GO NZ: A luxury hike on the Milford Track, a New Zealand Great Walk



In the morning, the river was brown and churning, much closer now under the swing bridge that started our tramp proper. At first we edged around puddles on the track but then, told that ahead the water was knee-deep at the Prairies, we gave up and discovered the unexpected pleasures of water-filled boots. Rain dripped on to our heads from the trees above where robins and tomtits watched our progress.

We followed the river, which roared and foamed and, eventually, inevitably, overflowed on to the track. At first ankle deep, then shins, then knees and then, gaspingly, thigh-deep, we waded doughtily onwards, cheered on by our guides who were getting radioed reports of what lay ahead. Gratefully sucking down hot soup at lunchtime, we were told that the mooted helicopter rescue was not going to be needed, and we could carry on.

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