Day 11: Queenstown (Milford Sound)

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On our first full day in Queenstown, eight of us were doing the all day trip out to Milford Sound. During the Bay of Islands part of the tour, there were a couple of guys who had already done the South Island who told us that Milford Sound wasn't worth it ($189 NZD, ~13-hour day) because of the long drive and the fact that "it's just a bunch of scenery." Out of the eight people who went, I was the only one who had been there for the Bay of Islands, so unfortunately I think people actually listened to what they said. It's too bad, because they missed out on one of the best parts of the South Island.

Breakfast at the hotel didn't start until 6:30, and we were leaving at 6:45, so we only had about 15 minutes to eat before we left. I woke up at 6:15 and tried to leave quietly since Jessie and Kay-Marie didn't need to be up yet. I had a couple bowls of cereal, and then the taxi was there to pick us up. Jake, Emma (Australian couple), Louise, Jo, Mo (all three English), and I got in, and the driver was about to leave when we told him that we were still waiting on two people (Amanda and Diana, from South America). He was just about to leave without them when Mo spotted them in the hotel lobby and ran in to get them. That would have been terrible for them to miss out on an entire full day tour!

Mo made the mistake of sitting next to me on the coach, so he got to enjoy my company for thirteen hours that day. We fought pretty much the whole way there because he kept saying negative things about Americans. Then we decided that any time he said anything bad about Americans or he insulted me, I would get to slap him. So I purposely tried to get him to say bad things by asking him stuff like "Don't you just love how we took your language and made so many great improvements?" He totally agreed with me. I actually wasted one of my free slaps because we went through a dark tunnel, and I thought that would be the perfect time to do it, but it was so dark that I just barely grazed his chin. Sooo disappointing! D=

Anyway, it's not like the drive up there was boring or anything. There was a lot of nice scenery, and we got to stop at a few places to take pictures, like the Mirror Lakes and Monkey Creek (where people filled up their water bottles because the water was so clean). We also stopped in Te Anau for lunch, where I had a chocolate croissant.

When we finally got to Milford, we got to take a scenic cruise through Milford Sound. Bridget warned us that the food on the boat wasn't any good, but most of us ate anyway (except poor Mo who I don't think ate anything). I had a sandwich and a Kit Kat. Then we went up on the top of the boat to take lots of pictures. We saw waterfalls, seals, and even penguins. We were totally surrounded by amazing scenery the whole time.

Finally, we had to catch the coach back to Queenstown. We sat in the front this time, and the driver didn't talk for the ride back, so we got to sleep. I complained to Mo about how I was cold, and he said "There's nothing I can do about that," and I said "Well, you could hold me..." and he got so flustered by that comment that I continued to hit on him for the whole rest of the tour just because it got such good reactions. People thought we were actually together or something because I tortured the poor boy so much. It was great. XD

We realized that it would be almost 8 by the time we got back, and a bunch of us were supposed to be going to the Minus 5 bar that night, so we called Bridget to see if we could have the coach drop us off in town instead of at the hotel, so we could have time for dinner before the bar. We were supposed to be paying for our optionals that night, though, so Louise and Jo were the only ones who got to do it because they were paying with cash, and Bridget only had the card machine for that one night. So, the rest of us had to get dropped off at the hotel, pay for our optionals, and then take a taxi or the bus right back out to town. I didn't get dinner that night, but that's okay.

The Minus 5 ice bar ended up being pretty cool (literally). They made us wear big parkas when we went in. It was just one small room full of ice sculptures. There was also a drink included (that came in a glass made of ice), and I gave mine to Steph. It wasn't cold enough to be uncomfortable, but they only let you stay in for half an hour.

After the Minus 5 bar, Jessie, Mark, Robin, Crystal and I walked around a little bit before catching the bus back to the hotel--the end of yet another awesome day in New Zealand.
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