Queenstown, New Zealand
It was an early start and we were on the ‘BBQ Bus’ at 6.40 am, driving towards Te Anu. From Queenstown, Milford Sound in less than 150km, but the road goes round obstacles, (lakes and mountains) making the journey over 300km and a 4-hour drive, hence our early start. We were at Te Anu, the half way point, by 9am and stopped for a quick break. Te Anu is a tiny town that sits by a huge lake, with mountains around it in every direction. But it was no-where near as spectacular as the rest of the journey to Milford Sound. We stopped many times, just to take in the scenery. It really has to be seen with your own eyes, photos are just not the same. At Milford, we jumped onto a cruise boat to properly take in the views. Strictly, Milford Sound is a fjord, not a Sound, and was incorrectly named by Captain Cook when he first explored the area. Milford and the other 20 or so fjords in the area are together named Fjordland National Park, but the name Milford Sound remains uncorrected. A fjord is shaped by glaciers from the ice-age, and the vertical walls, topped with snow and draped with water falls made me realise why they call this place one of the 7 scenic wonders of the world. As a bonus, we saw 4 seals sunning themselves on a nearby rock and also, a pod of dusky dolphins swam along side our boat. The weather was gorgeous, blue sky everwhere, and as it rains 1 out of 2 days here, we felt very lucky. Just 4 days ago, it had snowed. We finished the day drinking with the people we had met on the trip and by bed time we were exhausted.