficient and require your own gas for cooking, organise collection of own water, firewood etc.
  • Hut tickets can be purchased from Department of Conservation office (DOC).
  • You must fill out an intentions form and fill in hut books as you walk.
  • You must carry either a mountain radio and/or locator beacon. Tracknet will not transport you unless you/your group has at least one of these. They are available to hire in Te Anau.
  • You must read winter walking conditions, and Track Alerts on the DOC website and check with the Te Anau DOC Visitor Centre before your trip for Track conditions.
  • You must check the latest weather report. Be prepared to change your plans if conditions are unfavourable. Changes to weather will affect conditions in the backcountry.
  • You will need to be confident that you and your group have the necessary skills, fitness and equipment for winter tramping. Know your limits.
  • Know the outdoor safety code. Ensure your group is well equipped and carrying the correct equipment for your journey for alpine, river crossings and winter conditions.
  • Bridges are removed for the winter season. Unbridged river crossings are very dangerous and extremely hazardous. During and after heavy rain, rivers and streams in this region rise rapidly and flooding of the track is common. River and stream levels will drop rapidly once rain stops. If you are caught between flooded streams seek higher ground and wait for water levels to drop. BE PREPARED TO WAIT. Knowledge and experience in river crossings is essential for your survival. If in doubt – DO NOT CROSS.
  • Snow and ice may be present in the alpine section – alpine equipment required. Navigation and alpine skills are essential for your survival.
  • There are over 57 avalanche paths on the Milford Track.
  • Your safety and the decisions you make while on the track are your responsibility.
  • Take extra food/supplies in case you are delayed on the track – allow for at least 2 extra days.
  • All departures are weather/track/lake/road dependent. Conditions can change quickly. Tracknet will not transport passengers if weather and conditions are deemed dangerous or unsuitable.
  • Tracknet reserves the right not to transport poorly equipped individuals (including those without a locator beacon).
  • Operated by Tracknet in conjunction with Milford Sound Sea Kayaks, commencing as conditions such as snow or weather allow the track to be passable.
  • During the Off Peak/Winter Season (May to mid-October) the Milford Track remains open, lake, weather and track conditions permitting.
  • Tracknet reserves all rights.

Hut Information
DOC hut fees apply – hut tickets are available at DOC Centres.
Bridges are removed to avoid damage from avalanches and some facilities are not available. Hut tickets are necessary. Radios, gas cooking rings, fuel for heating and lighting are removed from huts. They will not have running water but a nearby water supply is available. Flush toilets are closed but a winter pit toilet is provided.

Equipment Considerations
In addition to the equipment listed for walking during the Great Walks Peak Season you should also carry: a gas cooker, toilet paper, torch or gas light for at night in the huts, extra food in case you are delayed on the track, extra warm clothing, mountain radio and/or personal locator beacon (PLB). You pack should have a pack liner to keep your gear dry.

Hiring Equipment
Mountain Radios and Personal Locator Beacons can be hired in Te Anau from Stu’s Place (Mountain Radio’s) +64 3 249 8363 and Mobil Te Anau (Personal Locator Beacons) +64 3 249 7247.
If you require any additional gear there are hire and provisions available in Te Anau. You can hire tramping gear from Bev’s Tramping Gear Hire and/or Outside Sports.
Accommodation, showers, spa bath, sauna, laundry, car storage, baggage storage and lockers are available at the Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park

Didymo
When you arrive at Glade Wharf on the Milford Track, you will be asked to walk through a 5% detergent to 95% water solution – this will kill any Didymo (an invasive Freshwater plant) which may be on your boots. If you have any other gear (such as gaiters or waders) please check, clean (using a 5% detergent to 95% water solution) and dry your gear BEFORE and AFTER your travels through Fiordland National Park – and any other area in New Zealand. This product is not Endorsed as part of the Qualmark License held by Tracknet.

Image from: DOC

Milford Track Info

The 53.5 km Milford Track is in the heart of spectacular Fiordland National Park, which is part of the Te Wahi Pounamu, South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

The Milford Track starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes in Milford Sound. Te Anau is the nearest township to the start of the track. It is 150kms from Invercargill; 180kms from Queenstown; 300kms from Dunedin and 650kms from Christchurch. Te Anau has a full range of accommodation, hire services and car storage.

Often described as the finest walk in the world, the Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular. The track can only be walked in one direction, as a 4 day / 3 night walk – Glade Wharf to Milford Sound, during the Great Walks Summer Season (late October to late April). Only 40 Independent Walkers and a similar number of Guided walkers are permitted to start the track each day. Booking during summer is essential – contact the Department of Conservation to reserve your hut space on the Track.

The Milford Track passes through the beech forests of a sheer-sided glacial valley as it gradually climbs and follows the usually crystal-clear Clinton River to the foot of Mackinnon Pass. From the pass (1073 metres) spectacular views of the surrounding mountains are obtained. The Sutherland Falls, the highest waterfall in New Zealand can be seen after the descent from the pass. The higher rainfall and milder temperatures of the Arthur Valley give a more diverse forest walk, past waterfalls and lakes to Sandfly Point. A wide variety of native birds may be seen or heard along the length of the track.

Your walk concludes at Sandfly Point, where a ferry will take you the short distance across the bay to Milford Sound. Here is where the Tracknet bus departs to take you on your onward journey to the Divide, Te Anau Downs, Te Anau or Queenstown.

Summer Season Transport Information

Freedom walk one of the finest tracks in Fiordland National Park from October - April. Full Tracknet transport services connect with each boat to and from the Milford Track during the great walks season. Charter services by prior arrangement.

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