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Grave Talbot Track

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Grave Talbot Track is a hard return walk of 7.2 km, it’ll take you around 4 hours allowing for time to take photos of the stunning views at the top.

The Grave Talbot Track is unknown by most and rarely used. You will likely not run into anyone else while on this walk. However, it is recommended not to tramp this track alone not because of its unpopularity, but also because of the hazards (see below). 

Even for experienced trampers, this walk is a challenge—but the views at the top make it an all the more worth it. 

The beginning of this walk is a simple stroll along the Gulliver River. To keep it easy, some will only do this section of the walk. Furthermore, it is usually the only part of the track that can be done all year round. The upper part is only recommended during summer and autumn (due to avalanche risks). 

Walk with the large rimu and beech trees that line the river and provide a canopy above you. Slowly the track will turn into alpine scrublands as you keep climbing. 

This walk then follows the Esperance River and leads to the Esperance River Grasslands at the base of the rock walls below Mt McPherson. On a clear day, the top of this walk offers unparalleled views of some of the tallest mountains in Fiordland National Park.

Must do while in Milford Sound

The Grave Talbot Track is located right off the main road to Milford Sound. While in Milford Sound, take a 2 hour boat trip it really is spectacular and well worth it. If you’d rather someone else drive while you soak up the scenery (it’s a long drive of 118km from Te Anau) then take a bus tour which includes the cruise and a walk, which leaves from Te Anau.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 3-4 hour walk
        • Distance: 7.2 km
        • Difficulty: Hard
        • Hazards: Risk of an avalanche during spring and winter. 
        • Bikes allowed: No
        • Route: Return
        • Elevation: 600 m
        • Wet Feet: The track can get extremely muddy.
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Unknown
        • Last Updated: May 2020
  • Track Highlights

    The track takes you through lush rainforest, follows a beautiful river and offers views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Track Quality

    The track is an out and back track and some sections are difficult insofar as they involve some climbing.

  • Hazards

    Muddy terrain, exposed rock to climb and avalanche risk in winter/spring

  • Transport

    No

  • Water

    Unknown

  • Driving Instructions

    This walk starts 7.5 km from Milford Sound, at the twin one-lane bridges on the descent through the Cleddau Valley.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    No

  • Area & Track History

    This track was discovered in 1911 by the explorer Bill Grave. It was established as an alternative inland access (alternative to the Milford Track) to Milford Sound. However it was simply too difficult for the average Milford Track walker and so is hardly used. 

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Grave Talbot Track

Here is the map for Grave Talbot Track showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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