19 Rankers Reviews
12 Milford Sound - Fiordland National Park
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The loop track passes through red beech forest and gives glimpses of the birdlife typical of the Eglinton Valley. Side trips can be made to several lake beaches and sheltered fishing spots.
75 km from Te Anau along Milford Road, turn left at the signpost to Cascade Creek. The parking area by the start of the track is signposted shortly after on the right.
The wide metalled track shortly forks to form a loop. Following the loop clockwise, make sure you take the short detour to the outlet of Lake Gunn. You’ll realise why when you’re there.
Back on the main loop there a few informal side tracks to the edge of Lake Gunn, with benches provided by narrow pebbled beaches on the lake’s southern shores.
The rest of the track continues to pass through the luxuriant forest, dominated by some massive red beech tress. An unusual number seem to be scarred with burls. Look also for the damaged areas caused by wind bombs.
Damage sustained by wind bombs are a feature of the landscape in narrow, steep sided valley areas. When storms occur, the rapid up movement of air associated with convective rainfall is balanced by a downdraught, which can be tremendously fierce. In some instances it can strip a tree of branches and create a light well, as seen in sections of the walk.
The red beech here are particularly lofty.
Lake Gunn was named after George Gunn. In 1861 with David McKellar, the two wealthy Southland runholders climbed Key Summit (on today’s Routeburn Track) at the Divide and spied the lake. They also took note of the Hollyford Valley, which they felt was too densely timbered to be of use as pasture. Gunn eventually emigrated to Mexico, where he was murdered over a land dispute.
South Island ▷ Fiordland ▷ Milford Sound - Fiordland National Park
Showing 13 reviews of 16.
One of the best stops along the war to Milford. The walk through the rainforest is easy, beautiful and not overcrowded with tourists. Beautiful and tranquil view of Lake Gunn.
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That’s the only walk I will rate because it was so awesome 😍
You feel like the trees are alive in there! So beautiful
Pretty walk and relatively easy but at times the correct route is unclear and muddy which can lead to some confusion.
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Beautiful, really interesting walk through the forest. Felt a lot like Lord of the Rings territory. Could have been better signposted around the Lake.
Short walk inside a fairy forest that looks like Lord of the Rings decor.
Easy 30 minute track from Cascade Creek with beautiful views of Lake Gunn at the end.
Ferry and Carlyn
Easy path, beautiful forest and amazing view of Lake Gunn. Well maintained.
It is only a short walk but it is absolutely beautiful. We felt like we were in Fanghorn Forest from Lord of the Rings. It is great
Get a nice impression of New Zealand's landscape on a short walk (30 minutes).
Perfect lake and good/interesting nature walk.
Very impressive plants especially the trees and ferns.
Pete & Pat Etheridge
45 minutes of stunning red beech forest - but lots of time to stand and stare, take photos, meet with the birds and wonder at all that green moss.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍