Alas it was the final day of this most beautiful walk. After the beauty in all directions walking up the Clinton Valley on days one and two, over the Mackinnon Pass on Day three it was time to head down to the final stop at Sandfly Point, where the trail meets Milford Sound!
A taster for this side of the pass was given on day three heading down from the pass. Stepping back into the fairy-tale like scenes within the forest canopy the path may have been heavily downward but the river beside did too. Producing some spectacular waterfalls to stop you in your wondering tacks. It is impossible to describe just ‘how’ clear the water is here. Clear river waters running down magnificent rocks into turquoise pools.
Over this side of the mountains and although back in the forest the variance keeps on giving. It feels different, totally different. Hard to put the finger on exactly why. Maybe the weather made it feel more tropical even. This change in scenery helps maintain the fact that every step of every mile of this track is absolutely enjoyable. And on this final day after the up and down of the previous day it is more or less a flat gorgeous tree, mountain and river lined route to the end. 18 km (11 miles) of, well, nature at your feet.
When the sun is out it is very difficult to keep stopping at the emerald coloured pools of water beneath hidden waterfalls that are beyond imagination from photos. There are so many to see. Never tiring of them. Criss-crossing the river over grand constructed suspension bridges, passing beneath the trees. The constant singing of the little birds like Tom Tits and the flutterings of bigger birds like the wood pigeon. Actually this is honestly one of those long trails that nobody thinks of the miles to do in any huff and puff way at all. The whole track is like that to be honest, each mile is a joy and numbers done and/or to do fade away into simply enjoying every moment.
One sad point to the day was realising it was the last day spent with my companions for the walk. The Air New Zealand #Greatwalker winners. These lovely and wonderful four as I said before are doing all the great walks of New Zealand. Follow the link to see how they are getting on.
Only a couple of miles to go but many more surprises to go to….. Turn the corner and in the paradise below who could not resist a stop for a swim. You don’t see many better places for it do you?
Ahead the shoreline appears, a much larger body of water, Milford Sound. The end of the track at an aptly named ‘Sandfly Point’ (Yes if you do this walk, take plenty of repellant for the route). It was over, awww, but the feeling of having walked one the finest walks in the world cannot be taken away. The memories will never fade and moments will always live on in my mind.
We climbed the boat to take us through the Sound……. I will stop talking here as Milford Sound is another amazing story on its own….. Next up