a VirtualTourist member from Leuven
one question: as Europeans, do we need some kind of pills to make tabwater for us drinkable (i guess not, but you never know)? Maybe another question: Is the water of the little rivers on the Milford track drinkable?, or how can you get drinkable water on the Milford track?
On all the 10 Great NZ Tracks there is no fresh water shortage - at every hut along the route there's access to running fresh water (in addition, there's no problem with drinking water directly from the streams. If, for some reason, there's a problem with a certain stream's water, you'll be informed by the DOC upon accessing the track).
i'm from Belgium, we have no stream left (not even the most remote) wth drinkable water...
I did the milford a couple of weeks ago when it was in the middle of an exceptional dry spell (at least 8 days without rain!!!). Even then there are no probs with finding streams and I drank from them with no worries at all. we took treatment tabs but never used them the water was just amazing. you will be absolutely stunned with how crystal clear the water is on the track, especially coming from europe!
have fun and enjoy the trip.
I also walked the Milford Track during a unusually dry period and there were remarkably less little streams running. However there is enough available water. Officially we are told not to drink the stream water there, but unofficially everyone does.
But don't be fooled outside of Fiordland. We have a very serious problem now in many of our streams, called Giardia. It is a parasite that infects the bowel and you can get very sick from it.
As someone who goes trekking every summer, I never drink from streams, except in Fiordland or if I'm boiling the water first.
Due to the increased popularity of tourism in our hills, and urinating near to streams, as well as other contaminates, giardia has now spread widely around our hills.