Gertrude Saddle Guided Adventure Walk

Inspirational hiking at its best

Gertrude Saddle offers an adventurous guided day hike from Te Anau.  Explore the Fiordland mountains and its unrivaled alpine terrain to gain spectacular views of Milford Sound from the summit. In a small group, your local, knowledgeable Trips & Tramps guide will lead you safely through the area and provide information on the incredible array of alpine plants and birds along the way.

Black Lake, Darren Mountains

Impressive slabs of rock near the saddle

From Te Anau, we take a very scenic drive along the Milford Road for about two hours to the upper Hollyford Valley and the Alpine Homer Hut. This drive takes us to the heart of the Darren mountains and up into the sub alpine herb fields.

The guided walk to the Gertrude saddle is challenging at times, but the rewards are most definitely worth it. Rough and rocky underfoot, the track follows the valley floor up to the imposing Barrier face, then commences a steep and steady climb to the chilled waters of the mystical Black Lake. Walking across giant granite slabs and supported by fixed ropes near the top, finally the saddle is reached. From the safety of the pass, enjoy incredible views into the surrounding valleys and down onto Milford Sound.

On a sunny day the Saddle is a wild, awe-inspiring place for lunch, though with no shelter available it is imperative appropriate warm clothing is taken, as well as a good lunch and snacks. Hot drinks and energy snacks will be carried by the guide, and a wilderness tea break is made available during the walk and as required. It takes about three hours to gain the saddle and nearly the same to return to the van as we retrace our steps.

Gertrude Valley, Darren Mountains

Unique alpine plants flourish in the lower valley


This is a more demanding walk than Lake Marian, and only suitable in good weather. Lake Marian is the back up walk if our Trips & Tramps guide deems the weather is not suitable for this guided walk.

We can spend a whole day exploring the lower valley and if this is preferred, please enquire.  The lower valley has incredible alpine flowers and scenery; it is not necessary to reach the saddle, or anywhere near it to have an amazing day. 

Trip Add-ons

Add a hearty picnic lunch to take with you.