We stayed in very well appointed mountain lodges. Bunkhouse with 4-6 bunks per room for sleeping and shared bathrooms were the rule. We had breakfast and dinner on a large dining rooms. The food was plentiful and tasty. Good lodging and food always make the experience better and Ultimate Hikes who run the trip did a fine job.
We ended our exploration of Fjordlands National Park with a cruise on the Milford Sound (technically a fjord too) to the Tasman Sea. Think of Norwegian fjords but with taller cliffs, so it seemed, and you'll have a sense of what we saw. Pembroke Mountain with what's left of its Glacier which helped form this area two million years ago is just one stunning example of what we saw.
At the start of the Milford Track. The first day we hiked less than a mile to Glade House. The nature walk we did later was a challenge because it was full of huge exposed roots.
The descent off Mackinnon Pass was brutal. An agile strong hiker can do it in three hours and at that he or she won't be going much over a mile-per-hour. I crept along at closer to 0.6MPH. Rocks everywhere, drops, gaps and a descent of 3,000 feet.
The sun broke out after dinner and helped redeem the tough afternoon with a fine Alpine-glow sunset. The clouds just floated in.
Penbroke Mountain and it's Glacier. The fjords of Milford Sound are grand.