Your oxen died while fjording the river ...

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, August 16, 2009

We headed south to Te Anau after Queenstown because it's the jumping-off point for excursions to Milford Sound. Te Anau itself doesn't have much to see, but there were a couple things to do int he surrounding area.

We decided to get up early the first morning we were there and hike the first part of the Kepler Track, which was going to take about eight hours. When I woke up at 7 a.m., though, I felt exhausted and decided not to go, especially after I thought about what the 1,000 meter climb up the side of a mountain (or rather, the descent later) would do to my knee. I decided to do one or more of the other tracks in the area while Sebastian and Dom went on. At 9 a.m. I got up and went to the iSite to check on other tracks and found out the only one within walking distance was the Kepler Track, so headed toward it anyway. It took me an hour to hike to the start of the track and I hiked in another hour before stopping to eat lunch then head back. By the time I got back I had been on a respectable four-hour hike, and I was glad I hadn't gone on the longer one because my knee was hurting a bit just from that.

The next day, however, was one of the best I've had so far. We took a trip to Milford Sound. We got picked up in the morning by a bus for the two-and-a-half-hour drive, which was worth a good chunk of the money itself. The driver had lived in the area for 20 years and had worked in conservation for a long time, so he knew everything about the area and its history and wildlife. We had several stops for photos along the way, and the drive though the Fjordland National Park was spectacular. However, the best was yet to come. Once we reached Milford Sound, we got on a boat and headed out into the fjord for a one-and-a-half-hour cruise. It was amazing to be carried through the shadows of snow-capped, glacier-carved mountains over dark waters as waterfalls cascaded into the fjord. We even saw some bottlenosed dolphins that swam along with the boat and fur seals sunning themselves on a rock. I took more photos there than anywhere else, and many will be uploaded here at some point in the near future. The drive back was just as good as the one there, as the driver stopped at different spots for more photos. It was well worth the money spent.

That afternoon we drove up to Wanaka past Queenstown.
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sbarber on

Haha, I'm reminded of The Hitchhiker's Guide. Sounds pretty amazing.

jwatson on

@ Steven
Haha, yeah, I thought about that a bit too. Oh, Slartibartfast ... (and I'm pretty amazed I remembered his name).

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