The Milford Wanderer

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 23, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, January 18, 2013

We had booked on the Milford Wanderer for an overnight stay cruising from 4.30pm until 9.30am the following day. To include a three course dinner, breakfast - and a real bed!!! So we headed out of Te Anau with me stopping often to try to get some nice shots up South Fiord (-failed) and the road and scenery just got better and better. The lady in Wanaka who we booked the trip with told us that there were loads of scenic stops on the drive down and, to be honest, we'd not really seen any the previous day. But this part of the route was fantastic. We stopped often just to take in the views. We drove 17 km down a dirt track and then did a 30 minute walk to see a great waterfall. We walked to "The Chasm" which revealed rocks that had holes worn in them by thousands (millions?) of years of water bashing down on them. And we drove through a 1270 metre long tunnel hacked through the mountains to get access to Milford Sound. And it was so dark in that tunnel!!!! No fancy flourescent tubes and reflective cladding panels here!

I'm writing this at 11.00pm. We left port at 4.30pm and since then, we've seen magnificent "fiord-like" scenery, we've seen seals basking (still not as many as Lundy), we've nosed right under a waterfall, we've kayaked round a sheltered inlet and we've jumped into the (almost) freezing ocean from the top deck of the boat. Oh, and we've had the three course dinner. We shared our dinner table with a couple of delightful sisters names Ann and Moira who were doing a slightly shorter, and backward, version of my trip and another Brit lady spending six months here in NZ. What are we like??? A couple of babe magnets!!! We were all entertained and educated by one of the crew who is clearly enormously enthusiastic to share his (great) knowledge with anyone who cares to ask.

That's all I have to say at the mo but hopefully the remainder of the cruise in the morning, when we apparently venture as far as the Tasman Sea proper, will provide more food for this entry.... Right now, I'm off to sample the delights of the first real bed that I'll have slept in since Wellington.

Well, talk about chalk and cheese!! Morning arrived as did 28mm (and counting) of rainfall overnight and the fiord was transformed from a beautiful haunting scene to a misty bleak landscape with literally hundreds of temporary waterfalls cascading into the water. We ventured out into the Tasman Sea proper and encountered a swell of maybe 3 metres. Spray everywhere. Everyone soaked even before we travelled bow first under the fall nicknamed "the boatwash". Changes of clothes all tround. And a big "full English" made this a trip well worth doing.... Highly recommended.

And a note for Helen - not a single dolphin spotted, not one!!!
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cotysmore on

Jane - all this water seems somewhat more appealing than our pathetic snow experience - fab photos and scenery enhancements!

Becks on

Yes, I continue to be green with envy and really should learn that catching up with your exploits on a Monday morning is not good for motivation levels at work...! (Just off to Google "jandals", by the way!)

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