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January 2013 Issue
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The middle of somewhere

Approaching the head of Gertrude Valley. Photo: Troy Mattingley
From the marked trail from the Gertrude Valley car park on the Milford Sound Highway

Gertrude Valley, Fiordland National Park

One the most stunning day in Fiordland has to be up to Gertrude Saddle.

Located just before Homer Tunnel on the Milford Sound Highway, Gertrude Valley often overlooked by unsuspecting tourists who zoom by the turn-off in search of that postcard moment in Milford Sound. This isn’t such a bad thing as the walk up to the saddle can be quite an escape from the tourist Meccas of Milford and Te Anau.

No two trips to the valley will be the same – there’s high annual rainfall to contend with and views are never guaranteed – but given the right conditions you can keep your feet dry along the u-shaped valley, crossing beneath cascading waterfalls and scuttling across the immaculate rock slabs to find yourself looking down from the 1410m saddle to unsuspecting visitors below.

If all goes well, you’ll also get a well deserved picture postcard view

– Troy Mattingley