My Trip to New Zealand
Pete Grant
Dec 2007 to February 2008

 

I left Queenstown on Monday morning, the 14th of January and headed towards Milford Sound, the most important place to visit on this trip. The forecast was for rain, but clearing in the afternoon, so I decided to go, just to see how things would be.

It was a quite a distance to drive Sheep appear to be a big thing in NZ The cloud layer grew more dense as I drove, definitely a stormy day.
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Beautiful -- no, awesome -- scenery along the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound.

I decided to turn around and go camp back in Te Anau where the weather was not quite as severe. Sure enough, when I was preparing to eat dinner a few minutes after 6, the sun came out and the sky mostly cleared. Looks like a good day tomorrow for Milford Sound.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, January 15th) arrived as predicted -- partly cloudy with a strong sun shining, at least in Te Anau. After the usual morning stuff: breakfast, stowed away bed gear, shave & shower, fill up gas tank, drink a cup of coffee, etc., I was back on my way to Milford Sound. As I drove, the sky, especially in the direction of Milford, grew darker and murkier. Soon I even had to turn on the van's windshield wipers; but just for a few seconds. And I kept on driving; all the time hoping for reasonable weather in the Sound. And I got it!!! But now I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's look at the photo story:

As I entered the park, the weather started getting worse, as can be seen in the photos below
 
Image at Mirror Lakes Yes, those are raindrops on the windshield! Weather looking not so good...
 
On the way to Milford Sound, I stopped in several interesting attractions. One of them, Mirror Lakes, was already mentioned above, and the next one the Chasm. It was an awesome carving of stone, but extremely hard to take an accurate photograph; especially with overcast sky. But I did the best I could:
Upon arrival in Milford (below) the weather seemed even worse -- but it wasn't raining! Nevertheless I went ahead and booked a three hour cruise of the sound.
We're here! The scenery was breathtaking, even in the current conditions Our cruise boat.
 
And we were off We first went to the innermost part of the sound.
 
The captain announced that he would take the cruiser very close to a nearly vertical rock cliff with a small waterfall And closer we went My gosh, we almost touched the cliff -- in fact the people at the bow were able to touch the tree branches! We passed many waterfalls.

Continued

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