We heard from a number of folks that the most majestic areas of New Zealand could only be seen on foot.  We decided to book guided hikes on two famous "tracks" near Queensown in the South island.

The first track we hiked was called "The Milford Track," named after the incredible Milford Sound fiord.   It's a strenuous 33.5 mile, four day hike (one day is dedicated exclusively to boat/bus travel).  The scenery was absolutely beautiful and the extra money we paid in order to have a private bunk room and a hot shower at the end of each day was well worth it.

We had a single day's rest before boarding a bus to the Routeburn track, a 28 mile, three day hike with serious inclines and views of the mountains.  We were a little apprehensive about going on the Routeburn trip because people are not allowed to book private rooms.  Everyone is required to "share" bunk rooms with God knows what kind of people with weird habits.

As it turned out, we were incredibly lucky to be the only group in two months to have less than the usual maximum of 24 people on the hike.  We ended up with only six people in our group, including Barb and Paul Jenkel, the parents of our good friends, Jeff and Cyndi Treuhaft.  Can you imagine the odds?  We also got a private bunk with sheets that had been changed four weeks before!

You can see the amazing scenery from these hikes including the famous "Cyndi" photo by clicking on the following links:

Milford Track Day 1
Milford Track Day  2
Milford Track Day 3
Milford Track Day 4
Routeburn Track Day 1
Routeburn Track Day 2


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           copyright chris & hugh hempel 2004                                                      last modified on Monday, 12. January 2004