Wet in Milford

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End May 18, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, April 6, 2006

If I could describe New Zealand in one word it would be 'Epic'. everywhere you look there are amazing snow covered mountains, beautiful valleys and countless crystal clear pristine lakes and rivers. Its no wonder they made the Lord of the Rings here. It makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and you could easily imagine Frodo and co galloping by on horse back.

So we came on the bus to the Sound as I explained in the previous entry. The journey was something else and you really start to see some absolutely ridiculous scenery. The mountains are just colossal. Because of this the Te Anau side of the mountanis they get about 3 metres of rain a year. On the other side just over the almost impassible ones it rains over 10 metres a year!!! Thats less than 20 miles away!! Mad stuff.

Milford sound is in Fiordland, a massive and barely explored national park on the bottom left of the South Island on the opposite side of the range from te Anau. After driving through the massive mountains, huge open plains and along some perilous looking cliffs we finally reached it and it is quite beautiful. We went out into the Sound on a boat tour, which went right around the entire thing. They say it looks good in any weather. Our weather constisted of lots of cloud and lots of rain, but this was good because it meant loads of waterfalls bursting down the sheer sides of the valley walls. The boat even went right under one at one stage which was cool. The only downside was the cold and wet, but you don't even notice that until the tour is over and you're back on the return bus journey.

As usual, photos just don't do justice to such a magical place. You should all come here. Seriously. Even in the rain.

On the way back our bus stopped off at a few interesting places, the best of which was the Chasm. Its a massive hole thats been carved in the granite by the surging river behind it. But its no ordinary hole. Its made up of loads of little tunnels that have been intricatley carved through the rock by the water making a cool looking maze of tunnels and shapes. There are even massive trees just passing through the holes as the flow down the river, some of which get stuck as you can see from the photo I put on. It was almost as impressive as the Sound was.
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