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Published: December 3rd 2018
We spent the night in an eco lodge in Franz Josef. It was a very nice place. The rain forest was literally out on our back patio. Its weird. there are not very many animals out here. No large mammals, mostly small animals and a lot of birds. They did mess up the ecology, though. Kiwi birds are flightless and raise their young in burrows. The Europeans introduced rabbits for food and fur. Soon there were too many rabbits, so they introduced Skotes, which are like Ferrets, only a little smaller. The idea was that they would get the rabbits and control the population. But the Skotes figured out that the baby Kiwis were easier to catch than the rabbits, so they ate them almost to extinction. They are now an endangered species.
So, the next day we drove by the Tasman Sea, up to Haast Pass. Before we got there we took a jet boat up the Haast River for 35 km. That was fun. Then back on the bus and on to Queenstown.
The next morning we journeyed over the Devil's Staircase along several lakes to Milford Sound. This was a 4 1/2 hour bus drive along
mostly twisty roads to Milford Sound. Wish I had the Porsche! We took a cruise on the Milford Sound, which is actually a fiord. Huge mountains on each side drop right into the water. We got a really rare treat and say a huge pod of Dusky Dolphins. They came right up to the boat and followed us around for awhile. They are small, probably about 3 feet long. We had lunch on the boat and then headed back to Queenstown.
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