2008 01 11 – Big Trip – Day 255 – New Zealand – Te Anau and Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lodge, Milford, South Island, New Zealand 6333km

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Milford Sound


Shabbat Shalom!

We got lucky today, and saw the world famous Milford Sound in good weather. We even joined a two hour cruise that was spectacular. In fact the whole day was one big photographic orgasm.

I’ll step back one day to tell of yesterday’s activities in Te Anau. We were a bit lazy after the long drive from the day before, so only after 10 did we leave the campground. We drove a few minutes to the start of the Keppler track at Lake Te Anau. The walk through a Beech forest was pleasant and not too hard. We stopped at Dock Bay for a rest on the beach before heading back. The sun was shining brightly and it was nice and warm.

After lunch we drove down to Fraser Beach in Marah???. I took a nap while everyone else played in the sand. We then drove back to Te Anau, stopping at Rainbow Reach to check out the swing bridge.

This morning we were a bit more industrious and left the campground early for the scenic 120km drive to Milford Sound. The weather was clear and sunny. The first part of the drive until “The Divide” was pretty but not exceptional after 2 months here. But once we got into the mountains, the last 50km were truly spectacular. We stopped in a few places for photo ops, and also did a short walk just before the Homer Tunnel. The tunnel itself is quite long, over 1km with a stoplight to enable one way traffic.

We stopped at “the chasm” to take some more pictures before heading out to the sound. When we got to the lodge, we booked the last cruise of the day on a small vessel (60 people) called Mitre Peak. We then drove to the sound, and already from the parking lot the view was amazing – high cliffs falling almost vertically into the water of the fiord.

The cruise was great, the weather was pretty good, with only partial cloud cover. The captain extended the cruise time from 2 to 2.5 hour and gave us more time to appreciate the beauty of the sound. And we all snapped pictures like mad. We passed by the sheer cliffs, got wet from waterfalls 3 times the height of Niagra Falls, saw sea lions, and saw the Tasman sea.

Now back at the lodge (campground), the sky is grey and it has begun raining. It looks like we made it here just in time. Tomorrow we will drive back to Te Anau and check out the rest of the views along the road.

Good Night,


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