Milford Sound Cruise - St Patty's Day - Waterfalls
Trip Start Feb 22, 2011
56Trip End Ongoing
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To enter Milford Sound we had to drive through the Homer Tunnel - an impressive and rugged shaft that leads straight through a granite mountain. After a short drive on the other side you ended up besides of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Going on a cruise of the sound (which is actual a fjord) was a must and we willingly joined up with the hoards of tourists who were busing into this popular destination. We were fortunate enough to have the skies clear as we were on the water which allowed us to fully appreciate the height of the surrounding granite walls, which had previously been hid in fog/clouds. Our trip included a buffet lunch and a stop at the underwater observatory (we'd skip both next time) and was highlighted by an exhilarating waterfall shower (very fun!).
Later in the day, after all the tourist buses had left, the locals started up their annual St Patrick's Day celebrations which included a very fun "Bridge to Bar Race"... think Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, just much smaller. It was a good time and we had a wonderful evening soaking up the staggering ancient peaks and stars above Milford Sound. Overall, it was one of our favorite places on the whole trip.
In the morning before we left the rain started back up (they average 5.5 meters / 18 feet per year) and 100s of waterfalls poured down the sheer cliff walls. An impressive sight. Even our Kea friend enjoyed them!