Edit Blog Post
Published: April 14th 2016
C: The next morning was an early start as we had a long journey to get to fjordland. Annoyingly Milford Sound is only about 30 miles from Queenstown as the crow flies but due to some very large mountains you have to drive the long way round, about 180 miles. The road is very scenic though we have to admit we did doze a bit on the first leg as our hostel had not been the quietest! After about two hours we stopped for some much needed coffee and a bacon sandwich in Te Anau, the gateway town for the fjords. It was another two hours from there to Milford and this was when the rain started. It steadily got heavier and heavier and we were feeling a bit disappointed until we headed into a valley, about an hour in, and were surrounded by hundreds of rain-fuelled waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs. It was breathtaking. The road continued to twist through the stunning cliff valley for about another hour and we were all glued to the windows as waterfall after waterfall went by. After driving through a really long tunnel (Homer Tunnel) through a mountain the road finally led us
to the gateway to Milford Sound.
We had booked an afternoon cruise so we had time for a quick lunch before getting thoroughly drenched on our walk to the ferry terminal. We found some dry seats on the boat and were pleased when the guide announced that Milford Sound was best in the rain as most of the waterfalls only occur when it's raining. In fact they stop 2 hours after the rain stops. We were soon on the water and surrounded by huge cliffs (apparently taller than the Burgh Calipha) and hundreds more stunning waterfalls (apparently the tallest in the world). The boat was small enough to go right into one of the larger ones and Roger and Dave did the optional soaking experience - standing at the front of the boat under the waterfall, see photos! We also spied seals on the rocks enjoying the rain. It was a shame not to see the tops of some of the cliffs as the rain clouds were very low but it was still an amazing experience and nothing like anything I've seen before. Even more keen to go to the Norwegian fjords now. On the way off the boat
they handed out all the spare soup from the days' sailings which was very welcome, given Roger and Dave were soaked through, and it had been a pretty cold day all over.
There's hardly any accommodation at Milford Sound so we had a fairly soggy drive back to a cosy Airbnb in Te Anau. Many thanks to Dave for doing so much driving and in fairly terrible conditions. Despite the weather, it was definitely one of our best and most unique days in NZ. We settled in for the evening to watch some TV and it was all going great until we blew the power... Twice!
Tot: 2.161s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 12; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0432s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb