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Milford Track, Day 1: Te Anau Downs to Clinton Hut

Ever since I did the Routeburn Track back in 2015, the Milford Track was very high on my list. Last year, I was lucky enough to score permits for this once in a life time backpacking trip. The Milford Track is a highly regulated Great Walk in New Zealand. Unlike other popular tracks, this one follows a strict schedule. Because of this, every hiker spends four days and thee nights on the trail. Read on to learn more about our first day from Te Anau Downs to Clinton Hut.

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Hiking Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Hiking Lake Matheson Fox Glacier New Zealand

The rain doesn’t stop on the West Coast of New Zealand. It pours and pours and pours. My trip onto the glacier was canceled due to inclement weather. Shoes were still still soaking wet. The giant bed in the hostel welcomed me with loving arms. My desire to lay around was very, very high. I thought about walking all the way out to Lake Matheson, but with the previous day’s soaking excursion still in mind, I wussed out and paid an old man a few dollars to drive me there and back.

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Hiking Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Hiking Fox Glacier

The skies on the west coast of New Zealand were gloomy. It’d been raining on and off throughout the day. I finally made it to Fox Glacier after being cooped up on a bus all day. Never minding the threat of rain, I dropped off my gear at the Ivory Tower Lodge and laced up my boots. With plenty of daylight left to kill and a chance of my glacier trek getting canceled, I decided to go see Fox Glacier as up close and personal as I could get.

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Canyoning with Deep Canyon Wanaka

Canyoning Niger Stream Deep Canyon Wanaka

The waterfall roared beneath me. It didn’t seem that big. I’d rappelled off walls about a million and a half times before. Why should this time be any different? I gripped the rope in both hands, nodded at my guide, and headed down into the rushing water.

The frigid cold water blasted into my face. My feet slipped off the rock in my crappy, thrift store, “rental” boots. I couldn’t see. I swallowed a ton of water. It was my first time canyoneering and I thought I was going to drown.

I’d never been canyoneering in my life but it seemed like an exciting to do with no plans and three days in Wanaka. I discovered that there was a guide company based out of Wanaka and I was sold.

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