There had been much talk on the way down the South Island about the end of the Te Araroa and how it wasn’t great after the Mavora Lakes part. This partially led to a plan to hire a car and do some of the other walks in the region.
Hiring the car was an interesting process that required a return to Queenstown to pick it up. I’m not all that keen on Queenstown, too many people, too much traffic. Eventually, though, it was done and I was the driver of an underpowered Mazda Demio.
From there I went back to Te Anau and stayed a night beside the lake before journeying to Milford Sound.
The Sound was different from what I had expected. From the photos I thought it would have felt more like a lake but it was definitely sea water. I also liked the tunnel on the way there. I am not sure you can trust a tunnel with water dripping through the roof. It must be hell in winter.
Near the landward side of the tunnel we parked and then walked up to Gertrude Saddle to camp beside another lake. A night broken by the sound of avalanches, some of them quite large.
- Gertrude Saddle is worth the walk, in summer.
- Once you get to the saddle turn left and go down to the lake and there are some campsites. Be careful, it can get cold.