Easy Hikes in Fiordland – Boyd Creek Track

Easy Hikes in Fiordland – Boyd Creek Track

Boyd Creek Track - Fiordland Day hikesOn our first day in the Fiordland we managed to visit quite a few places around Lake Te Anau. But we wanted to explore one more place before we settled in for the evening in Te Anau Downs. I spoke to a couple of locals who suggested that we drive down to the Boyd Creek Track. We didn’t know anything about it, apart from we needed to look for a sign by a gate on the right side of the road to Milford Sound. So we set off, found the sign and decided to take a peek at this less-famous walk. The path led us through an incredibly mossy forest. We got to meet a whole range of chatty, fluffed up birds. And then we got chased out of the forest by some sandflies that decided I was the tastiest thing they’d eaten all summer!

We didn’t make it all the way up to the Boyd Creek Tops, but I thought the track was so pretty that I wanted to share it.

Boyd Creek Track – the basics

Distance: 6.5 km (one way)
Time: 2.5 to 3.5 hours to the highest point
What to bring: Bug spray! Those blooming sandflies were pretty bad in this forest.
Read through the 10 essentials.
How hard is it: We only did the first part of the walk, which was pretty easy. However if you plan to make it up the hill, it sounds like a more intermediate level tramp. Sometimes the path was hard to spot through the forest.
Map: I didn’t see this walk listed on any local brochures, but I found a map for it here.

The road to Milford Sound

Firstly, I just need to mention how blooming lovely the drive to Milford Sound can be! The road is well paved and there are gorgeous views of mountains in all directions! The trailhead for Boyd Creek Track is part way along this road, so if you’re starting at Te Anau, you’ll have to drive through this prettiness!

Boyd Creek Track

There is a sign on the main road to Milford Sound that leads through a gate and down a firm-ish path to a car park. Once you make it to the Boyd Creek Track, the path is pretty easy to follow.

Mossy Forest walk

You will head into one of the most mossy forests I have ever seen! There were different kinds of mosses growing all over the path, and on the ground between trees and on the tree trunks. It’s like the whole forest is a fluffy like Oscar the Grouch.

The ground is a bit like a soft, green carpet!

Sorry if I am going on too much about this moss! But when you look closely at it, each patch is different. I took sooo many photos, but I am trying to be restrained, so here are just a couple of close-ups.

We found one tree stump that had more than fifteen totally different mosses. I love the large pom-pom-like patches.

Epic trees

The whole walk is enchanting…well, the parts we saw anyway! Lots of the trees seemed ancient. I am now so use to the pine trees in BC, that is was fun to see such a variety of deciduous trees.

Bird Photography

We actually only walked for a few kilometers on this trail, and then we got distracted by all the birds. This little fella was dancing around, singing and generally seemed confused as to why we were in his patch. He moved reeeeally fast, but as he seemed to want to meet us. I spent quite a while attempting to take his photo in manual mode.

Later on, this little bird was chilling in a tree with a fluffy bird attempting to court her.

This was the dude tweeting to get her attention. He was really funny. He kept flying around our heads and landing on branches right next to us. We weren’t sure if he was trying to chase us off, or get our attention…but it was fun to try and take his photo. After he saw us, he fluffed up all his feathers to make himself into a little fuzz-ball.

Cute eh!?


So, as you can see, we got so distracted taking photos of birds and moss, that we didn’t actually walk very far. The Boyd Creek track is meant to be 6.5km, but we managed less than half of that. Theeen, we learnt about sandflies. When I say learnt, I mean we both were bitten by sandflies. I did have some after-bug-bite cream in my bag, but even with that, the bites were soooo itchy! They were so itchy that neither of us was keen to continue the whole walk if that meant we’d be eaten more by the little buggers! If you’ve never heard of a sandflies; They are horrible! I was bitten through socks and leggings even though I was wearing deet-filled bug spray. One of my bites made my ankle swell up to become a cankle the following day. It was all pretty gross.

So, we escaped, out of the forest and back to Te Anau Downs to drink wine and itch our sandfly bites.

Even with bastard sandflies, I still really loved everything we did near Te Anau. I hope if you’re in the area, you’ll like them too! Here are some of the other fun things we did with our first day near Te Anau:

  • Kepler Track – We had a quick taster of one of the 10 Great Walks along this pleasant track along the rainbow river
  • Te Anau Glowworm Caves – We experienced a tour to see some glowworms and got to see new star constellations inside a cave! I loved these pretty light-filled larvae.
  • Mistletoe Lake – This was the lovely mini-hike around a lake near the start of the Milford Track

26 thoughts on “Easy Hikes in Fiordland – Boyd Creek Track

  1. Oh boy, I can sympathise with the sandflies. My sis and I got eaten alive near Murchison on the South Island. Those little rotters itched for weeks and now I have scars from a few of the worst bites. Your walk looks amazing! I love the moss and huge trees. I regret that when I went to fiordland I literally did the day tour in and out of Milford sound and that’s it. Definitely looks like it’s worth going back to check out Te Anau properly!

    1. I only had a couple that swelled up to giant level, but oh my goodness they were soooo itchy! It seems everyone that visits this area has a few sandfly stories!!

      Thank you for stopping to comment Weejars! 🙂

    1. Ooooh thank you so much! That is really nice of you! I virtually stopped sharing posts on fb as they seem to be shown to so few people! I really appreciate the share!! <3

  2. Ah, the sandflies… It’s such a love/hate relationship with nature when you are being eaten alive haha!! I’ll certainly be back to NZ one day, and will be so happy to return to your blog for more inspiration 🙂

    1. Yaaay! I am really chuffed that we found each other! I feel the same way when I read your blog.

      There are soooo many more places to explore!!

  3. Wow – that drive was fantastic! And the forest was creepy cool. So much moss. Some of it looked like lichen, but still, so many varieties. Cool.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Yeah, I can see why movie scouts use NZ for so many varied scenes! The scenery, even just while driving was amaaaazing!

    2. p.s I think you’re right! Some of it was definitely lichen! I think there were several types of that too!

    1. The whole Fiordland is stunning isn’t it!

      You could tell that this path is not as popular as the wildlife seemed shocked to encounter us! I love the way the birds puffed themselves up!

  4. I love hiking and getting out in nature. It’s good for you, too! I also love your pics especially the one with the giant tree. I’m a big fan of trees, too! 😉

    1. That giant tree was amazing wasn’t it!? 😀 I was soo impressed by it, but you need a photo with a person in to get an idea of the scale.

  5. I love the variety in all of the mosses- I think that sometimes we don’t pay as much attention as we could and think “there’s rather a lot of moss here”, and leave it at that, but then we would be missing so much!! The differences in colour astound me, I’ve not seen a white moss before!! And are sandfly bites worse than mosquito??

    1. Thanks Jessica!

      Yeah, it was kind of nice to slow down. We didn’t get to the end of the walk, but I really enjoyed looking closely at the mossy surroundings and birds.

      YES! for me sandflies are worse than mozzies. They are a kind of black fly (they have them here in Canada too, and they are just as horrible here!!)

      1. We don’t have too too many of them here on the prairies, thankfully!! (Although regular black fly bites hurt something horrendous anyways.) I always have to ask, WHAT SPECIES IS BENEFITTING FROM THESE TINY FLYING DEMONS?!

        1. I’m not sure! I guess maybe the birds, frogs and other insects eat them, and then bigger animals feed on those!? It must all be part of the local ecosystem.

    1. Thanks Jennifer!!

      I remember it as being fun (especially when we saw those birds) but we were keen to get out of there once we were bitten!!

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