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Published: October 16th 2009
Day 32, 5th October - Milford Sound
Up bright & early and straight to the Vistors Centre after having breakfast to check road conditions down to Milford. After a quick stop to buy some gloves (it was freakin freezing!) we set off and made our first stop at “Mirror Lake” to get a nice reflection of the snow capped mountains. One problem though…There was no reflection! Actually there was no lake, it looked more like an oversized puddle!! We continued (slightly disappointed) towards Milford and stopped next at ‘The Divide” where we trekked up to “Kea Summit” for just over an hour (Pant pant). The panoramic views looking down into the Milford valley were worth the effort! After the standard posing for the camera moments, we made our way back down and continued the drive through the snaking road to Milford Wharf, passing through the Homer Tunnel, which is a really cool long and dark tunnel. Once on the other side it feels as though you’re entering into another world of big cliffs and snow! We parked up & with the tide low we took the camera’s and went for a walk around the wharf with the sun setting over the
rocky cliffs. A couple of quick stops on the return journey for more photos and we were eventually back at camp for the night cooking a late dinner.
Day 33, 6th October - Doubtful Sound
Today we were heading for Doubtful Sound. We had to book on a tour as that’s the only way it can be accessed. Early start as we were being collected from our camp site at 8:45am! True to form we weren’t ready when they arrived and so in the rush not to keep the bus waiting we forgot our drinks for the day! The bus took us down to Pearl Harbour (yes really!) to take a short 15minute boat ride across the very scenic lake Manapouri. Back on dry land, we were then taken on a short trip around the West Arm power station (incredible feat of engineering - Like something out of a James Bond movie!) and then on a winding 25km journey by bus through dense rainforest, (stopping at Wilmots Pass giving us a birds eye view of Doubtful) to Deep Cove (permanent population: One!). We then headed out onto the still, dark waters of Doubtful on another boat for the
next 3hrs, surrounded by rugged peaks, dense forest & waterfalls. Unfortunately we didn’t see any wildlife as fur seals, dolphins, Fiordland crested penguins and seals are known to visit the sound, but that didn’t take anything away from the cruise as we were there to take in the magnificent & massive Doubtful (it’s three times the length & ten times the area of the more well known Milford and it’s also much, much less trafficked). About half way through we stopped for 15mins & the engines were switched off so we could appreciate fully the beauty & peacefulness of the Sound - Neither of us at that point wanted to leave!! Back in Te Anau after the cruise, we found a cute little pizza place for dinner & had a couple of beers to celebrate the day.
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