Breaking Down the Expenses of Walking the Milford Track

Breaking Down the Expenses of Walking the Milford Track

So, you’re here because you’re wondering how much it costs to walk the Milford Track? 

As it happens, we’ve walked this track ourselves many times, so we’re intimately familiar with the expenses. Today, we’ll break down what you can expect to spend based on your preferences! 

How much does it cost to walk the Milford Track?

The cost of walking the Milford Track can be at least 840 NZD per person, including accommodations, food, transport, personal equipment and clothing. 

However, this cost can vary depending on the time of the time of year you go, the kind of lodging you select, and whether you plan a guided (which costs more) or individual walk. 

Want to learn more about the costs that go into this trek? We’ve broken them down for you below.

The Cost of Booking the Accommodations Along Milford Track 

When you make a booking for the Milford Track, you’re not paying for the actual walk. You’re paying for the three hut accommodations along the track—as they are mandatory to stay at unless you fancy very rough camping in the bush. 

Anyway, the Milford Track walk takes about 3 to 4 days to complete, but it can be longer depending on your walking speed. So, for 3 to 4 days, that’s how this breaks down:

  • You’re looking at spending roughly 230 to 312 NZD per person during the Great Walks season if you’re a fellow Kiwi. 
  • For non-Kiwis visiting during the Great Walks season, plan to spend anywhere between 330 to 440 NZD for adults, as you get charged more than locals. 
  • For children, the price is 165 to 220 NZD. 

Of course, the price is much lower if you come outside of the Great Walks season. Kiwis looking to stay at least 3 nights only have to pay 45 NZD, and international visitors must pay 75 NZD.

Here are the per-night fees, if you want an easy reference:

Hut Fees
Great Walks Season New Zealand Citizens 
• Adult: 78 NZD per night 
• Child (17 and under): Free 

• Adult: 110 NZD per night
• Child: 55 NZD per night
Outside the Great Walks Season Before July 2023
• Adult: 15 NZD per night
• Child: Free 

From July 1 2023
• Adult: 25 NZD
• Child: Free

The Accommodations Along Milford Track

Below is an overview of the accommodations along the Milford Track. In general, you’ll spend more if you’re choosing privately owned huts and less if you’re choosing DOC or Department of Conservation huts.

  • Clinton Hut: This is the first DOC hut along the track, about 5 kilometers from Glade Wharf. There’s plenty of space as it has 20 bunk beds and basic facilities such as toilets, cooking facilities, and running water.

  • Mintaro Hut: This DOC hut is similar to Clinton Hut, with many facilities and beds. We like that this hut is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and has stunning views.

  • Quintin Lodge: Another costly option. While you have to pay at least 2,000 NZD to stay at this private lodging, we did get to stop here and enjoy some free coffee after our long trek. 

  • Dumpling Hut: This is the third hut along the track with 40 bunk beds. It also has the same facilities as the other two DOC huts. 
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The Cost of Transportation for Milford Track 

The minimum cost of transportation for Milford Track per person is 180 NZD. But of course, this price can change depending on what type of transportation you decide to take.

Here’s how much we paid when we tried each one:

1. Boat Transfers 

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At the start of our trek along Milford Track, we opted to take a boat transfer to Glade Wharf, so if you want to do the same, expect to spend at least 70 to 80 NZD per person. 

The boat transfer from Te Anau Downs to the start of the Milford Track at Glade Wharf is operated by Real Journeys and Fiordland Water Taxis. We’ve used both companies, and they got us to Glade Wharf in one piece. 

The boat trip takes around 1 hour and provides spectacular views of Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains. By the way, we recommend booking the boat transfer in advance.

2. Bus or Shuttle

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Another option is to take a bus or shuttle from Te Anau to the start of the Milford Track. We’ve used Tracknet and Trips and Tramps—their tickets generally cost us anywhere from 80 to 100 NZD. 

3. Private Transfer

Usually, the cost of a private transfer varies depending on the distance and the number of people in your group, but you can expect to pay at least 400 to 500 NZD.

Here are some companies you can check out: 

4. Car Rental

Depending on which car rental company you choose, we recommend budgeting about 60 NZD a day. Here are a few companies that may be good options: 

The Cost of Food and Drink for Milford Track 

Unless you’re the type who needs caviar everywhere, plan to budget just around 100 NZD for food and drinks per person—this covers at least three days on the Milford Track.

It’s no secret that snacks and beverages can quickly add up and put a dent in your wallet. So, to get an idea of what you might want to buy, check out the table below for an estimated breakdown of the food and drinks we got for our trip!

Food Drinks
Trail Mix: 5 to 10 NZD 
Energy Bars: 1 to 3 NZD per bar
Jerky: 5 to 10 NZD per bar
Dried Fruit: 5 to 10 NZD 
Peanut Butter: 5 to 10 NZD
Instant Oatmeal: 5 to 10 NZD
Cracker Biscuits: 2 to 5 NZD
Cheese: 4 to 10 NZD 
Salami: 5 to 10 NZD 
Jam/Jelly: 3 to 6 NZD
Fruit: 2 to 5 NZD 
Instant Soup: 2 to 3 NZD
Pasta/Rice: 2 to 5 NZD
Freeze Dried Meals: 5 to 15 NZD 
Instant Coffee/Tea: 5 to 10 NZD 
Water Bottles: 10 to 20 NZD 
Electrolyte Drinks: 10 to 20 NZD 

The Cost of Essential Items to Take for Milford Track 

Necessary items like a quality first aid kit, sleeping bags and more roughly add up to at least 250 per person. But again, this price changes.

Here was our own cost list, if you need a handy reference. They’re in ranges since we didn’t all buy the same things, obviously:

Personal EquipmentClothing
Backpack (40-60 litre):  300 to 500 NZD 
Waterproof/plastic Pack Liner: 10 to 30 NZD
Sleeping Bag: 100 to 500 NZD
First Aid Kit: 20 to 100 NZD
Survival Kit: 20 to 100 NZD
Compass: 20 to 50 NZD
Torch/flashlight and Spare Batteries: 20 to 60 NZD
Rubbish Bag: 5 to 10 NZD
Earplugs: 5 to 10 NZD
1 to 2 Litre Bottle: 10 to 30 NZD
Matches or lighter: 2 to 5 NZD
Toiletries: 10 to 20 NZD
Insect repellent: 10 to 20 NZD
Sunscreen: 10 to 30 NZD 
Tramping/hiking Boots: 100 to 400 NZD
Socks: 15 to 40 NZD
Shorts: 30 to 80 NZD
Shirts(wool or polypropylene): 30 to 80 NZD
Mid-layers(wool or polar fleece): 50 to 150 NZD
Raincoat(waterproof, windproof with hood): 100 to 300 NZD
Overtrousers(wind and waterproof): 50 to 150 NZD
Beanies and Gloves: 20 to 50 NZD
Sunhat and Sunglasses: 20 to 50 NZD

Remember that the prices mentioned here are just estimates and may differ based on the particular items you decide to buy!