New Zealand on foot

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IT’S a beautiful country with some of the best scenery in the world, but if you want to see it up close you can do it on foot with great walking trails.

For Stuart Brown of Shepparton it was something he wanted to do for some time so he signed up with Ultimate Hikes and his first challenge was the Milford Track.

It’s a five day experience and covers 53km through some of the best scenery. You have to carry your own gear as in clothing, as it can still snow in January; you need a coat and thermals.

Stuart was part of a group of 50 people from around the world taking part and because you are supporting one another you get to make some great friendships.

You can get wet and cold but this is ‘glamping.’ Each night you stay at a luxury lodge with queen size bed, ensuite and a much needed clothes dryer, and the meals are just the best.

On day two they walked along the Clinton River. The water is so clear Stuart says you can see the bottom in 20 foot of water…so you have the river on one side and snow-capped mountains on the other.

The third day was the longest as they crossed the Mackinnon Pass. They were up in the snow line the views breathtaking.

They now made their way down to Milford Sound and time to relax and experience a cruise on the picturesque waters of the sound. What a way to end the first leg of their experience.

Next was a second walk but this time on the Routeburn Track, which runs along the top of the mountains. It was wet and the waterfalls were running at top speed.

This walk runs for three days and it was more challenging than the first. Stuart was grateful that the lodges all had clothes dryers. He took waterproof gear but in this weather nothing is waterproof.

All the walks start in Queenstown, challenging yes but quite doable. Stuart says flora and birds you see along the way set against some of the most stunning scenery just makes it the best experience.

Stuart would like to thank Doc Brown of Travel Managers Shepparton for arranging everything.

Until next time,

Safe travel’n.

Geoff Vallance