10 Jan 2013

Milford Track open again

4:21 pm on 10 January 2013

The Milford Track will reopen on Thursday despite damage from a storm on Wednesday.

About 100 people are now making their way off the track after spending another night in two huts.

The Department of Conservation said rangers are escorting the trampers out and so far the track is still passable.

Unless there is a major problem, the track will remain open and DoC crews were going in, to begin repairs.

Forty trampers have been allowed to go ahead with their walk.

More than 100 people were in huts along the 53.5km track, after heavy rain brought down slips and the Clinton River burst its banks. DoC said it is likely to be Saturday before guided walkers are back on the track.

Other tracks in the area were also affected by the weather on Wednesday, although they all remained open.

About 20 trampers were escorted by a ranger over the alpine section of the Kepler Track on Wednesday afternoon.

DoC said the winds and rain were severe with gusts up to 100km/h. All the trampers were safe and accounted for.

Heavy rain in Fiordland forced DoC to close the track on New Year's Day forcing 120 trampers to stay an extra night.

In March 2010, 120 trampers were airlifted from the track after a storm. Twenty people were also taken off the Routeburn Track.