Blogs from Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 2


The drive to Wanaka from Fox was a spectacular one. It took us a bit longer than expected because we stopped at a couple of lookout points to take in the views. There's scenery and then there's New Zealand scenery! We arrived at the campsite which had good facilities and loads of space. It was pretty late so it was dark and we couldn't see much of the lake, so we showered and headed out for dinner to celebrate my birthday. We went to an Indian restaurant called the Spice Room (the lady at reception in the campsite had recommended it). It was really cosy in there with a fire blazing and comfy couches to sit on while you wait for them to prepare your table. The really was really tasty and afterwards we went to ... read more
Moon Rising
View of the Alps
Shellducks and Cormorants

What can I write that would do justice to the sights we have seen? If a picture is worth a thousand words, I have a lot of work to do to equal all the wonderful shots my better half has taken recently. Our trip to Milford sound, a fjord on the west coast of NZ, was like a dream. We boarded our 700 ton ship, the Milford Mariner and were greeted with hot chocolate and muffins. Upon seeing a pod of about 30 dolphins, including calves, they lowered the tender ships and we got to see them from about ten feet away. Nearby, seals were basking in the sun under the 1000 foot cliffs that surrounded us. The food was excellent and it was just an beautiful way to spend a couple days. Yesterday we arrived ... read more

We survived the Milford Track! We woke up bright and early to catch our bus from Queenstown to Te Anau. It was pouring the whole ride their and the weather forcast posted at the Fiordland National Park visitor center predicted rain for the next several days. Yuck. We knew it rained a lot in this part of the country (the average annual rainfall in Milford is 276 inches), but it had actually been a pretty dry summer in this part of the country and we were hoping for at least 1 nice day out of the 4 that we were hiking. The trailhead is not accessible by road, so we had to take a boat across Lake Te Anau. By the time we got off the boat the rain had eased up a bit and we ... read more

Geo: -44.6698, 167.928Each day we hoped the weather would change, we had already had enough of the rain and we just wanted a little break in the weather, even for just a few hours and especially as we were headed straight up to MacKinnon Pass for some spectacular views. But alas we were not granted with such luck.The morning was cloudy with no rain, yet! We set off early again, we were the second group after a group of three old Japanese walkers, and we soon caught up to them just after the main ascent to the top. Rain had appeared here and there but the cloud still hovered low. We did manage a few views back down the valley which were quite amazing, but as we got to the top the cloud had completely covered ... read more
Rain Rain And More Rain
The End
Climbing MacKinnon Pass

Geo: -44.6698, 167.928It's true that the wild and wet conditions in the Fiordland National Park are what created this picturesque, secluded and wild part of New Zealand. So having four days of constant rain on the day we started the trek and after 5 weeks of hardly any rain before was a huge mix of bad luck and bad timing.They do say that it is a must to walk the Milford Track in rain and you're missing out if you don't, but we hardly got a break and it dampened the spirits a little bit. Pun intended!The Milford track is regarded as the finest walk in the world, and with limited places of 40 unguided walkers allowed on the track per day, bookings are required. Anna and I made the booking about 7 months prior to ... read more
Anna Crossing
Mossy Surroundings
Clinton Hut

Gisteren waren we de tunnel al doorgereden. Eigenlijk ging Jan rijden, want ik ben nogal een broekschijter in een donkere tunnel , maar voor dat we het wisten zat ik aan het stuur in de tunnel. Gelukkig had ik de tunnel voor mezelf =) Gisterenavond reden we het dorpje in. Je moet je er niet te veel bij voorstellen. Er zijn 2 lodges , waarvan 1 campers ontvangt. Je staat met je wagen gewoon op de parking tussen de andere auto's. Wij hadden geluk. We gingen tussen de lodges staan en gebaarden ons van niets. Er is in het dorp ook 1 café en 2 grote parkings, een klein vliegveld (voor scenic flights) en een groot aanlegmeer voor de cruises. That's it! Er wonen hier amper 120 mensen , waarvan géén één in de winter. Even ... read more
Milford Sound
free hot coffee!

We boarded a small 2 storey boat for our cruise through the Milford sounds. The fiords loomed among the mist casting dark shapes into the sky. We chugged up close to waterfalls - the daring getting drenched out on the front of the boat the not so daring inside watching from the windows and drinking tea. The scenery was fantastic with trees and shribs growing out of the rocks and held together by mosses and intertwining branches. We watched fiordland crested penguins bounce and stumble along the rocks before diving into the water and gliding speedily away. After dropping off the Greenstone hikers the Flying Kiwi bus set off for tonights camp on the shores of Lake Te Anau. ... read more

Wow, what a day! I don’t think there is a lot to write here, and the pictures will only tell one tenth of the story, if that. Today we took the Real Journeys bus trip down to Milford Sound, something like a 100 km drive, and then their boat trip out on the Sound (actually Fjord, but that’s another story). This was pretty much a time-budget thing, as we would have loved to do the Milford Track, but we don’t have four days to spend doing it, but had to see the Southern Alps and the Sound. The words “beautiful”, “awesome”, “awe inspiring”, “amazing” get thrown around a lot down here, especially for us, but they don’t even come close to describing the Alps and the Sound. I’m glad we took a trip to Yosemite last ... read more
The Alps
More of the Fiordlands
Out on the Sound

We’re told that Milford Sound gets 200+ days of rain a year. So the odds were certainly in favour of the rain, and that’s what we got for the most part. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The drive to Milford Sound in the rain was absolutely spectacular, possibly one of the best drives in the World. The road carves through the mountains and you are surrounded by sheer rock faces that are covered in temporary waterfalls. The rain made taking photos difficult so we didn’t do it justice at all, but we just enjoyed the experience. One afternoon the rain stopped long enough for us to take a cruise out into the Sound. We had a two for one deal through our car rental so it was actually pretty good value. There are also ... read more
Chasm river
Bowen Falls

Just a forewarning, this one here is a bit longer than usual. Embark at your own risk! Back in civilization where the internet and cellular phones work! Stewart island was awesome but I am happy to be able to be somewhere (even if that somewhere is Invercargill) I can upload photos and videos of the past few weeks. The boat trip over the Foveaux Straight was pretty rough but the weather was good. The ferry is a catamaran hulled ship which has seats enough for about 50 people, no vehicles, and only a little space on the back deck for the bins our gear was stored in. The swells were around a metre or more and the boat moved quickly, so the ride was pretty rough. The trip was just over an hour long and though ... read more
Penguine Crossing
Photo 4
Photo 5

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