Milford Sound, 2006

Tramping the Milford Track

New Zealand, South Island

3/9/06 – 3/13/06


Round and round the room contemplating,

All the while considering my packing,

Rain gear, light gear, layers and layers

Oh, let’s see what am I lacking.

With fresh juice I fill my bod,

To keep from an early morning nod,

So along the Track I do not Plod.

From reflective Lake TeAnau,

snow-peaked views surround,

Tempting hikers to tramp Milford Sound.

Departing from Lake TeAnau

Departing from Lake TeAnau

Today’s short walk was a sweet temptation,

To stir one’s imagination,

But in my mind there’s contemplation,

Of tomorrows forecast… precipitation.

Lasagna, veggies, salad, rice,

Our guides served us, that was nice.

Intros followed in groups by countries,

What a surprise, the number from Aussie,

Songs followed in proper Maori way,

It was the water-gurgling of Amazing Grace,

That gave the crazy Kiwis away.

Sentinel Peak

Sentinel Peak



Sentinal Peak stood ominously watching,

as each hiker headed out with eagerness flowing.

Over the first swing bridge we head,

into the glorious forest primeval well fed.

The first of many swing bridges.

The first of many swing bridges.

Light precipitation added charm

Light precipitation added charm

The rain persisted without intermission,

I suppose it’s good for one’s complexion,

Fjordland sprung to life like a broken faucet,

The beauty of which is unmatched by human creation.

Surrounded by cascades

Surrounded by cascades

Walking along thankfully warm and dry,

Then I looked ahead and gave a sigh,

The river had won, the bridge was submerged,

The icy water was up past my thigh.

What an experience I said to myself,

Then I laughed, Geeze, what a high!

The water rises quickly

The water rises quickly

Hip-high in swirling icy water we wade,

While up above waterfalls cascade,

Thank goodness for marks that lead the way,

Pomplona Lodge, we finally made.

Hot showers, drying rooms and hors d orves,

The Kea named “Charlie” came to play.

9-1/2 miles


Slap a pack on the back,

And it throws a walker out of whack!

Up & up, back and forth,

Through mossy forests,

Back dropped with palatial peaks galore.

Greeted by cold at MacKinnon Pass,

The view around was indescribable at best,

The sun peaked through, but not to last

I was lucky to summit among the first,

For it was not seen by those en-mass.

McKinnon Pass, Milford Track (New Zealand) - 2006

Atop McKinnon Pass, Milford Track (New Zealand)

Energized by hot drink and a sandwich,

And stop in the loo with the best view,

Down I headed inch by inch.

Striding out first-down bound,

The lush forest and gushing falls all around,

I had all to myself as I headed steeply down.

To find my peace toward Milford Sound.

I dropped my pack at Quinton Lodge,

Then set off for Southerland Falls,

It’s power felt and heard through the breeze.

The 45 minute hike was like a fairy tale,

Lots of green, with bright orange fusia trees,

Charming in every detail.

Approaching Sutherland Falls sounded like a jet engine.

Approaching Sutherland Falls sounded like a jet engine.

13.5 rocky miles today.

Sunday 3/12/06

Cheeky critters!

Cheeky critters!

7 Kea Parrots came to see us off,

Then Weckas, robins and more

With a bruised heal and “landing strip” detour,

My walk began with an unexpected run.

Wading through water just didn’t seem fun.

The sun came out to show us the sites.

My detour was scenic, and ended up extending the trek

My detour was scenic, and ended up extending the trek

Some awesome landslips, majestic, but “yikes!”

Ada Lake and Ada Falls (Southerland’s mistress)

Expletives abound with each new view,

Brilliant!  What a stunning venue.

Lunch by falls, crossing swing bridges,

I can’t believe I’m really here!

Where the trail ends, the Sound begins

1st boat to leave is 3:15,

So off for a fast stretch to Sandfly Point,

We made it in time, we’re “in like Flynn.”

A boat to Milford we did hire,

With picturesque views to inspire.

Stunning Milford Sound

Stunning Milford Sound

I did it!

What an accomplishment to be proud of.

Truly one of the great walks in this world!

Truly one of the great walks in this world!

Mitre Peak Lodge, last dinner and certificates,

Followed by pool games at the local pub.

Midre Peak view from Lodge

Midre Peak view from Lodge

Throughout the journey,

Aches did rise,

But were nothing,

Compared to the incredible highs.

I felt dad’s presence along the way,

Laughing, encouraging, smiling,

And proud is what he’d say.

Pink Mitre Peak

Pink Mitre Peak


Morning cruise,

Mitre Peak in pink,

Fur Seals came out to frolic and play.

The Milford Sound was lovely,

But I wished for rain.

The place truly is best that way.

Magnificent Milford - I'd return in a heartbeat!

Magnificent Milford – I’d return in a heartbeat!

The bus ride out was worth the time,

Homer Tunnel took 20 years to prime.

Peaks abound, glaciers sparkle,

To leave this place seems a crime.

Sandy Farwell

March 9-13, 2006

Categories: Australia/NZ


  • judy sewchurn says:

    sandy, souga and i did milford sound and it was fun to see your photos and read your “poems”. you are so clever. miss you on wednesdays, but tuesdays areso much easier for me. hope all is well.

    • admin says:

      Hi Judy,
      We miss you on Wednesdays, but so glad you’re still volunteering at PMMC. Any more trips planned? I have a few in the works, but nothing set in stone just yet. I’ve been hiking a lot lately, so figure I’ll take advantage of my fitness level and do some various treks around the world.

      I hope our paths will cross again soon… perhaps at a release or something. Declan and Sixto will be released soon… a couple of my favorite animals this year. They’ve been such sweet patients :-)


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