Blogs from Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 6


We got up early so we could get the boat at 9.00 (there's free breakfast on that one) and despite very low cloud, we were both overawed by the scenery. The mountains plummet straight into the sea, and the waterfalls cascade over precices way up high. I know plenty about glaciation, but nothing prepares you for the sight of it in action. One of the waterfalls was 3 times higher than Niagara, but somehow dwarfed by the mountains it fell down!... read more
ship's girl
certainly can!
down to the open sea.

There is so much to see and do in the area, but most of it comes with a price tag. After a few paychecks have rolled in we were able to go out and explore. One of the highlights of the region is Milford Sound. Technically speaking, the area is a fiordland carved out as glaciers retreated thousands of years ago. The result is lush vegetation amongst massive sheer cliffs. We booked a day trip thorugh Mitre Peak cruises and got every penny's worth. The bus driver dueled as a tour guide and pointed out lots of interesting things along the 4-hr drive from Queenstown. We made a few stops along the way for short little walks and perfect picture opps. The road was very windy and narrow and was mostly traveled by tour buses, so ... read more
Off the beaten path
Milford sounds

The drive to Milford Sound is suposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in New Zealand. Milford Sound is actually a fjord, created by a glacier moving to the sea, and not a sopund which is a flooded valley, it was just wrongly classified by the first exploer that discovered it. It is the wettest place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world, receiveing about 7m of rain a year. We saw it in one of these lovely rainy periods.. The fjord streches about 15m inland and the sheer rock faces rises about 1,200m on either side so with a lot of rain this creates a lot of waterfalls! We took a boat ride into the sound but unfortunately because of the rain we didn't get to see all that ... read more
some of the many waterfalls down the side of the valleys
the view from the coach on what is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in New Zealand

We rose early for the drive to Milford Sound and drove through the infamous Homer Tunnel through a mountainside on the way. It had rained all night (120 mm) and a morning mist filled the valley where we drove down the serpentine roads to the water. We boarded our boat for a morning cruise through the fiord. The Fiordlands were created by glaciers and are unique rainforest areas with 5-7 meters of freshwater atop the salt water coming in from the Tasman Sea; this area receives up to 7 meters of rainfall annually! This one-of-a-kind ecosystem draws unique opportunities to see black coral and other sea animals much nearer the surface than typical. We were able to see many neat sea creatures at the floating Underwater Observatory, which took us 8 meters under the water surface. ... read more
Mt. Christina in the Morning
Christina Meets Her Mountain
Cruising the Sound that Milford Found

MILFORD: 27-1 MARCH 08 Fjordland National Park - South West New Zealand is known as one of the wettests area in the world, but irrespective of this, contains one of the Worlds Greatest Walks - 'The Milford Track'. This 53 kilometre track crosses the heart of Fjordland, where a bus and a boat ride drop you off miles from anywhere to begin the 4 day walk. Your collected at the other side on the tip of Milford Sound, one of world's most beautiful Fjords and possibly one of the most photographed scenes that summarises New Zealand. Desolate natural beauty. The walk has to be booked months in advance, which I did back in October 2007. The huts and the transport is also booked totalling a cost of about 50 pounds per person per day. Food has ... read more
Kitchen area and common room
Despite the rain we are all smiles!
The start of the 'waterpark'...

We can see snow on the mountains and the nights are getting colder. Have resorted to sleeping in the car on a few occassions and have found it to be kinder to our joints as well as being warmer.... Sandflies are still a major problem and we look forward to leaving them behind. The views have been amazing. Hopefully our photos do them justice. We did try to find a hotel when we reached Queenstown, but no joy!! Seems everywhere was booked solid. Queenstown reminded us of a massive car park, every street and pavement was littered with parked cars! However, we are still having a great time. Loving all the sights and looking forward to more adventures...................... read more
Mirror mirror on the floor...
Don't look "Skim!"
Lunch time in deer flat...

Saturday 2nd Early start - we've got a long way to go today. We have a very talkative driver, and a second driver who's being trained on the route/bus. We get lots of info about the lake, the route, New Zealand drivers (much higher fatality rate than in the UK, as no formal training require), lots of comments on tourists, and the guys obviously a 'huntin, shootin, fishin' kinda guy. Very beautiful area with lots of low-lying cloud. Takes best part of a couple of hours to get to Te Anau, where we take a half-hour break. Back on the bus, through lots more scenic country - photo stops at Eglington Valley, the Mirror Lakes, before a last toilet stop at Knob's Flat (named after the knobs of rock scattered around). Back on the road, more ... read more
Queenstown Early Morning
Deep... and chilly... lake
Low lying cloud

On New Years Eve, we traveled to our next outpost, Te Anau. This small resort town on a lake served as our gateway to Milford Sound. Any type of activity can be organized from here including plane or helicopter tours, fishing , diving, hiking, etc. Our funky motel, The Village Inn, is a variation of the traditional theme. Each room represented a different shop front in a fictitious town. Ours was located between the bank and the jail, “Nancy’s Fancy Goods.” (Sarah - Because I did all the plans for this trip via internet, I have only seen these places in a one inch frame. I am as surprised as the rest of the family when we pull up to our motels. This one I knew would be one of the more strange places to stay, ... read more
Te Anau
Black Dog Wine
Scuba Diving

WOW, what a place. Everyone was happy because we got to see some penguins, I was happy because we went in a coach and I didn't have to drive. Although the Penguins were pretty cool. We also saw some seals and a dolphin. After having been there I know want to go to Scandanavia and see more fjords. What else can I say other than it is fantastic and you should all go there at some point. We were lucky because it rains on average 200 days a year and approx. 15 feet. They were in a drought, according to the bus driver, because it hasn't rained for 3 days. Oh by the way Te Anau is also quite nice, had a great chinese meal.... read more
The road to Milford Sound
The road to Milford Sound
The road to Milford Sound

Well we went on a boat around Milford Sound which was stunning. There were a pod of dolphins which came up to which was pretty cool. We then headed back out got past homer tunnel then our gear box decided to pack up. Unfortunatly for us we probably couldnt have been further aaway from the AA. So we waited 5 hours for them to turn up! But they did take us back and then fix it at 7.20 ona Saturday night so cant really complain!... read more

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