Sun at the Sound

Trip Start Sep 19, 2009
Trip End May 19, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, March 15, 2010

It was an early start for our 5 hour journey down to Milford Sound, heading along one side of Lake TeAnau, and then back up the other side. Looking at a map, I dont see why they cannot get a more direct road - but it seems there are some mountains in the way, humph! We were advised by internet travellers to leave early to avoid getting stuck behind the numerous tour buses. Having seen that the main company, Real Journeys, leaves at 8.30am we made sure we were on the road by 8am. Unfortunately, our plan failed as we got stuck behind 2 of these buses! They must have left earlier, damn! Luckily for us, we all stopped in the town of Te Anau, we had breakie in :Polly then fed her at the last petrol station for a few hours before zipping ahead of what had gathered to be about 5 different tour companies, phew!

The next 2 hours were more windy and spectacular, with our 'tourism radio' station telling us when to stop for good views, just in case we couldn’t see them! Luckily, all the tour buses stopped as well, so we were always ahead! We stopped at the mirror lakes which were fantastic, with great views of mountains and then their perfect reflection below, as well as for a 15 minute ‘Chasm’ walk (along with about 10 other tour buses of "reitred" age travellers) to see a river and some big boulders! Finally at our destination, the holiday park, we got cooking some scrambled eggs for lunch, while battling against the millions of incredibly annoying sand flies. Poor Polly was invaded!

After lunch (and happy to escape!) we left the park and headed down to the port for our boat. Being the latest boat in the afternoon, our departure was not linked to any day tour buses, which meant there were only about 20 of us on a boat that could probably take 60...perfect! Within minutes we were viewing a stunning waterfall and the Mitre Peak, apparently the first tour of the day to be able to see it, as cloud nearly always covers it up. So far, so good! We then passed mini seal colonies, and more waterfalls – with our boat getting up close and personal – as well as various different mountains shaped like animals, namely a lion and an elephant. I spent most of the time darting out on deck for photos before shooting back inside for the warmth! On the return journey, the boat went right up to the rock face under a waterfall, and fools like me stood under the water getting soaked – although apparently the water is very good for your skin!!!

Back on land around 6.30pm, and it was back to camp for dinner. As the indoor kitchen was overrun with backpackers staying in the lodge, we shut ourselves inside Polly (away from the sandflies!) & made use of her two hobs. Ben made his first corn beef hash in 6 months. Yummy!

So, with Milford Sound ticked off our list, we were ready for our next stop!
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