Fiordland tourism operator helps make Milford Track more accessible
Fiordland’s iconic Milford Track can now be experienced in one day thanks to some post-Covid Kiwi ingenuity by a local tourism operator.
Fiordland Outdoors Co. this week launches its new Milford Track Water Taxi service, which enables access to the Milford Sound end of the Milford Track so independent walkers can walk in and walk out in a day.
The new service coincides with yesterday’s announcement that the Milford Track has fully reopened to the public, after repairs were made to damaged parts of the walkway caused by severe flooding in February.
The new Milford Track Water Taxi service is a game-changer for independent walkers looking to get a short but sweet taste of one of the world’s most famous hikes. Till now, the Milford Track has only been accessible for day walking as part of a guided tour, or as part of a full four-day/three-night experience starting from Te Anau and finishing at Milford Sound.
Fiordland Outdoors Co. owners Mark and Christine Wallace have been working on their new initiative since their business was affected by the devastating floods, and subsequently Covid-19. Getting the go-ahead from the Department of Conservation was the break-through they needed.
“We were determined to keep our team employed and our business afloat. While parts of our business have definitely suffered because of Covid-19, this new product has enabled us to take on two new staff members, and we’re incredibly proud of that,” Christine Wallace says.
“It’s been a long process and a lot of work. But once we’re running day walkers over to the incredible Milford Track, it will be worth all the late nights.”
The Te Anau-based family business is excited to be able to show Kiwis the rugged beauty of Fiordland.
Daywalkers can now take Fiordland Outdoors Co.’s boat from Deepwater Basin in Milford Sound for a short transfer across to Sandfly Point on the Milford Track. Hikers get a taste of the scenery which makes the Milford Track one of the most revered walks in the world. The day walk is suitable for most abilities as it does not cover any steep sections of track.
“Giant Gate Falls is definitely the highlight of the half-day walk from the Milford Sound end of the track. But really, there is so much to see that is quintessential Fiordland. From the huge beech and rimu trees to the simple pleasure of following a tranquil track along a rushing Fiordland river – not to mention ticking off taking a walk on one of the world’s most famous tracks. It’s accessible and affordable and just gives another reason for people to visit Milford Sound,” Christine adds.
The new Milford Track Water Taxi service commences Thursday, December 3.
Bookings can be made online at www.fiordlandoutdoors.co.nz. Fares are $50 for adults and $25 for children.